Easter Baking

Hello everyone and Happy Easter. Has anyone been baking Easter breads/cakes? I had a go at Colomba Pasquale (naturally leavened) after getting some molds from Patrick at bakerybits.co.uk. Like panettone it’s a lot of hard work! I tried hanging it upside down like panettone but it started to break up partly due to the flat shape and also due to the way the dough is separated into two pieces…


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6 Responses to Easter Baking

  1. bethesdabakers says:

    There you are. I told you Ben was your man when it comes to enriched doughs.

    I’m going to keep my head down and organise the washing up rota that weekend in July.


  2. Looks fantastic Ben. I also made Colomba Pasquale over Easter. I hope we have time to compare notes in July. I made two different recipes, both using a stiff starter.

    It took me three attempts to get a strong stiff starter going. I converted my 100% hydration white starter to 50%, then gave it five feeds over two days, the last 3 every 4hours. The light in my top oven, plus some boiled water in a tray, changed regularly, provided as close to ideal conditions for the starter as I could manage. Unfortunately I decided to make pizza in the bottom oven while the last build of the starter was still in the top oven. I was feeling really pleased with myself that I was using the discards from the feeds in the pizza dough. Needless to say, the top oven temp rose well above the 60c that spells death to the wee yeastie beasties.

    The second time I carefully removed the last build from the top oven before baking bread & then checked the temp before replacing it – obviously not carefully enough. Whilst I didn’t completely kill it this time, enough of the yeast was killed that it took taken 16hrs to double instead of 4.

    On my third attempt I managed the starter stage OK, but I wasn’t able to be around much on day 3, so instead of the proper 3-4hr proof at around 30c, they got a long 10-11hr proof at room temp. They hadn’t doubled even then, but I decided to bake them anyway. They rose pretty well, but didn’t quite fill the cases. The crumb is obviously more dense than I was hoping for but I can’t complain about the taste.

  3. sgratch says:

    I tried posting some images with the above but obviously got the html wrong; photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgratch13/5691411035/in/set-72157626656603226/

    • bakingben says:

      Hi Geraint

      I think my final proof was about 9 hours at 27 C. I used the electric blanket with the cases inside a plastic box under the duvet to maintain that temperature consistently! I got the stiff starter going 3 or 4 days before and then refreshed 3 times at 4 hourly intervals again at 27 C just before making the first dough.

      • sgratch says:

        Yours seems to be bursting out of the cases even before baking – must be one strong starter.
        Tough going though isn’t it?
        I need to get more organised or set 3 days aside for dough-sitting.
        One day I will build myself a proofing cabinet!

        • It’s a labour of love making these italian sweet breads with a ‘lieveto naturale’ isn’t it? Maybe we should plan to make them when there is a heat wave, rather than at the colder times of year. I am of course very jealous! 😀

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