• Sheryl Ness

Schiacciata d'Uva (Harvest Grape Focaccia)

I love the traditions around the time of the grape harvest in Tuscany. This special harvest grape focaccia is a really lovely treat to enjoy and brings back such great memories. I think everyone in the region looks forward to this time of year when the local bakeries are full of this delicious treasure called schiacciata d'uva. Local grapes are placed on the top of a focaccia dough and baked until they are jammy and delicious.




The bread is a celebration of the vendemmia or grape harvest that is taking place throughout the region. I think it's extra special because it is only available for a few weeks and then it's gone until the next year.


The schiacciatta from the Siena and Chianti region uses grapes that are roasted (or dried) almost to the point of being raisins. Some bakers soak the grapes in anise liquor or add walnuts over the top as well. It's almost always got a sprinkling of raw sugar that gives the top a little crunch when you bite into it.


Since we won't be in Italy this year to enjoy the grape harvest season, I thought I'd recreate this special grape focaccia here in Minnesota. The local grapes I find here are concord grapes and might be easily found on farms or in your local farmer's market. I discovered these at our local Food Coop store.


I found that roasting the grapes first makes the grapes just perfect. If you want to skip this part, that is fine. The bread will still taste just as delicious. I hope you enjoy the recipe and the beautiful fall season that we are enjoying.


Schiacciata d’Uva


Dough

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 packet active dry yeast (about 2 tablespoons)

1 tsp. sea salt

2 tablespoons sugar or honey

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Grape Topping

2 cups local red grapes

½ cup golden raisins

½ cup chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons raw sugar

1 tsp. sea salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Prepare the Dough

· In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour and salt.

· Next place the warm (not too hot) water in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast, followed by the sugar or honey. Let this sit for 5-7 minutes (or longer if needed) to allow the yeast to bloom.

· Add the olive oil to the water, yeast, sugar mixture and then mix this into the flour with a spoon. You can also use a mixer with a hook attachment, but I keep it simple and stir for 5 minutes with a spoon.

· The dough should be a bit wet, so keep adding water if the dough has too much flour. Cover the bowl with a cover or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 2-3 hours. The dough should double in size.



Roast the Grapes

2 cups local red grapes (Thompson or Concord grapes)

· Preheat oven to 275 degrees

· Place the grapes on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper.

· Bake in the oven for around 1 ½ hours until the grapes have roasted and dehydrated a bit.

· Remove from oven and let sit until ready to make the schiacciata.



Preheat oven to 425 - 450 degrees.


· Place the dough in an oiled round or rectangular baking pan. Sprinkle the top with a light coating of flour so that the dough does not stick to your hands.

· Form into the shape and size you want with your fingers. Let sit for another 30 minutes.

· Top the dough with the roasted grapes.

· Add an additional ½ cup of golden raisins and chopped walnuts (if desired)

· Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of raw sugar over the top of the grapes.

· Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

· Add a sprinkle of sea salt over the top (around 1 tsp.)

· Bake in the oven at 425 to 450 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the bottom crust is crisp and the top is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.





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