Makes: 1 x 800g focaccia (I recommend using a 9” x 12” baking dish)
Prep time: 24 hrs
Bake time: 25-30 mins
Flours used: Cotswold Strong White Bread flour
- If you have a juicer, add your cooked beetroot pieces and process until you have extracted all of the liquid.
- Alternatively use a blender, adding a little water at a time until you have a smooth consistency. Use a fine mesh strainer or a cheesecloth to separate the juice from the pulp.
- Measure your beetroot juice, adding additional water if required.
Beetroot focaccia dough
- Add the flour to a large mixing bowl.
- Pour in the beetroot juice and crumble in the yeast.
- Next add in the oil and the salt and combine until there’s no dry flour remaining.
- Cover with a damp tea towel and leave for 1 hr to allow the flour to absorb the beetroot juice.
- After 1 hr has passed we’re going to stretch and fold the dough. Wet your hands slightly so the dough doesn’t stick.
- Grab an edge and stretch upwards and then fold over towards the opposite edge
- Rotate the bowl around 45 degrees and repeat.
- You want to continue this process until you’ve gone all the way around, about 8-10 times.
- This will start to create a smooth surface on the underside of your dough.
- Flip the dough over so the smooth side is on top.
- Cover and rest for 1 hr.
- Now you want to do a series of coil folds. Again wet your hands slightly so the dough doesn’t stick.
- You want to get under the dough in the 3 and 9 o’clock positions. Gently lift up the dough until the far side is released from the bowl and then fold it down under itself.
- Rotate the bowl 180 degrees and repeat this process.
- You now want to do this for the remaining edges until you have a nice smooth dough ball.
- You can continue to rotate and perform more coil folds but stop if you start to see tearing on the smooth surface.
- Repeat the above process every hour for the next 3 hrs.
- When you’ve finished your last coil fold, cover the bowl and leave at room temperature for 12-13 hrs.
- Get a small piece of unsalted butter and rub all surfaces of your baking dish. Put this in the fridge for 5-10 mins to allow the butter to firm back up.
- Remove from the fridge and add a small drizzle of olive oil. Use your fingers to coat all surfaces of the baking dish. This will help prevent the dough from sticking.
- Add the dough and gently stretch to each edge. Don’t worry if it pulls back, this will relax and expand over the next few hours.
- The dough will now prove in the baking dish for a final 5-6 hours. Check back every hour and gently stretch the dough each time until you’re happy that it has filled the space.
- In the final hour before baking, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the focaccia. Put a little oil on your hands and dimple the dough all over. This reduces the air in the dough and prevents it from rising too quickly.
- Cover and leave the dough to rest until ready to bake.
Sweet potato pumpkins
- Peel your sweet potatoes.
- Cut into 2-3mm slices.
- Use a small pumpkin cookie cutter, or hand cut your own shapes.
- Use a scalpel or a sharp knife to cut out the face details.
- Melt the butter in a pan.
- Add the minced garlic and cook gently to infuse for a few minutes on a very low heat.
- Use a pastry brush to coat both sides of each slice.
- Heat the oil in a lidded frying pan over a low heat and add the red onions and thyme.
- Cover and cook for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally so they don't catch, until soft and slightly golden.
- Remove the lid, reduce the heat to low and stir through the sugar and vinegar. Cook for a further 5 mins until the liquid has almost disappeared.
- Set aside to cool.
- Chop up the beetroot into small cubes
- Add the thyme and balsamic vinegar and allow time to infuse before topping the focaccia.
- Add your feta, greek yoghurt, EVOO and lemon juice.
- Process until smooth
- Transfer to a piping bag with a large round nozzle
Build your focaccia
- 30 mins before you plan to bake your focaccia, turn your oven to 220°C to preheat.
- If you don’t have a baking steel or pizza stone, get a metal sheet pan and place it in your oven. This will help get a more even bake on the base of your focaccia.
- Let’s add our toppings. Take the beetroot pieces and spread across the dough, pressing in gently.
- Next add the caramelised onions and sprinkle over a little flaky sea salt followed by the chopped rosemary.
- Lastly place the sweet potato pieces evenly across the dough, leaving spaces for the whipped feta to be piped on later.
- Place a sheet of tin foil over the pan sealing around the edges. This helps trap in the steam giving you a softer crumb as the dough rises. It also allows the sweet potato to cook without burning too quickly.
- Bake for an initial 15 mins.
- Remove the foil and continue to cook for 10-15 mins, rotating after 5 mins and checking again after 10 mins.
- Once you’re happy with the bake, remove from the dish and transfer to a wire rack.
- When cool enough, pipe on the whipped feta ghosts.
- Use a cocktail stick dipped in black food colouring to add the ghost faces.
- Slice up and enjoy!
Thank you so much to Graham @dough.the.evolution for providing this recipe. If you’d like to see more, please visit their Instagram page.