This vegan pumpkin focaccia bread is pillowy soft on the inside with a lightly crisp exterior. It makes the perfect addition to any fall holiday spread and is a total crowd pleaser.
This vegan pumpkin focaccia bread ranks high on my list of favorite fall recipes at the moment.
It’s warm, pillowy, easy to make, and packed with pumpkin.
Like other bread recipes I’ve shared with you, this one isn’t at all fussy. The knead time is minimal, the ingredients are few (and easy to find), and the technique doesn’t involve any fancy equipment. Just a bowl or two, a spoon, and your hands will do.
To make it, you’ll start by whisking together a bit of warm water, yeast, and maple syrup. Let the mixture stand until a foam develops across the surface.
Then, combine the yeast mixture with spelt flour, pumpkin puree, a bit of olive oil, and sea salt. Use a spoon to stir until just combined. Then, turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.
Knead the dough for just two to three minutes, or until it’s smooth and springy. The gluten structure in spelt is delicate, so it requires much less kneading that traditional flour.
Once you’re done kneading, shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and tuck it away in a cozy spot in your kitchen to rise for one hour.
Once the first rise is complete, knead the dough for a quick 15 seconds. Then, form it into a rectangle-ish shape, brush with olive oil, and top with sliced red onion, chopped rosemary, and sea salt.
Cover and allow the dough to rise for another 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
After the second rise, bake the loaf for about 30 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown and slightly crisp.
Then, slice and serve.
This simple vegan pumpkin focaccia bread is easy on the eyes, super satisfying, and makes an excellent addition to a holiday spread. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Vegan Pumpkin Focaccia Bread
- 3/4 cup warm water (105F—115F)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 3 1/2 cups white spelt flour, plus plenty more for kneading and dusting
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for greasing
- 1 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt + large flake sea salt or kosher salt for sprinkling on top
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- In a small bowl, gently whisk together the warm water, yeast, and maple syrup. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until a foams develops on the surface.
- Meanwhile, generously flour a clean work surface. Gather two large glass bowls (one for mixing and one for rising). Lightly grease one with olive oil and set aside.
- Add the spelt flour to un-greased mixing bowl. Create a well in the center and add the yeast mixture, pumpkin puree, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and the sea salt. Use a large wooden spoon to stir and mix until all of the flour has been incorporated.
- Turn the dough out onto the flour-dusted work surface. Knead for 2 to 3 minutes, until the dough is smooth and springy, adding plenty more spelt flour as needed (I usually add another 1/2 to 1 cup). You'll know it's ready when it begins to hold its shape and springs back, slightly but not completely, when pressed. The gluten in spelt is delicate, so be careful not to over knead or you'll end up with dry, crumbly focaccia.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place it in the greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- When the dough has just a few minutes left to rise, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a well floured surface. Knead it for just 15 seconds or so. Then, turn it out onto the lined baking sheet. Use your hands to gently form the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 6 by 12 inches in size. Use your pointer finger to poke holes in the dough.
- Lightly brush the top of the dough with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Top with the red onion rounds and sprinkle with the rosemary and kosher salt.
- Loosely cover the pan with parchment paper and let the focaccia rise for another 45 minutes, or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.
- Bake for 28 to 35 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown and slightly crisp.