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Beautiful orange crispy-edged pumpkin focaccia with rosemary and dimpled everywhere on top.

Easy Pumpkin Focaccia Bread (Focaccia alla Zucca)

This all-natural homemade Focaccia Pumpkin bread recipe is the perfect way to use up that leftover canned pumpkin or use one of our favorite squashes — the Japanese Kabocha. With just a few basic ingredients this ultra-soft (pumpkin-colored) squishy Italian bread is ready for making focaccia pizza, panini with prosciutto and mozzarella, or served alongside your favorite soups and stews. You can even toast them to make focaccia croutons for a crunchy salad topper. For those of you who may be new to bread-baking, I’ve included step-by-step recipe photos!

What is Focaccia (And How Do You Pronounce It)?

Focaccia (pronounced ” foh-kah-cha”) is a super soft Italian yeasted flatbread with a crispy bottom, sides, and top. Just before baking, you press your fingers in the top to create the focaccia dimples and slather it with a brine made from extra virgin olive oil, water, sea salt, and fresh rosemary. This brine fills in all the little dimples and creates a really flavorful bread.

Of course, focaccia can be made without rosemary, and instead with different herbs or even vegetables like potatoes. And this bread dough uses the same basic ingredients as pizza dough (flour, oil, water, yeast, and salt), but usually, contains a ratio of more yeast per cup of flour. This allows focaccia to rise higher and have a softer, lighter texture than a typical pizza dough.


What’s Kabocha Squash or Kabocha Pumpkin?

For this recipe, I’m using the Kabocha squash — Kabocha squash is a variety of Japanese squash with a squatty shape, dark green skin, and lighter green and grey striping with bright orange flesh. When cooked this squash has a very soft, creamy consistency compared to other types of winter squash varieties.

And when roasted, it becomes intensely sweet, and nutty with a slight chestnut flavor making it great for desserts like homemade pumpkin pie. For this recipe, there’s no need for roasting. Instead, it’s steamed for 10 minutes on the stovetop or for 8 minutes in the microwave with one tablespoon of water.

Homemade Pumpkin Focaccia Ingredients

Homemade focaccia

Focaccia Dough

  • 00 flour (sub all-purpose flour) 
  • instant yeast (sub active dry yeast)
  • turmeric (optional, but will enhance the color of the final bread)
  • water
  • steamed squash (sub canned pumpkin) 
  • extra virgin olive oil

Focaccia Brine 

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • water
  • fresh rosemary (optional but recommended)
  • sea salt

Overview: How to Make Easy Pumpkin Focaccia Bread

Here’s a look at the steps to making pumpkin focaccia, but you can find the complete instructions in the recipe card below.

    1. Steam and purée kabocha squash. Skip this step if using canned pumpkin. 
    2. Measure and whisk the dry ingredients. 
    3. Combine dry ingredients and squash purée. 
    4. Add the salt. 
    5. Fold the dough and rest (1st fold). 
    6. Fold the dough and rest (2nd fold). 
    7. Fold the dough and add dough to the pan (last folds). 
    8. Add the brine and bake.

Pumpkin Focaccia Recipe Step-By-Step Photos

Pumpkin Focaccia Best Tips & FAQ’s

  • Where does focaccia come from? Focaccia is thought to have its most basic roots with Etruscan or Greek versions of a simple yeasted flatbread when they inhabited parts of what is now modern-day Italy. However, what we know of and love as focaccia bread today is most often associated with the region of Liguria in Northwest Italy (specifically, the city of Genoa where pesto Genovese originates from). The first written reference to the word focaccia is in 1300.
  • What does the word focaccia mean? The name focaccia comes from the Roman “panis focacius,” which means“hearth bread”.  This is because focaccia was traditionally baked over fire or coals in Roman times.
  • When was focaccia invented? Focaccia was first thought to have originated sometime before or around 1300 meaning it’s a heck of a lot older than modern-day pizza.
  • Why does focaccia have dimples or intentions on the top?  Foccacia gets its iconic dimpled appearance as a result of using fingers to press down the down before baking to prevent large bubbles from popping up while baking.
  • Is Kabocha squash a pumpkin?  Kabocha (Ka-boh-cha) is a type of winter squash that is a Japanese variety of the species Cucurbita maxima. It is also called kabocha squash or Japanese pumpkin in North America. It’s related to gourds and pumpkins and is the sweetest variety out there.
  • Can you eat the skin of Kabocha squash?  You can eat the skin of the Kabocha squash and it’s often required to be intact for some traditional Japanese dishes like tempura Kabocha. However, most cooks like to ensure the dish highlights the beautiful orange-colored flesh and often peel the squash before cooking with it.
  • Is Kabocha squash healthy?  Kabocha squash is high in beta carotene, vitamins C and B, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, fiber, and it’s relatively low in calories and carbs compared to sweet potatoes and even butternut squash.
  • How many carbs are in Kabocha squash/Pumpkin?  For every 1 cup of Kabocha squash, there are 9g net carbs and 1 gram of fiber making it a better option than sweet potatoes (23g net carbs) or butternut squash (13g net carbs) per cup if you’re watching your carb intake.

Let’s get started!

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a closeup of a pumpkin colored corner of Delicata squash focaccia bread dimpled with bits of fresh rosemary baked on top

Easy Pumpkin Focaccia Bread (Focaccia alla Zucca)

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  • Author: Kelly
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 6-8 servings depending on hunger level 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This easy homemade Focaccia bread is the perfect way to use one of my favorite winter squashes — the Japanese Kabocha. With just a few basic ingredients this ultra-soft Italian bread will be ready to eat on its own or for making focaccia pizza, prosciutto and mozzarella panini, and focaccia croutons for an easy crunchy soup and salad topper. Substitute canned pumpkin which is a perfect substitute and saves you time!



Focaccia Dough Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour (or 00 flour with 11-12g protein) (400g)
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast (or active dry yeast) (3g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional, but will enhance the color of the final bread)
  • 10.5 ounces (1 cup + 1 tablespoon) steamed Kabocha squash (or canned pumpkin) (300g)
  • 6.5 ounces (scant 3/4 cup) water, room temperature (185g)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (4g)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (20g)

Focaccia Brine Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (30g)
  • 2 tablespoons water, room temperature (30g)
  • 12 sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional but recommended)
  • sea salt to taste


  1. Steam the kabocha squash. (*Skip this step if using canned pumpkin.) Steam the squash in a bamboo steamer (or using another steamer insert) over a pot with an inch or two of boiling water. *Alternatively, steam the squash on high for 8 minutes in a microwave-safe glass bowl by adding 2 tablespoons of water to the bowl with the pumpkin and covering it with microwave-safe cling film.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients. Add the flour, turmeric, and yeast to a mixing bowl and whisk well.  *see recipe notes if using active dry yeast.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients and squash purée. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour mixture and squash purée just until combined adding just enough of the water to make a cohesive somewhat sticky dough. Cover the mixture and let it rest for 15 minutes. 
  4. Add salt. Add the salt to 1/2 tablespoon of water and stir to dissolve. Add the salt water to the dough and using your hands, squish it into the focaccia dough until combined. Cover and let rest 15 minutes. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of olive oil, and combine using your hands. Rest another 15 minutes. 
  5. Fold the dough and rest (1st fold). Using your hand, pull one side of the dough up and over to the opposite side. Repeat 4 times in order to “fold” all 4 sides of the dough. Cover and rest 40 minutes.
  6. Fold the dough and rest (2nd fold). Repeat folds in step #6. Cover and rest 40 minutes.
  7. Fold the dough and add the dough to the pan (last folds). Prepare a 9×13 inch (25x35cm) aluminum baking pan by rubbing it liberally with olive oil being sure to cover the bottom and the sides. Dust the bottom of the pan with about 1 tablespoon of semolina flour. Repeat the folds one last time in the bowl, then gather it into a ball and add it to the prepared baking pan. Using oiled hands, press fingertips into the dough spreading it out as much as you can without tearing the dough. It won’t stretch to fill out the entire baking pan at this point and that’s ok. Cover with cling film or damp kitchen towel and let rise 40 to 60 minutes or until the dough is relaxed and has doubled in size.
  8. Add the brine.  Using an immersion blender or whisk, combine the brine ingredients until emulsified. Pour the mixture evenly over the top of the focaccia dough and using your fingertips, press down to create the dimples and spread the dough as far to the edges as you can without tearing it.
  9. Bake the bread. Place the pan in a preheated 375°F/190°C oven and bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crispy. Remove it from the oven to a cooling rack and allow it to rest for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the focaccia bread from the pan to allow it to cool right side up directly on a wire cooling rack. Eat it warm or at room temperature and, Enjoy!


  • If using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, mix the yeast with approximately half of the water called for in the recipe, stir, and let sit for about 10 minutes before adding to the flour mixture. 
  • Substitute equal amounts of Libby’s canned Pumpkin for the Kabocha squash, to make this recipe even quicker.
  • If you don’t have turmeric, simply omit it. Using it will help give the final bread a more pumpkin-colored hue.
  • You may need to add up to 1/2 cup more (50-60g) flour, depending on how dry or humid your flour is and also the environment you’re working in. Use the recipe step-by-step photos to help you visually understand what consistency you’re looking for.
  • If you want a slightly thicker focaccia bread, use a slightly smaller baking pan, but adjust the baking time accordingly.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Rest Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Breads
  • Method: Oven Bake
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1 square
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