Italian Easter Dove Bread

Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time1 d 6 hrs
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Course: Bread
Cuisine: Holiday
Servings: 1 large loaf
Author: Renée B. ♥ The Good Hearted Woman


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup milk"
  • 4 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbls butter cut in four pieces
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp anise seed
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries craisins
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tsp water
  • 14 blanched almonds


To prepare dough in an electric bread maker:

  • In a glass measuring cup, whisk eggs and egg yolk with enough milk to make exactly 1 ½ cups of liquid. Pour into bread machine or mixer.
  • Add flour, sugar, salt, butter, softened butter, orange zest, and anise in that order. Make a small indentation in the top and add the yeast.
  • Set the bread machine to the Dough cycle. When it beeps to add additional ingredients, add the craisins and golden raisins. (If your bread machine doesn’t have this feature, just add the craisins and raisins after the dough is thoroughly mixed, but before it completes the kneading process.)
  • When the dough process is complete, turn the dough out onto your countertop, cover with a clean cloth and let it rest another 5 minutes.
  • Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.

To shape the Dove:

  • On a lightly floured board, roll dough into a 10"x8" rectangle. Cut into two 10"x4" rectangles.
  • Place one rectangle on the prepared baking sheet, and pinch middle to make wings.
  • On the second rectangle, pinch for head and body.
  • Cut seven 2 inch slashes for tail and fan out.
  • Cut two 2 inch slashes for each wing and fan.
  • Cover and let Dove rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Combine egg white and water and brush onto dove. Place almonds on feathers as shown.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden. Remove to wire rack to cool.


You can also make the dough by hand. Just mix it up in your mixer, knead it as you would any bread dough, and let rise once before shaping.
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