food amongst family and friends

Pumpkin Focaccia March 1, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Breads,Make Ahead,Sides — blisteringlydrunk @ 4:40 pm
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Last Thanksgiving, Ky made this delightful Pumpkin-Walnut Focaccia with Gruyere that she found in Cooking Light. I’ve been meaning to make it ever since and I finally got around to it today. In my usual fashion, I went overboard. I forgot that each recipe makes 2 loaves and I decided to triple the recipe…so I have 6 loaves on my kitchen counter as I type. Tonight we’re having this with a California Chili (recipe to come), but it’s also great for peanut butter sandwiches, dipping in soup and snacking on while it’s warm with butter.

The original recipe is posted below. In the interest of cutting some fat, I left out the cheese all-together. I think it was a bad call. It’s still tasty, but the cheese gives it a nice depth and it helps to hold the walnuts on top. Next time, I might try cutting both the cheese and walnuts in half and using the cheese only on top (to secure the walnuts)…or I will just make it as-is and revel in the treatiness of it all.


Makes 2 Loaves

3/4  cup  warm water
1/3  cup  packed dark brown sugar
2 1/4 t active dry yeast
3 1/2  cups  bread flour, divided (all-purpose flour will work)
3  tablespoons  butter, melted
1  cup  canned pumpkin
1  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
3/4  cup  (3 ounces) grated Gruyère cheese, divided
Cooking spray
1  teaspoon  cornmeal
1/3  cup  coarsely chopped walnuts

Combine water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour and the butter – stir just until combined. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Mix in the pumpkin, salt, and nutmeg, then add 2 1/4 cups of flour and half the cheese. Stir to form a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead 8 minutes, using flour to prevent sticking. The full 8 minutes really helps the texture – check out the pictures below of before and after kneading.

Place dough in a large bowl, coat with olive oil, cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down, then cover and rest 5 minutes.

Divide the dough in half, shape into 2 circles and place on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and nuts, pressing them lightly into the dough. Spray each with a shot of cooking spray, cover and let rise another 20 minutes.

Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes until the bottoms are browned and the cheese melts.


5 Responses to “Pumpkin Focaccia”

  1. Ky Says:

    You have some serious skill with a camera; that is the prettiest loaf of bread I have ever seen (skill in the kitchen too obviously!).

  2. Kristi Says:

    I wish I was in town so I could help you out with those extra loaves! I cannot wait to make this – looks fantastic!

  3. […] list of things to post and have also been pulling out some fall favourites (cowgirl soup and pumpkin foccasia with the gruyere, so perfect on a cold fall day) but this is one I wanted to be sure to post right […]

  4. […] I happened upon this recipe while taking a quick look at a site Meagan had recommended to me (based entirely on the amazing kitchen this women has) and knew that I would be making it soon, as it seemed somewhat fated considering I had just received two cases of sausage from a friend’s fundraiser. It was late and dark by the time I took this picture, so don’t judge this entirely on that; this was spicy and rich, with an earthy balance in the potatoes and kale. All round a lovely soup, and I’m not usually inclined towards creamy soups. That said, I could not bring myself to use the sheer amount of cream in the original recipe, and opted for whole milk instead, which is how I’ve written it here. Also, choose your sausage carefully, as it’s flavour will permeate and define the whole soup. I used Spolumbo’s spicy Italian, which turned out to be a little too spicy for my children, but perfect for me. I think I will probably go for half spicy Italian and half chicken apple in the future. Unless you know of a nice, sweet mild Italian sausage (Missing Link at the Calgary Farmer’s Market makes an excellent chicken one), which would be perfect for a not so spicy version of this soup. Whatever you choose, just make sure you like the sausage. This should serve 6, heartily, with a sweet bread to tame the spiciness, we had this one. […]

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