Schiacciata all’uva inaugurates the Autumn in Tuscany. It’s a very particular sweet and slightly sticky bread, filled and layered, bursting with intense juices of the wine grapes. You can enjoy it only during the period of vendemmia, September and October, so I buy a portion or bake it myself quite frequently for us for breakfast.
The small dark wine grapes* are of course not so readily available to buy outside wine making regions. If you wish to make schiacciata all’uva, choose the smallest possible and always very dark grapes with seeds (all wine grapes have seeds), which give some desirable crunch to the bread.
As with all recipes, every household will have it’s own formula and below you will find mine. You may wish to add an extra layer of flavour to the schiaciata by using spices or herbs like fresh rosemary or star anise.
For about 8 portions:
For the dough:
To finish the schiacciata:
Dissolve the yeast in about 100 ml of lukewarm water with 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Put the flour and sugar into the bowl of a mixer and stir the ingredients. Form a little well and pour in the dissolved yeast mixture.
Start working the dough in the mixer on a lower speed with a dough hook attached. Once the liquid has been well mixed in with the flour start pouring gradually the remaining water. Once it’s been fully absorbed and the dough starts to turn silky smooth, pour in the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time. Now increase the speed to medium and let the mixer work the dough for another 8-10 minutes, which should turn the dough shiny and elastic.
Brush a large bowl with some olive oil. Place the dough inside the bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, divide it into two parts of equal size.
Brush thoroughly your baking tray (roughly 30×40 cm) with olive oil.
Roll out on a floured surface the first part of the dough and lay it on the bottom of the tray. If needed, stretch the dough with your hands. It is a rustic grape bread and it is nice when it looks like so.
Use half of the grapes to cover the first layer of the schiacciata. You can gently press them into the dough with the palms of your hands. Sprinkle with a little bit of sugar and drizzle with two flat tablespoons of olive oil.
Roll out the second part of the dough, place it on top of the sugared grape layer and press gently. Once again, you can stretch the dough with your fingers in case it’s needed.
Seal the edges by rolling up the edges from the bottom layer of the dough from the underneath to the top. Alternatively, you can use the upper layer and fold it’s edges underneath the bottom one.
Now organise snugly the remaining grapes on top and press gently. Sprinkle everything very generously with sugar, the grapes should look like as if they were covered in snow. Drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil, cover with a tea towel and leave for 45 minutes to prove.
Bake in the preheated oven to 180 C (non fan) for 40-50 minutes, depending on your oven. The schiacchiata should turn dark golden in colour and the grape juices should be oozing out. When you see however, that it is browning to fast, cover it loosely with a sheet of aluminium foil.
Take the tray out the oven and leave to cool completely before cutting and serving.