Pumpkin Focaccia with Sage and Walnuts

Focaccia makes me weak in the knees like a strapping young lad taking me out on a night on the town.

My heart pounds rapidly and I'm at a loss for words when I taste the herb-laced Italian bread. Butterflies flutter in my stomach when I nibble at its tender crumb.


It's simply the sexiest bread that exists. Isn't it? The olive oil slathered over the crispy crust, the kiss of herbs and sea salt, the slightly dimpled surface of fingertips that once caressed the dough...

Is it getting warm in here, or is it just me?


Does any bread compare?
Cornbread?! Preposterous!
French bread?! Not even close.
Rye? Pumpernickel? Sourdough? No way!

Those sensual Italians with their wine and good looks, were on to something when they created focaccia.


Focaccia is my favorite bread, I think, especially when dipped into extra-virgin olive oil with freshly cracked peppercorn. I thought I would move away from the standard, and create a focaccia using pumpkin, walnuts and sage, which are all ingredients commonly used in Italian cooking.

How was it? Well, I swooned when I had my first bite; it was nutty and delicious, and reminiscent of past Thanksgiving dinners.

I would make this again, for sure.
PS I'll be out of town for two days - I'm going to see Kings of Leon in concert, in St. Louis. I recommend listening to their music!

Pumpkin Focaccia with Sage and Walnuts

Ingredients:
Starter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage
3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Directions:
To make the starter, stir together 1 cup flour, water and 1/4 teaspoon yeast, in the bowl of a stand mixer, using a dough hook, and mix on low speed until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 16 hours.

Add 2 1/2 cups flour, pumpkin, salt and 1 1/4 teaspoon yeast to the bowl, and mix on low speed until just combined. Increase speed to medium for 5 minutes. Remove dough from bowl, wash and oil bowl, and place dough into it; cover with plastic wrap.

Allow dough to rise for 30 minutes in a warm area. Take dough out onto a work surface, flatten, and fold a couple of times; place back into bowl (do not use flour). Repeat process one more time.
Fold the dough one more time, and shape into a large round ball. Place on a pizza stone and flatten into a 1-inch thickness. Sprinkle sage and walnuts over the surface, and push slightly into dough. Evenly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Allow dough to rise for 45 minutes, in a warm area, covered with a towel.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown (cover with foil if it gets too brown). Cool 15 minutes before slicing.

Makes 6 servings


60 comments:

  1. Great post Emiline...this focaccia is definitely "sex on fire"...LOL!

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  2. This recipe screams fall Emiline. I am sure you had a fantastic time at the concert:D

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  3. Sexy bread? Sure with it's tan exterior, it's like the beach body bread :) Nice to know that a slice with olive oil and some indie rock is a way to the heart... that's easy :)

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  4. I'm loving these combos of flavors...looks great!

    -DTW
    www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

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  5. What a sexy bread that focaccia is. I've never really thought of it that way, but now that you mention it... ooo la la.

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  6. Wow! Very creative! Love the flavor combination.

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  7. don't take this the wrong way, but if any bread is getting you that excited... you need a night out on the town with a strapping young lad ;) this does look delicious, though - and I do love focaccia!

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  8. Yummy!!!! I have the same reaction to focaccia...and I am drooling over yours...mmm...guess I know what I'm making this week! :)

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  9. i like focaccia too but i ve never tried with these toppings and spices. I adore it with black olives and rosemary yummy. what can be more delicious !! this looks really mouth watering.pity i cannot grab a piece :(

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  10. How does someone so young know so much about wonderful cooking? What a great recipe...and by the way, you are way too easy!

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  11. emiline, i think you just seduced me with this focaccia. haha

    it looks heavenly and i feel ashamed that i've only had it a few times before.

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  12. Oh does that bread look good. I LOVE focaccia dipped in olive oil. Pumpkin focaccia sounds great!

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  13. I make a pasta with sage and walnuts, but a focaccia sounds amazing!

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  14. I'm so so so so so EXCITED!!!
    AHHHH!!
    Mom is picking me up 20 minutes early from school.

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  15. I share your same thoughts one Focaccia...simply the best! And with this recipe you definitely outdid yourself...FABULOUS!

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  16. Wow, i started getting hot before reading that line, lol.

    i'm gonna try this using some sweet potatoes maybe, hmmm.

    looks delicious

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  17. wow - your post makes me want to try some! i already have a love affair with bread but didn't really know it could be this way with focaccia :)
    have fun at kings of leon! my sister just went in mpls this weekend and she loved it. they always smoke on stage, no matter if they are in a totally fancy theater or not. it cracks me up.

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  18. What? Is focaccia two timing with you, Em, because that bread and I have something going on.
    We're having a little pumpkin party over at UtHC, so we'll be giving this a try. love it!

    Aimee

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  19. Ahhh, I have a nice grin when you throw in the odd savory post. Dippin' in olive oil is only surpassed by...oh nevermind!

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  20. PUMPKIN focaccia? Are you kidding??? Yum yum yum yum yum...

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  21. Never had pumpkin foccacia, sounds delicious though! Lots of fall flavors in this one!

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  22. Oh dear, knock it off girl or else my girlfriend is going to wonder what I'm reading when she sees me blush!

    Looks awesome, I also love focaccia. Maybe not quite as much as you though... :D

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  23. Oh, wow. You had me at "pumpkin," Emiline.

    And that was before I saw the word "focaccia"... this looks positively amazing.

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  24. Have fun at the concert! Be sure to pack this delicious foccacia for the ride. I also love foccacia (who doesn't really?) and I think any Italian would be proud of your version!

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  25. You sure you're not a romance writer in hiding? Whew, girl!

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  26. You are such a creative girl and have a way with words. Nice bread!

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  27. focaccia with pumpkin? be still my heart! That's a combo that I would not have thought so I'm very glad that you did!

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  28. YEAH! Pumpkin foccacia!!

    This excites me to no end.

    Yes. It is infact, getting hot in here.. Tempted to take off all my clothes.

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  29. Hi there, it´s been so little since i stumbled upon your magnificent blog, and i´m amazed at all the perfect desserts you make. I really love baking too, but sometimes i just drop it due to the lack of ingredients available here in Mexico,it´s a bummer. Lucky you!, hehe.
    I was thinking of Pastry school too, but i realizaed i prefer by far baking at home by myself.
    Greetings,
    marcela.

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  30. Hey, free coffee at Starbucks when you vote tomorrow:

    http://www.starbucks.com/sharedplanet/news.aspx

    Pass it on

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  31. What pretty pics of your focaccia Emily! I am starving and am wishing I has some!

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  32. i don't know many strapping young lads, so i suppose i'll have to temporarily make do with some focaccia...somehow it's just not the same. :)

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  33. Oh, does this sound wonderful! Wish I had a warm slice right now.

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  34. I had to make sure while I was reading this post that you were still talking about bread. It was hard to stay on track.

    Very interesting take on foccaccia. I haven't had foccaccia in a while. I am inspired.

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  35. Peter G, Ha ha!

    Valli, I did!

    Adam, I like that indie rock...

    Darius, thanks!

    Recipegirl, J'aime le focaccia.

    Lori, thanks!

    Heather, maybe you're right...

    Ginny, just get floury!

    Snooky, black olives sounds delishhh.

    Sue, I am! Haha - just kidding.

    Jo, glad I could turn you on.

    Debbie, me too!

    Susan, your pasta sounds amazing.

    S&S, thanks!

    Chantal, that sounds like a splendid idea.

    Marla, ha ha! That is so funny. They were smoking - especially Matthew. Stay tuned for pics and video footage!

    Aimee, I suspected something was going on... ;)

    Peter, ;)

    Cookiepie, yep!

    Marla, thanks!

    Bob, I love you too, but don't let your girlfriend know!

    Lo, thanks!

    CC, that's a good idea.

    Blonde Duck, I think it's from all these Twilight books I've been reading.

    Lisa, VeggieGirl, Emily, Cakelaw, Lisa, thanks!

    Brittany, oops. That's already happend to me. Wink.

    Marcela, thank you so much for the nice comment! Hey, if you want to go to pastry school with me...

    CDM, ahh man! Is it too late in the day for coffee?

    Jenny, thanks!

    Grace, awww, I bet you know plenty of nice looking guys!

    Cathy, thanks!

    Rachel, was I talking about bread??? Hmmm? *Eyebrows wiggling*

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  36. I guess you won't do too well on the carb diet huh??? Me either. My diet only consists of carbs. lol. I love the color the pumpkin gives!

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  37. Have fun in St. Louis! Are you doing anything else while you're there? They have a very nice art museum! (I went to college not too far from St. Louis- in Columbia, MO.)

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  38. You got me all hot and bothered over bread. BREAD. But you're right, it is kinda orgasmic, isn't it?

    Kings of Leon are pretty cool. No chance of them EVER coming to Malaysia. Apparently, we only love Mariah Carey.

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  39. Have fun at the concert guapa! I fell in love with your focaccia chica... I think I can even smell it from here ;D.
    One day I will have the guts to bake it myself!

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  40. Oh, yeah. Focaccia is definitely the best bread. Especially when made into sandwiches with prosciutto and cheese...mmmm.

    Love the pumpkin sage focaccia. What a great idea!

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  41. I'd have to agree - focaccia is pretty sexy - and adding pumpkin is genius!

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  42. emiline, i am so mad at myself!! i knew there was a pumpkin recipe that i needed to try, but i couldn't remember what it was. i ended up eating the rest of my can of pumpkin- damnit.

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  43. I don't think I have ever had Focaccia, but it does sound yummy.

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  44. I've been meaning to make this. I made it last year but with butternut squash. I think it would be better with pumpkin.

    Have fun at the concert!

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  45. You're making me so jealous...oh gosh, I would totally forget about my gluten free diet for a piece of this glutinous bread! :P

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  46. You know what? Focaccia is sexy-so is Ciabatta.

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  47. Wonderful post Emiline I just love this focaccia :D

    Rosie x

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  48. WOW this looks so good! I would never think of making pumpkin focaccia. I usually turn pumpkin into sweeter dishes but this looks like the perfect fall appetizer.

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  49. YES, YES, YESSSSSSS!
    Sorry I don't know what came over me (hehehehe).
    I feel like Sally in the Pie scene of When Harry met Sally!
    Seriously though, the focaccia looks too good to be true. I just wish you didn't have to wait 16 hours for the starter, this is such a tease :P

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  50. OMG! your bread is great, but the way you compare it to the others is hilarious! but I have to agree, it is one sexy looking bread!

    I'd love it if you could send this in for my Vegetarian thanksgiving recipe event Emiline!:)

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  51. Oh great. Now there is drool all over my keyboard. Thanks a whole lot!

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  52. My kids are always clammering for me to make more focaccia. Yum!! The addition of pumpkin looks fantastic. That may even qualify as a breakfast food.

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  53. If you leave your starter uncovered for a full day, maybe two, before embarking on the rest of your bread, it will have a lovely sour note which is more authentic in all things focaccia.

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  54. This sounds so wonderful. I love the idea of a pumpkin Focaccia.

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  55. Why are you so awesome? I just found your site. I love it.

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  56. Annie, I feel like watching that movie now.

    Jennyleah, that's a great idea! I completely agree.

    EJR, thanks! You're pretty awesome.

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  57. mmmm....what a great combo of flavors for focaccia!

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