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Pumpkin focaccia
Before I start with the description of the recipe, I want to go into a few important details when making focaccia that might be obvious to an Italian, but certainly not to anyone else.
Focaccia dough resembles the dough of a pizza base. It is made with very fine flour, yeast and water. The small difference, however, is that pizza dough never contains olive oil. The focaccia dough on the other hand gets its specific flavour due to the addition of olive oil! And additionally a focaccia dough takes much longer to rest than the dough for a pizza.
To make the perfect focaccia I would like to give you some tips for the ingredients you should use. Always choose a light type of flour. The Italians use the term 00 to indicate this grinding degree. In most countries you’ll find this in your store. If you can't find it, also pizza flour will do the trick. In addition, opt for dried yeast and preferably a little tartaric baking powder to make it easier to rise (this is not traditional, but for me it is a handy trick to get a good and airy dough). Now it's a matter of rolling up your sleeves, getting to work and above all… waiting! :) Have fun and good luck making this delicious Italian treat!

Recipe for: 1 large focaccia (30 by 30 cm)
preparation time: 45 min + approximately 3 hours waiting time


for the pumpkin filling
  • 1/2 butternut squash (you need 100 grams of roasted pumpkin for this recipe)
  • 50 grams of walnuts
  • 50 grams pecorino cheese (garnish)
  • olive oil

for the dough
  • 500 grams 00 flour
  • 200 ml lukewarm water
  • 4 grams dried yeast
  • 2 teaspoons tartar baking powder (if you want to do without tartar baking powder, that's fine, but double the amount of yeast)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 grams of olive oil

Getting started
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees.
Cut the pumpkin with skin into slices a few millimeters thick. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper (and optionally some other herbs) and place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, start making the dough
Dissolve the yeast and honey in the lukewarm water while stirring gently. Let this mixture rest for a few minutes.
Mix the flour, salt and olive oil in a mixing bowl and gradually add the yeast/water mixture. Knead for about 10 minutes till it's a nice smooth dough.
Is your dough too dry? Then add some extra water. Focaccia should be slightly more moist than normal bread dough.
Let the pumpkin cool down a bit. It may still be warm, but make sure it isn't sweltering hot when you add it to the dough.
Roughly chop the walnuts and add them to your dough together with the roasted pumpkin. Carefully fold in the filling into the dough until it's nicely mixed together.
Make a round ball of the dough, place in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel.
Let the dough rest for at least 1 hour in a warm (and preferably moist) place in the house. If you have access to a steam oven, that is really perfect. Let your dough rise in the steam oven at a temperature of 40 degrees.
When your dough has doubled in size, you know you've been patient enough.
Grease a baking tin or baking tray with olive oil, remove the dough ball from the bowl, and place it in a shape of your choice on your baking tin. Traditionally, a focaccia is rectangular, but any other shape you like is possible.
Press your fingertips slightly into the dough to create little holes. Now garnish this with the remaining walnuts and the grated pecorino and push it a little into the dough with your fingers.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Cover the dough on the baking tray again with a towel and let it rise for 1 more hour. (make sure the towel cannot touch the dough or you will never get rid of a sticky dough towel. ;)
Hopefully you were able to wait an hour. In that case; let's bake!
Bake your focaccia in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.
I wouldn't wait too long with eating. It is super tasty when freshly baked! Enjoy
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