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Grape Focaccia (Schiacciata)

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Tuscan grape bread is typically found in the month of September in Italy because of the very nature of the seasonal grapes. This is the Northwest and we’ve got grapes too, good grapes to boot! So in honor of our grapes and to celebrate grape harvest (typically till November) we’ve made a grape focaccia. Simple, plain and best eaten the same day of baking. Feel free to mess with the recipe – we brushed melted butter on the top before baking but you can also use olive oil. Or how about adding chopped rosemary or thyme or both? Go for it. Oh and in case you’re wondering what “Schiacciata” means, it means “flattened down” or in other words – flatbread. There you have it.

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Grape Focaccia (Schiacciata)

 

Ingredients:

 

4 cups all-purpose flour + some for dusting

1 1/4 cup lukewarm water

1 package active dried yeast

1 pound concord grapes (or we used black grapes, which worked great)

5 to 6 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Powdered sugar for dusting

 

Directions:

 

Dissolve the yeast in a few tablespoons of the lukewarm water with a tablespoon of the flour. Leave it alone until until bubbles begin to form – if this doesn’t happen, toss it out and start over.

In your mixer (or you can do this by hand) add the flour and then the yeast mixture. Add the rest of the warm water little by little, mixing the dough well after every addition. Pay attention to texture here – if it starts losing its elasticity and looks like it is becoming to batter like, stop, and add more flour until you get that nice dough. Add a tablespoon of extra virgin oil to the dough.

Knead the dough on a well floured surface for about 5 to 10 minutes until the dough is elastic and bounces back when you poke it. Put the whole pile of dough into a greased bowl and cover – we use a shower cap, the give-away kind you get in hotels (they work great) – Put in a warm place, away from drafts, until it doubles in size. This process will take about an hour or so….

When you’re ready to go, make sure your grapes have been washed and patted dry with stems all taken off.

Line a rectangular baking pan with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

You will need to flour your hands, take your dough out of the bowl and divide into two balls, with one slightly bigger than the other. Roll the larger ball on a well-floured surface about the size of your pan and no more than 1/2 inch thick. Put the dough in the pan, pushing the dough to the corners and sides.

Scatter about two thirds of the grapes over the dough and sprinkle half the sugar all over. Brush with olive oil or melted butter depending on your taste preference.

Roll out the remaining dough and cover the grapes, rolling up the edges of the bottom layer of dough from underneath to the top to close it up.

Cover the top with your remaining grapes, brush again with either olive oil or melted butter and then sprinkle the remaining sugar evenly over it all.

Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the dough becomes golden and crunch on top and the grapes are juicy and cooked.

Allow to cool and sprinkle with tons of powdered sugar.

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