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Pumpkin Walnut Focaccia

INGREDIENTS

7 oz. (200 gr. raw) steamed pumpkin (or squash)
4 cups (460 gr.) “O” flour (I used half whole wheat and other half “ancient grains”)
2 cups (200 ml) water
1/3 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (50 gr) finely chopped walnuts
a handful of walnuts roughly chopped for top
2 envelopes (25 gr. total) dried sour dough starter or one 10 gr cube of fresh yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 sprig fresh rosemary

PROCEDURE

1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour and dry sourdough starter*.
2. Blend the pumpkin chunks together with the water in a blender until smooth.
3. Remove 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a small cup and mix in the salt.
4. Mix the liquid pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon.

5. Mix in half the oil, chopped nuts and the dissolved salt mixture.
6. On a floured surface knead the dough until slightly elastic. It should be very soft and slightly sticky so you don’t have to knead it too much.
7. Gather the dough together and transfer it into a clean, lightly oiled bowl.
8. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled about 1 1/2-2 hrs.**

*If using a fresh cube of yeast dissolve it into a small quantity of the water and then mix it into the rest of the pumpkin liquid mixture.
**You can speed up rising by placing the bowl into a cold oven with the light on.

SHAPING AND BAKING

1.Grease a rectangular baking sheet (13X9 inches or 32X22 cm) with part of the remaining oil. Place the dough in the pan and spread it out evenly up to the edges. With fingers gently press indentations all over. Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm, draft free spot until almost doubled. (about an hr.)

2. Distribute the roughly chopped walnuts and rosemary needles over the top. Drizzle over the remaining olive oil and add a little sprinkling of salt.

3. Bake the focaccia on the middle rack in a 400deg F (200deg C) for 15 minutes. Then transfer it to the bottom rack and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes to brown the bottom. Remove and cool slightly before serving.