Grape Focaccia (Schiacciata all'uva)

By • October 7, 2012 • 16 Comments



Author Notes: This Tuscan grape bread is usually only found in the month of September, a tradition governed by the very seasonal nature of grapes in Italy, and one that also has an extremely close tie with the wine harvest in the fall. These days, it is usually made with fragrant, berry-like concord grapes but sometimes you'll still find it made with native Tuscan wine grapes known as canaiolo.

There are rarely adaptions made to the traditional Tuscan recipe, but often you can find the addition of aniseed – a typical Tuscan flavouring.

Avoid using table grapes or white grapes for this, they just don’t do it justice in terms of flavour or appearance. If you can’t get good, sweet wine or concord grapes or it’s the wrong season, try this with blueberries. It’s completely unorthodox, of course, but it’s a delicious substitute and you get a much closer result than using table grapes.

A sprinkling of raw sugar over the top before baking is usually sufficient as it's not too sweet, but confectioner's sugar dusted over the top once completely cool can add a bit more sweetness and visual appeal.
Emiko

Serves 6 to 8 people

  • 4 cups (500 grams) type 00 or plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 3/4 cup (400 grams) lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon (7 grams) of active dried yeast
  • 1 pound (450 grams) concord grapes (see notes)
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
  1. Prepare the dough the night before you need to bake it or a couple of hours ahead of time. Dissolve the yeast in a few tablespoons of the lukewarm water with a tablespoon of the flour. Leave aside until little bubbles begin to form – if this doesn’t happen, throw it out and start again.
  2. In a mixer or in a bowl (if doing it by hand), sift the flour and add the yeast mixture. Add the rest of the water little by little, working the dough well after each addition. Note: This is important to allow the flour to absorb all the water. If, while adding the water, you see that it’s losing its elasticity and becoming more like a batter, stop, add a bit more flour until it returns to a dough. Add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the dough.
  3. Place the dough onto a well floured surface and knead for about 5-10 minutes or until the dough is elastic and bounces back when you poke it. Roll into a ball and place it back into the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and set it in a warm place, away from drafts, until it doubles in size (about one hour). If doing this the night before, you can leave the dough in the bowl to rise in the fridge slowly, which will result in superior flavour and aroma.
  4. When ready to assemble the schiacciata, wash and pat dry the grapes and separate them from the stem, no need to deseed them.
  5. When the dough has risen, line a rectangular baking pan with some baking paper (or oil it well with olive oil) and heat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Take the dough out of the bowl with well-floured hands (it will be very sticky!). Divide the dough into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out the larger ball on a well-floured surface roughly to the size of your pan, no more than ½ inch thick. Lay the dough in the pan, pushing the dough to the corners and sides, if necessary.
  7. Divide about two thirds of the grapes and scatter them on the first dough layer and sprinkle half of the sugar over, with half the olive oil.
  8. Roll out the second ball of dough to the size of the pan and cover the grapes with this second layer of dough, rolling up the edges of the bottom layer of dough from underneath to the top, to close the schiacciata. Gently push down on the surface of the dough to create little dimples all over.
  9. Cover the top with the rest of the grapes and sprinkle over the remaining sugar and olive oil. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the dough becomes golden and crunchy on top and the grapes are oozing and cooked.
  10. Allow to cool completely. When ready to serve, cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar, if using. This is best served and eaten the day of baking, or at the most the next day.
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Comments (16) Questions (0)

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3 days ago Andrea Young

I can't find concords to save my life - and I live in an urban area with gourmet grocery stores (Dallas in late August - will I be seeing them soon?). I am finding Thomcord grapes, though, which have a small seed but are still very dark and sweet (much more intense than table grapes). I'm curious if anyone has made these with Thomcord grapes?

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1 day ago Emiko

I haven't tried them but I think they'd probably be the next best bet!

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11 months ago bread angel

The bread never fails to get compliments. My recipe is a little different and sometimes, I put almonds on it for a little extra crunch. I use seedless black grapes and especially like the concord variety. Another lesson I learned, don't use your best olive oil for this; just simple cooking olive oil works just fine. If your olive oil is too flavor-full, it may clash with the grapes.

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11 months ago Sarah | strawberryplum

I made a version with fresh figs a couple weeks back...a little different than the traditional schiacciata all' uva, but still totally delicious. I wish I could go to Florence every fall to have the real deal!

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11 months ago chez_mere

Just made this for breakfast. Holy cow! Love the intense grape flavor you get from using the concords instead of seedless. And personally, I like the crunchy bits - but I also adore crunchy peanut butter. Thanks so much for giving me a little reminder of my time in Siena

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11 months ago Emiko

That's great! The crunchy seeds had to grow on me when I first tried them in Florence - but it didn't take long to become addicted ;)

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11 months ago Sara Blake

Are you certain there's no need to deseed the grapes? It can be quite a tooth-breaker to bite down on one. I just bought some concord grapes and was excited to make this, but now I'm unsure due to the seed issue.

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11 months ago Emiko

Traditionally, it's practically obligatory to leave the seeds in and in Tuscany you will you always find schiacciata all'uva that way! Crunchy is just the way they like it. But if you think you won't enjoy it, feel free to deseed yours. Or use seedless grapes, but these I think have less flavour and in Italy you won't find seedless grapes so these are never used traditionally either.

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almost 2 years ago Midge

I'm dying to try this Emiko. Looks so beautiful and delicious!

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almost 2 years ago LasTrega

Bello trovare la ricetta del Pan con l'uva da un fiorentino lontano... :) grazie...
ciao da Prato :)

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almost 2 years ago Emiko

Grazie mille! E' sempre stata la mia merendina preferita ;)

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almost 2 years ago Emiko

Grazie mille! E' sempre stata la mia merendina preferita di fine estate! ;)

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almost 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Gorgeous, gorgeous photo! I love how the concord grapes look like blueberries, too.

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almost 2 years ago Emiko

Thanks! Yes, for me it's one of the reasons why blueberries make a really good substitute for the concord grapes - they give it the same look and taste amazing!

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almost 2 years ago darksideofthespoon

I'm not a huge grape fan but this looks stunning! Looks like a deconstructed grape doughnut of sorts.

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almost 2 years ago Emiko

If you don't like grapes, try it with blueberries (as described in the notes) - it's divine! In fact, any really delicious fruit is good. Sometimes you see this schiacciata made with fresh, over ripe figs from the end of summer. I'm thinking next summer of trying it with strawberries....