Hello Spring Bread
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup milk, warmed to about 110
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 egg yolk, reserve white for topping
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Zest of one big orange I used a Cara Cara
- 1/2 cup candied orange peel
- the remaining egg white
- ¼ cup pearl sugar I used Swedish pearl sugar which is on the finer side
- Sprinkle the yeast on the warm milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and sugar, cover (I used one of these reusable stretchy lids—see note), and let it rest overnight at room temperature.
- The next day, combine all of the ingredients from the bread sections besides the candied fruit and zest with the starter in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Mix with a dough hook until a smooth, glossy, and slightly sticky dough forms. It should form a ball that comes up onto the dough hook, if it is too soft, add small amounts of flour until it looks like dough rather than a batter. This will take a few minutes so keep an eye on your mixer to make sure it doesn’t overheat.
- Knead in the grated orange rind and candied fruit.
- Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for about 2 hours or until it doubles in bulk.
- Grease 4 brioche (or taco bowl molds, see note) tins. Divide the dough among the tins. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for about 1 hour or until it doubles in bulk again.
- Preheat oven to 375
- Whisk the egg white until frothy, stir in the sugar then brush it on each bread.
- Bake for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for another 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the molds and cool on a wire rack.
This is another recipe where I went down a rabbit hole of watching videos and reading recipes in a language I don’t really speak. My sight word list is almost all food words so it sort of works. This recipe was inspired by Italian Colomba di Pasqua (aka Colomba Pasquale aka Easter Dove Bread). I dispensed with the traditional “dove” shape (I’m sorry but even Italians in Italy admit it doesn’t look like a dove and my local Italian market sells an individual version like this so I think I am in the clear) but I did go back to using candied peel and not simple “dried fruit” or worse yet— the raisins that English language recipes seemed to use. In all of the videos I watched, the Italians were clearly using candied fruit. I like oranges so I used a ton of zest from a Cara Cara and orange peel but I bet a lemon or citron version would be very good too. The Italians love their high moisture doughs (as we’ve learned in our adventures in pizza making this pandemic) so it is a very soft dough but it has a great flavor and excellent texture. I used all milk in the starter–most American recipes used only water and the Italians used either milk or a combo of milk and water but I liked using all milk so I did.
I used these taco bowl molds to make the bread in because I had them (how often am I making taco bowls?) and they made four perfect little fluted loaves. A brioche mold would work as well.
I made two of the loaves into bread pudding!