Instant Pot No Knead Pumpkin Focaccia is delicious and also super easy to make. Just mix everything together with a spoon, use Instant Pot to proof the dough, then bake. Perfect for holiday celebrations. It is also vegan.
This post is sponsored by Zucchi 1810 but all the delicious opinions are my own.
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Recently I won a contest for a few bottles of Zucchi Extra Virgin Olive Oils. I opened them just a few weeks ago and I cannot stop using them. The flavour of the oil is intense yet not bitter or overpowering.
Zucchi extra virgin olive oil is perfect in a salad dressing, it is great for cooking, and it is amazing for dipping breads. So, when Zucchi reached out to me and asked if I’d like to work with them, I jumped onto this opportunity. What could be better than working with the brands that you already use and love?
This Instant Pot No Knead Pumpkin Focaccia is made with Zucchi Chili Pepper Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as the spicy chili peppers compliment the sweetness of the pumpkin purée really well. Zucchi Heritage Extra Virgin Olive Oil is then used to drizzle over the dough right before baking the focaccia and for brushing the bread once baked.
The result is delicious and savoury soft flatbread with a slight spicy undertone and a beautiful olive oil flavour. Pumpkin adds a subtle sweetness and a gorgeous yellow colour to the focaccia.
About Zucchi Extra Virgin Olive Oils
Zucchi 1810 brand was born over two centuries ago. It started as a small family business and now it is one of the world’s top extra virgin olive oil producers and it is still a family business.
Over the decades, the business may have changed, but Zucchi brand strives to make their oils fully transparent and traceable. I especially like that Zucchi’s Italian and European blended extra virgin olive oils are certified as sustainable. Their mission is to create amazing extra virgin olive oils while being respectful to the environment and health of their workers and communities.
Currently Zucchi has a few different kinds of extra virgin olive oils in their lineup. Organic, Italian, and Heritage Extra Virgin Olive Oils range from light to medium to strong in flavour. They also carry Garlic, Chili Pepper, and Pesto-Flavoured Extra Virgin Olive Oils.
Why make No Knead Focaccia with Instant Pot?
I love No Knead Breads. They are easy to make and require no special kneading mixers, like KitchenAid mixer. You also don’t need to spend 10-15 minutes kneading the dough by hand.
Whenever I make no knead breads, I also like using Instant Pot and its Yogurt function to further speed up the process. Instant Pot’s Yogurt function has the ideal temperature to help the dough rise faster.
This way, I’m definitely saving at least 45 minutes and often more since there’s no kneading process and the rising (proofing) time is cut in half.
Texture of no knead bread is often slightly different from the regular bread as the gluten isn’t developed as much as with the traditional kneading method. This results in breads that aren’t as fluffy, especially a day or two after baking.
Focaccia is the perfect bread to be adapted to a No Knead method as it is already quite flat and not as fluffy by default.
How to make dough for Pumpkin Focaccia with Instant Pot
- Heat up the water using Sauté function on your Instant Pot for just a little bit, about 30-45 seconds. It shouldn’t be hot. It is important that it is lukewarm, otherwise the heat of the water will kill the yeast.
- Add the sugar (if using) and yeast to the warm water and let stand for a few minutes until it’s foamy.
- Mix in the rest of the ingredients except for the Zucchi Heritage Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Once there are almost no more streaks of dry flour left in the dough, cover with a lid and let rise using Yogurt function.
- After the dough has risen, transfer it to the prepared 9×13″ pan, spread and let rise for another 30 minutes.
- Poke holes in the dough, drizzle with the Heritage Extra Virgin Olive Oil and bake.
It is really this easy to make Instant Pot No Knead Pumpkin Focaccia: just mix, wait a bit, then bake!
What if your Instant Pot doesn’t have a yogurt function
Yogurt function provides ideal warm and moist temperature for the dough to proof. If your Instant Pot doesn’t have a yogurt function, it means you cannot use Instant Pot for proofing. Keep warm function is too hot for the dough and it’ll kill the yeast.
You can still make the focaccia and use the traditional method of proofing the dough. Place it in a well-oiled bowl, cover tightly and let rise in warm place for about 1.5-2 hours. I love letting my dough rise in a bowl in the kitchen sink filled with hot water.
But I highly recommend upgrading your Instant Pot to the model that has a Yogurt function. It is really useful!
Can you turn this No Knead focaccia into the regular focaccia?
Of course you can, follow the instructions but use your KitchenAid mixer instead of Instant Pot. Add the flour a bit by bit, while using the dough hook attachment on your mixer. Knead with the dough hook for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Note: if you are using the traditional method, you may need to use a bit extra flour as the dough kneads. I find that No Knead Bread dough tends to use less flour than the traditional kneaded dough.
What kind of dry yeast to use?
There are different kinds of dry yeast and they are usually utilised in different ways. Even the amounts are supposed to be different. However, I personally use both kinds in the same way.
There are two kinds: instant dry yeast and active dry yeast. You can mix instant dry yeast with the flour right away without adding it to water. I never use this method even if I use instant dry yeast.
If you don’t bake with yeast too often, then the yeast may get too old and die. So, I always make sure that it foams up in water. This way I don’t waste the ingredients.
Ingredients and variations
- As I wrote above, you can use either instant dry yeast or active dry yeast. I personally prefer active dry yeast.
- I always let my yeast foam in lukewarm water to make sure that it is still alive.
- I use the same amount of active or instant dry yeast. The amount listed in the recipe is equal to one envelope.
- Pumpkin purée
- You can use homemade or store-bought pumpkin purée.
- I also made this focaccia with homemade butternut squash purée and even leftover mashed potatoes.
- I am almost positive that you can use sweet potato purée as well.
- I’ve been making a lot of No Knead Breads over the past few years and I noticed that No Knead bread dough requires a bit less flour than the traditional bread dough.
- Use 2.5 cups of flour at first and then add a bit by bit until you realise that you can’t mix the flour into the dough anymore. You may end up using a bit under 3 cups of flour.
- If you are using a KitchenAid mixer to knead the dough, then you may need to use about 1/4 cup more flour as the dough kneads for the total of 3.25 cups.
- Zucchi Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- If you don’t like spicy, then you can use Zucchi Heritage Extra Virgin Olive Oil in place of Chili Pepper-Flavoured EVOO.
- If you like just a bit spicy, then you can use Chili Pepper-Flavoured EVOO but remove the actual whole chili peppers. We love spicy in my family, so I use the peppers as well.
- If you like spicy but can only find unflavoured Zucchi Extra Virgin Olive Oil, then you can heat it up on the stove with a few dried chili peppers to infuse the oil with the heat.
- I am a big fan of reducing oil whenever possible but this is one case where you shouldn’t try and make it with less oil. Zucchi Extra Virgin Olive Oil adds a lot of flavour to this Pumpkin Focaccia and helps it stay fresh and soft longer.
- Seasonings and sugar
- I always use sugar when I make bread, even if it is just half a teaspoon. Otherwise I find it a bit too bland. Also, sugar feeds the yeast and helps it come alive. You can use malt, maple syrup, honey. Or you can omit it altogether.
- I love thyme so I use that in the recipe. You can use more traditional rosemary or oregano. You can use a mix of any of your favourite herbs, fresh or dry.
- If you use dried herbs, you will need to reduce the amount to about 1/2 a teaspoon instead of 1 teaspoon.
- I love onion powder in this bread as it adds a wonderful savoury flavour without overpowering it. You can use garlic powder or paprika or omit it.
- Just remember that all the herb and spices variations will change the final flavour of this Pumpkin Focaccia.
More Instant Pot No Knead Bread Recipes
- Instant Pot No Knead Dinner Rolls
- Instant Pot No Knead Apple Cinnamon Pretzel Bites
- Instant Pot No Knead Lemon Cheesecake Rolls
- Instant Pot No Knead Carrot Bread Rolls
- Instant Pot No Knead Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- Instant Pot No Knead Hawaiian Rolls
DO YOU WANT MORE INSTANT POT RECIPES?
Join my Real Ingredients Instant Pot Recipes Facebook Group!!! It’s a fun and safe place to share your own Instant Pot recipes made with Real Ingredients.
Instant Pot No Knead Pumpkin Focaccia
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one envelope)
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (you can use dried thyme, about 1/2 a teaspoon)
- 1/4 cup Zucchi Chili Pepper Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or if you don't like spicy, use Zucchi Heritage Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- 3 cups flour (you may need to use a bit less or a bit more)
- 2 tablespoons Zucchi Heritage Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
- Extra fresh thyme, flaky seasalt, Zucchi Extra virgin olive oil for sprinkling and serving
Make the dough
- Turn your Instant Pot on and press sauté button.
- Add the water wait for a few seconds until liquid just begins to warm up and turn sauté button off.
- IMPORTANT: water needs to be lukewarm but not hot. If it is too hot then the yeast will not work.
- Add the sugar, if using, yeast and mix.
- Wait for about 5-7 minutes to make sure that the yeast foams. If the yeast doesn't foam then it means it is too old and you need to start again with some new yeast.
- Add the pumpkin purée, seasonings, Zucchi Chili Pepper Extra Virgin Olive Oil and mix with a spoon or a spatula.
- Add the flour a bit by bit and mix everything together until the flour disappears.NOTE: If it is humid where you are, you may need more flour. If it is dry, you may need less flour.
- Press the Yogurt button and choose time of 1 hour (if you'd like, you can even do 30 minutes, just check to make sure that the dough actually rose after that time). You need a model of Instant Pot that has this button. This is the one I use.
- After one hour (or half hour) take the Instant Pot lid off. The dough may not double in size but it should definitely look puffed up and smooth, light and spongy. Mix it with a dough scraper or your hands to make sure that there are no streaks of flour remain.
Make the Instant Pot No Knead Pumpkin Focaccia
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Use about 1 teaspoon of Zucchi Heritage Extra Virgin Olive Oil and brush a 13x9" sheet pan with it.
- Lightly coat your hands with a bit more oil, it will help the dough not sticking to your hands.
- Now transfer the dough to the prepared pan and evenly spread so that it fully covers the sheet pan.
- Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes. The dough should puff up a bit.
- After 30 minutes, remove the towel and make indentations/holes with your fingers all over the dough.
- Drizzle with the remaining Zucchi Heritage Extra Virgin Olive Oil and brush to spread the oil.
- If desired, sprinkle with flaky seasalt and extra fresh thyme.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked and beautifully golden.
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