Pumpkin focaccia with gruyere and walnuts
I am kind of going entirely insane with the pumpkin baking and cooking (cause you’ll be seeing some more!) but if anything goes together with autumn it’s pumpkin I think, right? (ssay yes, say yes!) And so…. again a pumpkin dish. This time a really good pumpkin focaccia with walnuts and cheese. And o no, again on that table!
I had made this bread before in 2011. You need to know that any recipe that makes it past the once in a lifetime bar is a special recipe. Not a lot of things are made here twice! For the simple reason that I always want to create or try something new and that just means that something very seldom gets to be made twice. Except ofcourse for a couple of favorites, but in general a recipe needs to be really really good to be made twice. And so the fact that I made this before should tell you enough!
The dough becomes yellow from the pumpkin that is mixed through it and it also makes sure it gets that lovely taste. The first time I made it I used gruyere but that was nowhere to be found so I picked parmesan cheese this time. And while tasty; I will be going back to the gruyere for next time. The parmesan doesn’t melt as good as the other cheese…
- 200 ml warm water 30 oC
- 30 g brown sugar
- 1 package dry yeast 8g
- 500 g strong bread flour
- 45 g butter melted
- 500 g fresh pumpkin or butternut squash for 220g cooked pumpkin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4/ tsp ground nutmeg
- 50 g grated Gruyere or other hard cheese
- 60 g chopped pecannuts or walnuts
Preheat the oven to 200 oC.
Clean the pumpkin from seeds and cut into large chunks, skin on. The skin is easier to remove once the pieces are cooked.
In a bowl toss the pumpkin with olive oil, salt and pepper until all pieces are covered. Place them on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper or silicone mat and roast until tender and slightly browned, 30-40 minutes. The pieces need some space around them, otherwise they will boil, not roast. If your tray cannot hold them all together roast them in two batches. Let pieces cool down and remove the skins.
Puree in the blender or with a fork. You need 220g of pumpkin puree.
Combine water, yeast and sugar in a rage bowl. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Add 135g (1 cup ) flour and the melted butter to the yeast mixture and mix until it has been incorporated. Cover and let it rise for 30 minutes.
Add the pumpkin puree, salt and nutmeg to the risen flour mixture and stir until well combined. Add 300g (2 and 1/4 cups) flour and half of the cheese. Stir to incorporate then lightly knead in the bowl adding the rest of the flour (70g) little by little until you get an elastic soft and slightly sticky dough. Make the dough into a ball and brush with olive oil all over. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubles in size. To check doneness press two fingers on the dough and if indentation remains the dough is ready.
Cover a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper and sprinkle some flour on it. Shape the focaccia into a rectangle using your hands (you might need to sprinkle some flour on it too) measuring approximately 30 x 35cm. Brush with some olive oil and sprinkle remaining cheese and walnuts on top pressing them lightly to adhere. Cover and let rise for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200 oC and bake for 30 minutes or until the focaccia is browned on top and the cheese has melted. You might need to cover it with foil half way through so that it will not burn. Cool on a wire rack, slice and enjoy!