September, grape harvest time. Now we don’t have a vineyard, just a little plot of land with some olive trees and a piece of vegetable garden. But several years ago, when my family was made up by farm laborers, it was different: there were many olive trees, a well provided vegetable garden, cows to work the fields, Bianchina the goat for the milk, Gilda the horse, with a nice gig to go to town, hens and chickens, rabbits and a vineyard.
My grand-grand dad Piero used to make wine for the family and to sell a part of it; with the same grapes he made also vinegar and vinsanto (sweet white raisin wine). September and October were generous months and the countryside started giving autumnal fruits. When the black grapes were ripe, it was time for grapes schiacciata (a kind of flat bread).
Each week my grand-grandma Pia used to make bread for all the family. In this period a part of the bread was flattened and sprinkled with sugar and grapes, a very delicious way to eat bread!
Schiacciata con l’uva – Grape focaccia
Grandma Marcella has made this schiacciata a few times for me, but I still remember the crunchy side of this bread, due to grape seeds, and the voluptuous sensation of a soft and juicy bit!
- About 400 g of flour
- 20 g of fresh brewer's yeast
- Extra virgin olive oil
- About 200 ml of water
- 2 bunches of black grapes
- 150 g of sugar
First of all make the bread dough for the schiacciata.
Sift the flour on a wooden surface and make a well in the centre. Dissolve the yeast in a few tablespoons of warm water and pour it into the well with a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Knead the dough adding a few tablespoons of water at time, until you have an elastic and not sticky dough.
Set aside in a bowl greased with olive oil and leave to rise for about one hour and a half.
It should double its size.
Now knead the dough again with a tablespoon of olive oil, halve it and flatten one half into a rectangular baking pan with high edges, 15 cm wide and 30 cm long, previously generously greased with olive oil. Drizzle half of the grapes on it, press them into the dough and sprinkle generously with sugar. Cover with the remaining dough, flattening it and sealing all around the edges.
Sprinkle with the remaining grapes and sugar, drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil to grease the surface and set aside to raise again for about one hour.
Preheat oven to 190°C and bake the schiacciata for about 40 – 45 minutes, until it is glossy and golden.
Serve warm or cold.
P.S. These are some shots of the place where I ‘bought’ my grapes… I was coming back from work and taking some pictures, then I noticed the grapes… it was simply irresistible!