For ten years I have invariably cooked traditional dishes on the celebration days of our Catholic culture, but this is the first time that a large-sized leavened dessert has satisfied me 100 per cent! I have never tasted a soft and fragrant gluten-free Colomba Pasquale like this one, prepared with simple (albeit numerous!) ingredients and a mix containing only naturally gluten-free ingredients.
You can imagine the joy of seeing the dough rise without any hesitation inside the warm oven: you know what that means for those who have to deal with flours that are always a bit temperamental like gluten free ones.
The other advantage of this Colomba is that it stays good for several days, although to fully enjoy the softness after the first day, it is best to heat the slices for a few seconds in the microwave or in a conventional oven for a few minutes.
Do you know what the only flaw is? That it has to rise at least six hours and therefore it takes a whole day with its waiting… but maybe that’s good because otherwise I think I would bake one every week.
I wish you a very happy Easter that we will certainly remember for the events that have changed our lives without warning, but I hope you will also remember it a little for my Colomba. And in the video recipe you can follow how to prepare Colomba step by step.
49g carbohydrates per 100g
Ingredients for the poolish
- 75g unsweetened almond milk or soya drink*
- 50g gluten-free multi-purpose flour mix, Massimo Zero**
- 25g wholemeal rice flour*
- 10g acacia honey
- 10g brewer’s yeast
Ingredients for the dough
- 100g gluten-free multi-purpose flour mix, Massimo Zero**
- 95g sugar
- 95g butter
- 85g sultanas or candied fruit
- 4 eggs
- 35g tapioca starch*
- 30g rice starch*
- 25g rice flour
- 25g acacia honey
- 20g liqueur to moisten the raisins
- 2g guar gum
- 1g xanthan gum
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 vanilla pod
- orange flower water (optional)
- tonka bean (optional)
Ingredients for the icing
- 40g egg white (corresponding to 1 egg white)
- 30g icing sugar
- 30g almond flour
- 10g corn starch
- 10g granulated sugar
- almonds in their skins
**Ingredients specific for celiacs
*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on Prontuario AIC)
- Mix the flours for the poolish in a planetary mixer with the honey and warm milk in which the brewer’s yeast has been dissolved. You will obtain a soft dough that you will have to put to rise at room temperature for about 3 hours covered with cling film.
- After 3 hours, put the poolish in the planetary mixer, add the Massimo Zero mix, starches, rice flour, sugar, guar and xanthan gum. Knead by adding the eggs, one at a time, then add the very soft butter gradually so that it is absorbed. To knead in the planetary mixer, you can use the dough hook or the leaf mixer and when the dough starts to stick to the hook, it is ready to be put to rise.
- Let the dough rise directly in the bowl of the planetary mixer in the oven set on proving function for 1 hour.
- Soak the raisins in liqueur.
- Put the planetary mixer bowl back in place with the hook and add the last ingredients: grated lemon zest, vanilla bean, grated Tonka bean, orange flower water and finally honey and a pinch of salt. Stir the whole mixture and complete by adding the soaked raisins and the soaking liquid.
- Pour the mixture into a 500g Colomba mould and put it to rise in the oven at 30°C for at least another 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Whip the egg whites until stiff by adding the icing sugar, then add the almond flour and corn starch. Stir well and when Colomba is ready to be baked, sprinkle the icing over the surface of the cake and top with whole almonds with the peel and granulated sugar.
- Heat the static oven to 165°C and bake Colomba for 1 hour and 15 minutes (depending on the oven, it may be ready even 10 minutes earlier), preferably with the cake placed in the lower part of the oven. You can add a small pan of water in the oven to keep it slightly moist. After the first 15 minutes, cover the surface of the cake with tin foil to prevent it from browning too much.
- Once removed from the oven, place the Colomba upside down by poking it with two Chinese food sticks and let it cool for 1 hour.
- Once completely cold, store the Colomba in a well-sealed plastic bag.