June 7, 2012

Sweet Potato Focaccia with Toasted Pine Nuts

As a fun and delicious way to take our new Trudeau Stress Less kitchen tools for a spin, my husband and I created a recipe for Sweet Potato Focaccia with Toasted Pine Nuts.  

The meal happened to coincide with a family Lego day.

This savory bread is both chewy and airy and the spice of the garlic and mild chili powder play nicely with the toasted nuts and mellow hint of sweet potato.  As well as being a great source of vitamins B6, C, D, magnesium and iron, potassium and carotenoids, the sweet potato imparts a lovely golden color to this crowd pleasing bread.  Did I mention that kids and Lego horses like it too?
Sweet Potato Focaccia with Toasted Pine Nuts
(adapted from the Cook's Illustrated Rosemary Focaccia)  
1 medium sweet potato (about 9 ounces) peeled and quartered
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling the bowl and pan
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 cloves fresh garlic, pressed 
1/3 cup freshly and finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon mild chili powder

Step 1:  Bring a medium pot of water to a boil; add the sweet potato and simmer until tender  (approx. 20 minutes).  Drain and cool, then grate on the large holes of a box grater.  This should yield approx 1 1/3 cups. Set aside.

Step 2:  In a standing mixer or food processor (This process can also be done by hand.), mix or process the yeast, 1/2 cup of the flour, and 1/2 cup of the warm water until combined.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap, or put the workbowl lid on and set aside until bubbly (about 20 minutes).  Add the remaining dough ingredients, including the sweet potato.  If using the mixer, attach the paddle and mix on low speed until the dough comes together.  Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium; continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes).  For the food processor, process until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 40 seconds).

Step 3:  Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until the dough is puffy and doubled in volume (about 1 hour).

Step 4:  With wet hands (to prevent sticking), press the dough flat into a generously oiled 15.5" x 10.5" rimmed baking sheet.  If the dough resists going into the corners, cover it with a damp cloth and let it relax for 15 minutes before trying again.  Once the dough fills the pan evenly, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until the dough is puffy and doubled in volume (about 45 minutes to an hour).

Step 5:  Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees.  

 Step 6:  Press garlic and stir with Tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl.  When dough is finished with second rise, dip fingers into garlic and oil and press lightly into the dough to form dimpled depressions.  Continue until entire dough is dimpled and all of the garlic oil mixture has been used.  

Step 7:  Sprinkle the dough evenly with pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, mild chili powder, salt and pepper.  Drizzle with just a touch more olive oil.

Step 8:  Bake until the bottom crust is golden brown and crisp (23-25 minutes).  Transfer to a rack to cool slightly.  Cut in half lengthwise, then into strips.  Serve warm.

You can enter to win your own set of Trudeau Stress Less kitchen tools HERE!

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  1. This sounds so good! I never thought of putting pine nuts on bread, but I bet the flavor is great!

  2. It looks amazing
    I love sweet-potato, and actually just 10 days ago I posted Sweet-potato and red onion Focaccia

    Would love to try your version :)

  3. Who would have thought? What a neat idea to get some good calories into bread.

    Cant wait to try it! Thanks for posting!

  4. What a fantastic idea. I love focaccia bread but I have never tried it with sweet potatoes. The pine nut garnish is a delightful touch. I look forward to trying this out.

  5. Sounds delicious. Although I have to admit I'm even more intrigued by family Lego day than I am by the bread! :D


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