Colomba pasquale and the Bread Knife

My mother has been learning Italian for many years, to the stage she now can construct complicated phrases involving lost umbrella's and the possibility of losing them in the future, in unusual circumstances.

Her Italian teacher is a wonderful woman who brings energy and enlightenment to the language but also wonderful bits of Italian life. The most recent excitement was a Colomba pasquale.

A Colomba pasqualeor colomba di Pasqua ("Easter Dove" in English) is an Italian traditional Easter cake, the counterpart of Panettone.

The dough for the colomba contains flour, eggs, sugar, natural yeast and butter. Unlike its relative Panettone it usually contains no raisins and candied peel. The outer layer is iced with pearl sugar and almonds before it is baked. 

Angelo Motta was a Milanese baker and businessman who commercialised the colombas as an Easter version of the Christmas speciality panettone that Motta foods were producing.

This Easter Sunday we were delighted to find that our bread knife was the perfect cutting instrument - slicing the perfect sized slices for us to nibble on with champagne.

Cake is a precious thing and it is important in our family to make sure the slices are equal.