Seasonal Secrets – Schiaccata

by Amanda McInerney on 03/04/2012

When the baking bug bites me I seldom make much effort to resist.  I adore the yeasty smell of proving dough almost as much as I love the smell of baking bread, the sweet smell of spices baking in soft rolls and the pungent smell of rosemary or oregano in oven fresh focaccia.  The bug bit me big time on Sunday and I spent a happy day in the kitchen baking some cinnamon scrolls and ham, cheese and olive focaccia for the weekday lunchboxes.  In the back of my brain my mind was mulling over the remains of my most recent produce box from Jupiter Creek Farm and what brilliantly inspired ;-) idea I could create for this week’s seasonal post.  Lurking dejectedly  in the corner were the last of the grapes from the box.  Somehow they had missed out on the attentions of the kids and were fading fast when, thankfully, the not-always-reliable light bulb went off in my head.

The focaccia dough recipe I use is one I lifted and adapted from my lovely friend Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  Like most of my favourite recipes it is ridiculously simple and lends itself beautifully to loads of further adaptions.   Armed with that and the remaining grapes I had the makings of something I’ve been meaning to get around to for ages – schiacciata!   A traditional autumn snack in Tuscany, schiacciata celebrates the grape harvest by combining the popular Italian flatbread, focaccia with the last of seasons wine grapes.  While basically a simple peasant food, it can be found gracing the shelves of the best bakeries and tables early in the season.   The word “schiacciata” means squashed or flattened in Italian, but this is not really necessary as the heat of the oven will split the grape skins, thus releasing and caramelising the sweet juice.  I went down the traditional route, using rosemary in mine, but will be varying that with fennel seeds for my next batch.  I served it warm with a big splodge of Woodside Cheesewright‘s goat curd and a generous drizzle of vinicotto and was in instant gastronomic glory.  This really is one of those simple dishes which is greater than the sum of it’s parts and a perfect long weekend breakfast.

Schiaccata
 
Serve with fresh, soft goats curd and a drizzle of good vinicotto for a breakfast sensation.
Recipe type: Bread, breakfast

Ingredients
  • 500 gms strong bakers flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 sachet of instant yeast (8 gms)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 200 mls milk
  • 120 mls water
  • 50 mls good olive oil
  • Bunch of red grapes or ¾ cup of raisins
  • 1 Tbsp sugar

Instructions
  1. Whisk flour, salt, rosemary and yeast together in a large bowl.
  2. Heat milk and water to blood temperature and add, with oil, to flour.
  3. Mix all together until combined in a rough dough.
  4. Cover and stand for ½ hr.
  5. Give it a very quick knead, cover again for 1 hour.
  6. Roll dough into circle of about 32-34 cm, place on greased and lined oven tray, cover and leave for 20 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 200C.
  8. Press whole grapes (or raisins) into surface of dough, pushing into dough a little. Drizzle with more olive oil, then sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Bake at 200C for 15-20 minutes.

 

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara April 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I love this grape bread but haven’t made it in ages. I must do while there are still some grapes about.

Anna@ The Littlest Anchovy April 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Just beautiful. I have always wanted to try making Schiaccata urely for tasting plump grapes with bread! I am glad you posted this recipe :)

Hotly Spiced April 4, 2012 at 6:33 am

I love the look of both of these. I can imagine the aromas in your kitchen would have been incredible on Sunday. I love cinnamon scrolls. My mother used to make them for special occasions and tehy were so good straight from the oven. xx

InTolerant Chef April 4, 2012 at 7:37 am

This does look lovely indeed, and pairing it with the goats cheese is perfect- yummo!

Johanna April 4, 2012 at 8:43 am

This sounds like my kind of thing…I love fruit with savoury and this would be no exception! Great pictures and a lovely post – Thankyou.

Lee April 4, 2012 at 10:12 am

That’s Easter Sunday morning vittels fixed – thanks Amanda!

The Bush Gourmand April 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I rather like this idea, but am wondering if it could be made as a sweet dough, sprinkled with sugar.

Which recipe did you use for your cinnamon scrolls? And how come they look so neat? Mine always look like a 2 year old cut them up!

Mandy - The Complete Cook Book April 4, 2012 at 3:27 pm

So pleased you didn’t resist the urge because we were able to share in the deliciousness of it all.
:-) Mandy

Amanda April 4, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Bush Gourmand – this traditional dish varies widely, depending upon who is making it, but I don’t think it is supposed to be too sweet. Still, I guess it’s up to you if you like it that way. Cinnamon scrolls recipe is for another day – and the best trick to slicing neatly is to cut them with sewing cotton or (unminted) dental floss!

Kate April 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm

When I first quickly scanned your blog title today when it appeared in my inbox, I read it as sciatica so on further reading I am glad to find you, Amanda, doing some delicious baking and not suffering in pain !!

Erin @ she cooks, she gardens April 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Yum Amanda, this sounds divine. Mel was talking about trying this with you tonight and my mouth was watering, might have to give it a try.

Lizzy (Good Things) April 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Amanda, you and I were separated at birth, I am sure of it!!! Love this… would you believe I had planned to bake and blog it. Love your work, my friend xox

leaf (the indolent cook) April 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Oh my word that looks good. A breakfast sensation indeed!

celia April 8, 2012 at 9:24 am

Amanda, thank you for the linky, but I don’t know that it was deserved, as I’ve never made anything quite that gorgeous with my focaccia dough! Those look sensational! Thanks for the inspiration, and happy Easter to you all! xx

Jamie April 18, 2012 at 2:12 am

I’ve wanted to make a schiacciata with grapes for ages and yours is perfect! I also love that you served it topped with creamy goat cheese, really a great pairing! I did recently come across another recipe for sweet fruity focaccia so now I must compare – and combine? – the recipes. Perfect and delicious!

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