This is a very traditional flatbread that is usually found in central Italy, especially Tuscany, during the grape harvest. Sweet, ripe grapes are used to fill and top the focaccia, which is lightly seasoned with fresh rosemary. The addition of sugar softens and sweetens the grapes, creating an almost jam-like effect that is truly addictive. This bread can be enjoyed for breakfast, dessert or as an anytime snack.
In Italy, if you are not lucky enough to have the purple grapes available, strawberry grapes grapes are used. These are small, very sweet grapes that have seeds, but since the seeds are small, I don’t worry about them. These grapes are similar in flavor to concord grapes, but since concord grapes (and their seeds) are much larger, if you use them, you should pit the grapes before adding them to the focaccia.
I have made grape harvest focaccia a number of times before but used the grapes to just top the focaccia. A Facebook friend, Judy Witts Feancini, owner of Divina Cucina blogposted pictures of her Crushed With The Grapes recently, and it was filled with a layer of grapes and topped with them. Judy’s schiacciata looked amazing, so I decided to give it a try. I ended up making this delicious and ever so addictive flatbread three times in the past month so I could share it with our farmhouse guests, who all loved it. The combination of grapes and sugar creates a very juicy mixture that is quite runny when hot, so I use a baking sheet with 1-inch sides to ensure that none of the juices spill onto my oven floor. I’ve also learned from personal experience that due to the grape jam being bubbling hot when it first comes out of the oven, it’s best to let the schacciata cool to just warm before slicing.
Have a nice meal!
Deborah Mele Revised 2022
For the Focaccia Dough:
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus 2 extra tablespoons for the oil bowl)
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups warm water
For filling and topping:
2 pounds grapes (see notes), stemmed and rinsed
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
- Measure and assemble your flour, oil, salt, yeast and water.
- Add everything except the water to a large bowl and stir.
- Add half of the water and stir.
- Continue adding water until the dough begins to come together into a shaggy ball.
- Pour the dough mixture onto a lightly floured surface and start kneading with the heels of your hands.
- Knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and pliable.
- Add a little oil (2 tablespoons) to the bottom of a large bowl and place your dough ball inside.
- Roll the dough ball around in the oil, making sure both the sides of the bowl and the dough ball are lightly oiled.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise. (I cover mine with a kitchen towel on top of the plastic wrap and set it on a large sunny windowsill.)
- Let the dough rise until it doubles in size, about an hour or an hour and a half depending on the ambient temperature.
- Divide the dough in half and place half on a large 13 x 10-inch baking sheet (I use one with 1-inch sides).
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the dough and sprinkle half of the grapes over the dough.
- Sprinkle the grapes with half the sugar and rosemary.
- Stretch the other half of the dough over the dough in the pan to cover, pinch the two doughs together to enclose the grapes inside.
- Spread the other half of the grapes over the dough and drizzle with the remaining olive oil.
- Use the rest of the sugar and rosemary on the grapes.
- Let the dough rest and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Once the oven has reached temperature, bake the focaccia until golden brown and the grapes are bubbly and soft, about 45 minutes.
- Chill at least 15 minutes before slicing.