GRAPE FOCACCIA flatbread, in Italian, called Schiacciata all'Uva
This is a Tuscan favorite, but our recipe isn’t as traditional as it might be. For one thing, Tuscans make all their breads without salt, and this dough has salt. And since this bread is traditionally only found in Florence during September (coinciding with grape harvesting), it is often served out of season around here. In fact it is often served in Italy for a wedding celebration, with special meaning given to the grapes with seeds, staining the bread and providing the good luck seed for children as result of the bride and groom’s union.
1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 1/3 cup warm water (105ºF-115ºF)
- 2 tablespoons EVOO
- 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons cornmeal flour
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound concord grapes, stems removed (seeds in for tradition-out for average tastes) Note if grapes are not in season, blueberries give the stained dough affect better than red domestic grapes that are more available.
- 2-4 tablespoons toasted walnuts(*), optional
- coarse natural sugar
- dash of sea salt, optional
Sprinkle yeast over warm water in mixer bowl, whisk a little, and let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in olive oil. Using heavy mixer, add flour, cornmeal and salt to the yeast mixture. Mix until dough is formed. Using dough hook, continue mixing for 3-5 minutes, until dough is firm and slightly stick but coming away from sides of the bowl.
First rise: Place the dough in lightly oiled container; cover with lightly damp towel and let rise in warm spot free from drafts, until doubled, about 50-60 minutes. (This step can be done in the refrigerator overnight and actually results in better flavor–given the longer fermentation)
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Shaping and 2nd rise: Wash and pat dry the grapes (or blueberries if using) set aside. When dough is risen, flatten the dough on lightly floured work surface to 7×14 rectangle. Transfer to fit sided baking pan lined with parchment of well oiled. Stretch dough to fit pan. If dough doesn’t cooperate, let it rest covered with tea towel 10 minutes to relax. When stretched to fit pan make dimples with finger tips and place the dry grapes into the dimples. Cover and place in warm place for second rise until doubled, about 40-60 minutes.
Sprinkle with sugar and walnuts and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Spritz oven 3 times in first 10 minutes with cold water to create steam.
Cool and serve by cutting into squares or triangles.