Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pumpkin Almond Gruyere Focaccia

I'm just going to start by saying that today was positively crappy. But now, while I have some pumpkin pie cooling on the stove, I figured it best to use this time to update the ol' blog.

I happen to receive the Cooking Light email newsletter on a weekly basis (of no request of mine, I'm almost sure that they found me the same way that Facebook has become convinced that I am a single mother desperate to find a husband.) and I happen to be completely uninterested in it altogether until I read this headline :

"Our Best Apple Recipes. "

Anticlimactic, I know. But I've really been on the hunt for some creative apple recipes. I looked through their list, nothing too interesting until I got to the end. There were links for the list of their best pumpkin recipes and since I was already on the damn website, why not right?
And then I found this one. As I do when I find a recipe like this, I became a little bit fixated on it.

An important detail here is that I have been reading a fantastic little book called Ratio by Michael Ruhlman that gives you the details of all the basic ratios of cooking, which enables you to understand the recipes better and therefore make your own. So I did some kind of experimental things here that I don't quite remember. What I can tell you is that I used less yeast and let it rise longer. (Per Michael Ruhlman's recommendation.) I also made the dough and then put it in the refrigerator overnight (after shaping it) which is acceptable if you want to make it ahead. Other than that, I didn't really do anything that should change the recipe enough to give me a different product than the original recipe. So I didn't necessarily need to tell you any of that... Hm..

Anyway, this book has been pretty much replacing everything in my life as far as recipes are concerned so it might come up a lot in the near future. So consider yourself warned.

In more important news, this recipe was awesome and I'm going to make it again for sure. It's totally delicious. Especially right out of the oven. I imagine there's probably some amzing sandwich to make on it as well. We didn't manage to get through the 2 loaves, so I wouldn't consider it a crime to halve the thing. Benny loved it. (The fancy cheese helps to convince him.)

Recipe Soundtrack: "Waiting for a War" By the Morning Benders.

Pumpkin Almond Gruyere Focaccia
Adapted from Cooking Light

Yields 2 Loaves


3/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
3 1/2 cups bread flour, divided (about 15 3/4 ounces)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Gruyère cheese, divided
1/3 cup sliced almonds


Combine water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 1 cup flour and butter to yeast mixture; stir just until combined. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes.

Add pumpkin, salt, and nutmeg to flour mixture; stir until well combined. Add 2 1/4 cups flour and half of cheese; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide dough in half; shape each half into an 8-inch circle. Place dough circles on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle remaining cheese and nuts evenly over dough circles; press lightly to adhere. Lightly coat dough circles with oil; cover and let rise 20 minutes (dough will not double in size).

(My focaccias prior to being baked)

Preheat oven to 400°.

Uncover dough; bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until loaves are browned on the bottom and cheese melts (shield loaves with foil to prevent overbrowning, if necessary). Cool on a wire rack.


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