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Paganini's Pantry

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Sponge:
1 cup warm water (95-110°)
1 tsp. yeast
1 cup all purpose flour

Dough:
3 eggs
1 Tb. whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. grated orange zest
2 cups flour
1/2 cup golden raisins

Almond Icing:
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons water (more if needed)
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
Additional powdered sugar

For the sponge, heat the water to lukewarm (95-110°) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and sprinkle yeast on the surface. Allow to stand 2 minutes and beat yeast into water to dissolve. Stir in flour and cover with plastic wrap Allow to ferment 30 minutes, or until double.

For the dough, beat the eggs, zests and milk together, then beat in the vanilla sugar. Melt and cool the butter then beat into dough. Stir in the seasonings, then the flour. Beat in the sponge and continue beating to form a soft dough. Beat in the raisins. Place dough into a buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until double, about 1 hour. Remove dough from bowl and deflate. Round dough and press into a dove shaped pan or a 10-inch springform pan, which has been buttered and lined with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. Cover loosely and allow to rise at room temperature until double, about 1 hour. Bake in a preheated oven (350°) for 30 minutes. Cool and unmold.

For the icing, combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar, almond extract, and water until you get a thick but spreadable icing.  Spread the icing on the Colomba. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

 

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