It’s time to put pumpkin front and center. I love this pillowy slab of delicious fall flavor, and it is incredibly easy to make – it just takes some patience to get through the resting and rising phases! Though your patience will be well rewarded with a fresh autumn read straight from the oven. I love this served with soup or a simple pasta, or as a starter with some olive oil to dip it in. Imagine it served alongside Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Pasta , Turkey, Pumpkin and White Bean Chili or Italian Sausage and Pumpkin Manicotti. You can even slice it horizontally and use it for sandwiches – keep that in mind for your Thanksgiving leftovers! Sage and parmesan add to the woodsy, autumnal taste and the orange tint makes it pretty on the table.
I used canned pumpkin puree, but you can absolutely roast fresh pumpkin (or butternut squash) and puree that very well. Sage adds this lovely woodsy note that really compliments the pumpkin, but you could use rosemary or oregano instead. Parmesan is perfect, but finely grated cheddar or fontina or gruyere would be beautiful too. And like most focaccia recipes, you can get really creative here. Sprinkle some chopped walnuts over the top or sliced red onion or crumbled cooked bacon or crumbled goat cheese. I had a thought when I was making my most recent batch that was echoed by someone I served it to – you could use cinnamon or warming spices for a different twist (with or without the cheese). I think this is truly best warm from the oven, but leftovers can be wrapped tightly and kept for a day. Warm in a low oven.
Pumpkin Sage Focaccia
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 Tablespoon finely chopped sage
¼ grated parmesan cheese
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
Fresh sage leaves and parmesan for topping
Flaky salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Put the flour, salt, yeast, sage and cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and give it a stir to combine. Add the pumpkin and warm water and beat on low until you have a cohesive but still sticky dough, but with no dry ingredients visible. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let lest for 2 hours.
- Spray a 15 by 10 inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray (to prevent sticking) then pour in 1 Tablespoon olive oil (for flavor and crisp) and swirl it around. Transfer the dough to the pan, moisten your fingers with a touch of olive oil and push the dough gently to spread it out. Don’t worry if it doesn’t completely fill the pan, but do your best. Cover with the tea towel and leave for 1 ½ – 2 hours until puffy.
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Make dimples all across the top of the dough by pressing your fingers in. Drizzle 2 Tablespoons of olive oil all over the top, then sprinkle with about ¼ cup of grated parmesan. Arrange sage leaves decoratively across the top, pressing them into the olive oil to adhere. Sprinkle the top with flaky salt and some fresh ground black pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.