SCHIACCIA ALL'UVA

There is no better way to celebrate the harvest season than to pick heavy bunches of plump, healthy grapes and make one of the most typical recipes of the Tuscan wine regions. This sweet foccaccia, or "schiaccia" [SKEE-AH-CHA] in Tuscany, makes for a decadent breakfast alongside a strong cup of espresso.  Wine grapes have a much more intense and elegant flavor than supermarket grapes.  This recipe, in its simplicity, exalts that flavor to its peak. 

My mother-in-law, the baker in the family, ensures that we indulge in this Tuscan treat at least once a year, delighting the lucky visitors who dine with us that day!

Step 1: The Dough

This dough is a classic pizza dough with the addition of sugar for sweetness. It can be thrown together in no time, then left to rise overnight or for at least 1 hour until you're ready to bake.  

Dissolve 20 grams of brewer's yeast in 3/4 cup of warm water.  In a bowl, mix the dissolved yeast with 350 grams of flour, 4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 4 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt until combined. Cover with a linen cloth and let rise for at least 1 hour.

Step 2: The grapes

De-stem 1 kilo of the best grapes you can find.  

Tuscans adore the delightful crunch that the toasted grape seeds give to this otherwise soft pastry!

We use Montepulciano grapes for our schiaccia as it is a late-harvest grape with thick skin and a deep, concentrated flavor.

Step 3: The Assembly

Flour your surface and roll out 3/4 of the dough into a very thin and rectangular shape. Drape the dough over an oiled baking pan so that all 4 sides fall over the side of the pan.

Dump 3/4 of the grapes on top.  Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Roll out the remaining 1/4 dough until very thin and place it on top of the grapes. Using your fingers, crimp together the upper and lower layers of dough.

Add remaining grapes to the top of the schiaccia and add an additional 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

While it may be tempting to resist, it is not advisable to eat the schiaccia straight out of the oven.  Let it cool off.  Don't bite into hot grapes that explode liquid magma into your mouth.  Trust me.

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