Butternut, Feta and Sage Focaccia

This recipe makes enough tasty focaccia bread to feed a crowd. A big crowd.

This focaccia has a lovely light texture and tears well, making it easy to share. The roasted pieces of butternut squash produce bursts of sweetness which are a great contrast to the hidden chunks of feta cheese. And I haven’t even mentioned the sage…

I adapted this recipe from one I found in my KitchenAid cookbook. It produces two huge loaves which would easily feed six people each as a side dish. I think it would be a great addition to any BBQ feast where you don’t want to serve plain bread rolls, and would be equally as good to serve with soup or pasta. Or you could just eat it on its own for lunch, which is what my husband and I did.

Be sure to keep the pieces of butternut relatively small to ensure that they cook at the same rate as the bread. If you want to make these loaves in advance, they will keep for a couple of days stored in a plastic food bag in a cool cupboard.

Ingredients – makes 2 loaves:

  • 2 packets (7g/0.25 oz each) dried yeast
  • 1 and 2/3 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus a little extra for drizzling
  • 800g/28 oz plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1/2 tbsp salt (I used normal table salt)
  • 1 handful fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 110g/4 oz feta cheese, diced
  • 200g/7 oz butternut squash, peeled and diced into small pieces
  • pinch of sea salt flakes, to sprinkle

Method:

  • Mix the yeast, water and sugar in a small bowl, cover and set aside for 15 minutes until foamy.
  • Stir in the olive oil.
  • Put the flour and salt in a large bowl, then stir in the yeast mixture.
  • Knead the dough until it is smooth (2 minutes using a machine or about 8 minutes by hand). If the dough is a little dry then you can add a few more drops of olive oil to bring it together.
  • Put back into a clean large bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave to rise for 90 minutes.
  • Once the dough has risen, punch it back and then knead in half the sage and the feta.
  • Spray two large baking trays with cooking spray.
  • Divide the dough into two pieces and then put each piece onto a baking tray. Flatten each piece of dough out into a large rectangle, about 1cm/0.5 inches thick.
  • Press the pieces of butternut into the dough.
  • Cover the baking trays with cling wrap and leave to rise for another 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat your oven to 200C/180C fan forced/390F.
  • Before putting the bread in the oven, sprinkle over the remaining sage, a few sea salt flakes and drizzle with a little olive oil.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through. The focaccia are cooked when they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
  • Leave to cool for a few minutes on the tray and serve warm, or leave to cool completely.
  • Enjoy!

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6 Responses to Butternut, Feta and Sage Focaccia

  1. erin says:

    this makes me feel like I ought to plant some sage in my garden already.. I want it.

  2. Averil Gomes says:

    Love that you’ve used butternut squash… 🙂 looks delicious

  3. Pingback: Rustic Bread with Chorizo and Olives | Recipe Adaptors

  4. Pingback: Blast from the Past: Tasty but Simple Bread Recipes | Recipe Adaptors

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