26 Degrees Brix Schiacciata all’uva (Grape Focaccia)

September 5, 2014

in Breads and Pastries, Cook What You Like, Sides and Ends

Grape Focaccia

It comes up too fast.  No matter how much preparation, there’s last minute details.  Vineyards don’t wait.  The birds keep eating their share.  Friends and family have rearranged their social calendars.  Wine grape harvest is here!

Before the red wine grapes hit the rollers, snag a couple of large clusters and make a crunchy outside-tender inside focaccia filled with juicy grapes, Schiacciata all’uva.  This lightly sugared yeast bread is a popular Tuscan tradition during harvest when the grapes are at their peak.  Slabs of this flatbread show up in bakeries where the bread is commonly sold in pieces sized for nibbling while walking.

Choose grapes that are firm and ripe (sweet).  Discard any dried, deflated or immature grapes. Some believe the seeds in the wine grapes enhance the focaccia’s flavor and seed crunch adds character – who wants to pick out the seeds anyway?  Primitivo grapes are used in this post; zinfandel (same as primitivo?), petite sirah and other dark varietals reward with beautiful color.  White wine grapes can also be used; find the fruitiest and ripest ones possible, such as dark and sweet late harvest muscat canelli (those globes tend to be a little shrively.  If you can get your hands on a few clusters, use them).

Wine Grapes in CrusherBin

For the curious, in the States, commercial table grapes are considered ripe and harvested between 17-19º Brix. White wine grapes are usually picked between 19 – 22º Brix.  Red wine grapes in California are commonly harvested no less than 24º Brix.  The higher the degrees brix, the more sugar in the liquid.  A 17º Brix grape, either for eating fresh out of hand or destined to be squished and made into wine, is puckery and has little taste.

The flatbread’s ingredients are few –  yeast, flour, water, sugar, olive oil, and grapes.  The steps are easy – make dough, proof, assemble, bake.  Make the dough the night before, proof it overnight in the fridge.  Doing so delivers enhanced flavor and aroma – your kitchen will smell heavenly while the bread’s baking, plus it gives you flexibility – you can keep the dough refrigerated to bake anytime the following day.

When cool, cut the focaccia with a sharp knife and share with your crush crew – extra insurance that they’ll be available for the next crush.

Grape Focaccia Layer 1Assemble the flatbread in two quick steps.  Cut the proofed dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other.  Roll out the larger piece to fit the shape of the rimmed baking pan you are using.   Place the rolled dough on the baking pan and sprinkle with half of the grapes, olive oil and sugar.  While not traditional, firm blueberries can be substituted (schiacciata all’mirtillo).

Grape Focaccia AssembledRoll out the smaller piece of dough and lay it over the first piece.  Turn up the edges of the bottom dough and pinch both pieces together.  Make dimples with your fingers pushing dough to the pan’s edges.  Sprinkle with remaining grapes, olive oil and sugar and bake.

Grape Focaccia Sliced

Recipe: Schiacciata all’uva (Grape Focaccia)

Make and proof the dough the night before and refrigerate overnight.  The cold dough is less sticky and easier to manage than room temperature proofed dough. Assemble and bake the following day.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup warm water, 105-110 F
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup tepid water
  • Olive oil for proofing bowl
  • 1 lb. dark red wine grapes
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil for oiling baking pan
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Powdered sugar for finishing, if desired

Instructions

  1. Proof yeast: in a small prep bowl, heat 1/2 cup water to 105-110º F.  Sprinkle in yeast and let proof for 15 minutes.  The yeast should dissolve and look creamy and/or foamy.
  2. Make dough: in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer add 4 cups flour.  Make a well in the middle and pour in proofed yeast, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 3/4 cup tepid water. Mix well with a wooden spoon or use a stand mixer.  Add remaining 1/2 cup water a little at a time to make a dough that holds together.  If more water is needed, add one tablespoon at a time.
  3. On a floured surface, knead dough by hand until it is elastic, 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, using a stand mixer, knead with a dough hook until dough is elastic. Make a 1″ deep indentation with your index finger. If the hole fills back in when you remove your finger, the dough is ready.  Oil the proofing bowl, gather the dough into a ball and place dough into the bowl, turning dough to cover all sides. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap.
  4. Proof dough: if time permits, leave dough in room temperature until it grows by 50%, then place in refrigerator overnight to finish proofing. If that doesn’t fit into your schedule, place dough in refrigerator overnight.  Alternatively, proof dough at room temperature; this takes from 3-4 hours.  Dough is ready when doubled in size.
  5. Shape flatbread: rinse and destem grapes, and dry on multiple layers of paper towels. Generously oil a small rimmed rectangular baking sheet (10″ x 15″ is a good size) with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil; set aside.  With a dough scraper or silicone spatula, scrape dough onto a dry floured surface.  Cut dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other.  Starting with the larger piece, on a floured surface using a rolling pin, roll dough to no more than 1/4″ thick sized to fit into the prepared pan.  Gently fold rolled dough in half lengthwise and position into pan, unfold and reshape slightly if necessary. Sprinkle with half of grapes, 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar and drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.
  6. Roll out the smaller piece of dough to not more than 1/4″ thick, shaped and sized similar to the bottom piece and place on top of bottom piece of dough.  Bring up edges of bottom dough and pinch together with top dough edge. Make dimples with your fingers pushing dough out to corners, filling up pan. Sprinkle with remaining grapes, sugar and olive oil.
  7. Preheat oven to 350º F and bake: bake on the middle rack of a preheated oven until top is medium brown and grape juices are running, about 25-30 minutes. Rotate pan front to back halfway through baking.
  8. Remove bread from oven and cool pan with bread on wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Makes 1 flatbread.  Best enjoyed the day it is baked.

Photo credit:  grapes in crusher – Sandy Sakata.

Visit these posts:

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

www.gddqnews.com March 15, 2016 at 1:32 AM

Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thank you for supplying this information.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: