A couple of weeks ago we joined our friends from of the foto/food blog Spysundtrank in their garden to take the grapes that they grew and try to make grape juice. We spent a fantastic afternoon in the sun, producing grape juice with a manual press, chatting, grill sausages that David made himself, eat focaccia and cake.

As always, it is incredibly rewarding to produce something yourself and enjoy the great taste of a fresh made product. As we were also a bit overworked from our office jobs, the afternoon in the garden was a very welcome change to relax our tired brains. After half a day we felt like we spent a whole weekend away.

Besides the bottles of grape juice, Martina gave me some grapes to use for something else. She once did an amazing grape sorbetto which I first wanted to try to do myself. But then I came across the recipe of a grape schiacciata that uses a dough with olive oil. I think it’s more a Tuscan recipe than a Pugliese one but as you find olives and grapes in Puglia, I anyway wanted to share it as I liked the result and it was also easy to make. It matches a good cheese and white wine very well!

Grape Schiacciata

400 gr olive oil dough (s. below)
500 gr black seedless grapes
2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and roughly chopped
raw sugar (optional)

For the dough (makes 1 kg)
600 gr strong flour
13 gr fresh yeast
400 ml water
20 ml extra virgin olive oil
20 ml milk
15 gr sea salt

Put all of the ingredients in your mixer bowl and mix with a dough hook on low speed for 2 minutes, then increase the speed to high and continue mixing for 5 minutes. The dough should come away from the edges of the bowl and have a silky complexion when done. Place the dough in a container that has been sprayed with olive oil, cover with a plastic wrap and set aside to grow for 1,5 – 2 hrs.

Divide the dough in even-sized portions. Use a rolling pin to roll out each portion to create a 30 x 15 cm rectangle about 5mm thick all over. Let the dough rest between each roll. Then gently transfer the dough to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Set aside in a warm place (25 degrees celsius) for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius. Pick and wash the grapes and place in a bowl. Crush them roughly with your fists to get some of the juice out but do not pound them to a paste as you still want to see that they are grapes. Drain the juice. Check the dough with a prod of your finger; it should rise back steadily and look puffy and glossy.

Scatter the grapes over the dough, leaving a 5mm border around the edges. Sprinkle the rosemary on top and then the sugar, if using.

Reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees celsius and bake for 25 minutes, turning after 10 minutes. The bread does not need steaming as there is already a lot of moisture coming from the grapes. It’s important to check the base to see it is cooked all the way through. Schiacciata is best cooked on the hearth. In case you have a pizza stone, this is the time to use it.

Recipe adapted from Bourke Street Bakery. I did not use sugar on top as the grapes had a nice sweetness. I also didn’t use a pizza stone and it anyway turned out great.