Pumpkin Focaccia with Red Potato Scallops
This is a comforting wholesome pumpkin focaccia side dish I made in Pizza Bianca style especially for Thanksgiving. It has a soft and spongy base with a crispy brown outer crust and topped with a cream cheese based white sauce, mozzarella cheese and scalloped red potatoes. The freshly made cranberry sauce went hand in hand with it and kicked it up a notch elevating it to another level. I loved it and my husband enjoyed it too.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
For the dough:
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbs yeast
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1 tsp pink salt or sea salt
- 1 cup roasted pumpkin cubes
- 2 tbs olive oil
For the toppings:
- 2 red potatoes medium sized
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese grated
- 2 tbs cream cheese
- 1 cup white sauce
- 1 tsp oregano spices
- 1 tsp Black pepper finely ground
- 1/2 tbs olive oil
Roast the pumpkin cubes. I got the packed cut up pumpkin cubes which made it so easy for me in the oven at 400ºF for 15 minutes or until soft. For me 3 cups (1lb) of raw pumpkin cubes made one cup after roasting.
Add 1 tbs yeast and 1 tbs sugar to 3/4th cup lukewarm water and let it rise - 5 minutes.
Sift the all purpose flour, add salt, set aside.
Blend the roasted pumpkin cubes in a food processor by add no more than 1/4 cup of water. To this pureed pumpkin add the sifted flour, pulse one or two times then add the yeast solution. Pulse again 3 o4 4 times until the dough gets formed into a ball. At this stage touch the dough and if it too dry, sprinkle a little water then pulse again. Pulse for short intervals so the dough doesn't get cooked. Now add a tbs of olive oil and pulse for one or two times more till the dough becomes springy and starts to spin. At this stage stop, remove the dough, make a smooth round ball of it, put it in a greased bowl, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rise in a corner on your counter top for at least an hour.
Meanwhile prepare the white sauce. Add 2 tbs cream cheese to the white sauce and blend it well by using a hand blender or a whisk. Add a pinch of salt, sprinkle pepper and set aside.
Cut the red potatoes into thin slices using a slicer or a mandolin. Dry them in between paper towels. To steam them, put them in a bowl, sprinkle some salt, drizzle some olive oil, mix well, then close the bowl with a lid and microwave on high for 1 minute. Check if they are done, should be a little soft when pressed.
Now grease a cookie sheet or pizza pan and spread the dough on it by pressing lightly with your fingers evenly till it spreads on all the sides. This is a technique that can be acquired with a little practice.
Take a fork and prick all over the spread focaccia dough. This is done to let the air out so it doesn't cause the dough to bubble up. Sprinkle the oregano spices on top all over.
Now drizzle the cheese sauce all over the focaccia and spread it evenly with a brush or back of a spoon. Cover it with a layer of grated mozzarella cheese, then top with the steamed potato scallops. Sprinkle more oregano and black pepper and drizzle some olive oil on top.
10. Bake in the 2nd bottom lowest shelf in the oven preheated at 400ºF for 15 - 20 minutes when the cheese starts bubbling and you see red spots appearing on the sides. Remove and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then using a pizza cutter cut into squares or rectangular slices or wedges and enjoy with cranberry sauce.