I read the other day that there could potentially be a pumpkin puree shortage this year. I shouldn’t be surprised it is 2020 after all. Maybe this is the time in my life when I teach myself to whip up my own pumpkin puree? hmmmm I smell a weekend activity. An activity… Kind of like this slow rising pumpkin focaccia bread.
Luckily the grocery store in Allegan had two cans of organic pumpkin puree in stock so I could whip up this pumpkin focaccia bread and top it with all of the spicy peppers from my garden. I grew habanadas, jalapeños, poblanos and sweet peppers this year but every single year my jalapeños must cross pollinate with my poblanos because those babies are spicy when they are typically a mild variety for stuffing. I thinly sliced them for this bread topping and we ate this with some homemade soup.
I’m slowly letting myself ease into fall. I’ll start with food. I know in two months I’m not going to want to see another sweet potato but right now i’m slowly saying goodbye to fresh beans and tomatoes and welcoming in chard, squash and other root veggies. Michigan is good for that. The seasons bring in a fresh desire for different cuisines and in my head it’s time to bulk up like brown bear for winter.
We bake breads, cook meatloafs and hearty pastas which is a huge change from our summer salads. but it’s all part of the territory of living in a northern state. Winter comes every year and it’s stunning and slow. Some will argue that Michigan truly shines in the summer and I don’t totally disagree but the months that end in “ber” (September, October, November) are truly insanely gorgeous.
I have a whole list of “pumpkin things” I want to make this year but this pumpkin focaccia was the first on the list because I had the veggies available. Really you could top it with anything you want. I just love the heat the peppers bring to the pumpkin and sharp cheese.
Here is what you’ll need:
4 cups of all purpose flower
1 tsp of dry active yeast
1.5 tsp of salt
1 cup of warm water (use a thermometer and make sure it’s between 120 and 130)
1 cup of canned pumpkin
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
4 slices of thin cut prosciutto cut into strips
A handful of peppers seeded and thinly sliced.
1. In a mixer or large bowl combine salt, flour and yeast. Add the warm water and gradually add in your pumpkin. Mix just until the dough comes together. It will be sticky and soft. Cover with parchment paper and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
2. Spray or butter a small baking pan with at least a 1 inch rim. I used a full 15×10 inch pan. Place the dough in the pan and spread with your fingers to fill the pan. Spray your plastic wrap and place over the pan and allow to rise again until puffy (about 1.5 hours)
3. Preheat the oven to 400F and uncover the dough. Brush with olive oil and top with cheese, prosciutto and peppers and sea salt. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm and fresh.
Next up..decorating the porch