Recipes from our Chefs - Focaccia

At all our UK country houses food plays a central part. Meals are varied and tasty, with a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Here our chefs take the opportunity to share some of their creations with delicious recipes from the HF kitchens for you to try at home.

First up, Sean from Dolserau Hall in Southern Snowdonia gives us his take on a sweet potato, roast garlic, rosemary, honey and pumpkin seed focaccia – follow the recipe below or watch Sean in action on the video and give his recipe a go.

Sweet Potato, Roast Garlic, Rosemary, Honey & Pumpkin Seed Focaccia

Makes 1 medium tray bake, perfect for sharing!

Ingredients

500g whole meal or white bread flour
20g fresh or dried yeast
3 whole peeled and diced sweet potatoes
150ml rapeseed oil
250ml warm water
2 tablespoons of rosemary
1 whole bulb of garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
2 tablespoons of honey
4 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds

Method

Step 1.
Pre heat your oven to 180C/ gas mark 6.
Dice your 3 peeled sweet potatoes, put them in a baking tray with the peeled and sliced garlic and season with a pinch of salt and pepper and 1 table spoon of rosemary.
Toss them in oil (get stuck in with your hands) and roast them for 15 minutes at 180C/gas mark 6.

Step 2.
When cooked take half of the sweet potato and mash or puree in a blender.
Leave the other half of the tray to one side.
Don't worry about mixing the garlic into the puree, this will add to the flavour.

Step 3.
Add the 500g flour, salt, 20g of fresh or dried yeast, remaining rosemary, 150ml of rapeseed oil, 250ml of hot water and sweet potato puree into a mixing bowl with dough hook attachment if you have one
(otherwise you can bring together by hand)
Mix for 10 minutes on a medium speed.

Step 4.
Once mixed place the dough into a prepared tray (see video).
This is the tray you will eventually bake the bread in, and then cover loosely with cling film and leave to prove/rise for 1 hour in a warm area of your kitchen.

Step 5.
After one hour your dough should have doubled in size.
Now, lightly oil your fingers and flatten the bread out with your finger tips, this is pushing the air out. (see video for needing demonstration).
Next add your reserved roast sweet potato chunks into the dough and leave again in the tray lightly cling filmed for 1 hour back in the warm place.

Step 6.
The bread should have now risen encasing the sweet potato into the dough.
It's now ready to be baked for 20-25 minutes at 180C/gas mark 6.
After 15 minutes of baking quickly remove the bread and add 4 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds and drizzle 2 tablespoons of honey over the top.
Put back into the oven for the final 10 minutes to bake.

Serving Suggestion.
This bread is beautiful served with homemade sweet potato and butternut squash soup, enjoy!

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