Grape Focaccia

Grape focaccia, or Schiacciata All’uva, is a magnificent Tuscan tradition sometimes known as winemakers’ focaccia that’s homemade flatbread with a smattering of black grapes that’s roasted until it creates a wondrously jammy sweetness. Here’s how to make it.

Three pieces of grape focaccia on a wooden board.

Traditionally, grape focaccia, or Schiacciata All’uva, takes its characteristic jamminess from native Tuscan wine grapes known as canaiolo, the small, dark grapes make up part of the blend of Chianti wine. It’s an Italian winemakers tradition. These days it’s usually made with the more common and fragrant concord grapes (uva fragola). We made it with several varieties of black grapes available in local stores—both those with seeds and without seeds—and everything we tried turned out spectacularly well. Just be warned if you use grapes with seeds, the bread will be punctuated with bitter crunchiness.–Renee Schettler

Grape Focaccia

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 2 H, 30 M
  • Serves 8 to 10
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Ingredients

  • For the focaccia dough
  • For the grape focaccia

Directions

Make the focaccia dough

Dump the flour into a large bowl, stir to aerate it, and create a well in the center.

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in about 1/2 cup (4 1/2 ounces | 125 ml) of the lukewarm water.

Add the yeast mixture to the well in the flour and mix with your hand or a wooden spoon. Add the rest of the water, little by little, working the dough well after each addition to allow the flour to absorb all the water.

Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the dough and combine. This will form a wet, sticky dough. Rather than knead it, you may need to work it with a wooden spoon or with well-oiled hands for a few minutes until it’s smooth.

Loosely cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour. (Alternatively, you can stash the bowl in the fridge and let it rise overnight or until double in size.)

Make the grape focaccia

Separate the grapes from their stems. Rinse the grapes and pat them dry.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Generously slick a 8-inch-by-12-inch (20-cm-by-30-cm) baking sheet or round pizza pan with olive oil. Using well-oiled hands, divide the dough into 2 halves, one slightly larger than the other. Place the larger half onto the oiled pan and, using your fingers, spread the dough out evenly to cover the pan or so that it’s no more than 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick.

Place about 2/3 of the grapes on the dough and sprinkle with half the superfine sugar followed by about 2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) olive oil.

Stretch the remaining the dough to roughly the size of the pan and place it on the grapes, continuing to stretch it as needed to cover the grapes and dough beneath.

Roll up the edges of the bottom layer of dough from the underneath to seal the edges. Gently press down all over the surface of the dough to create little dimples. Arrange the rest of the grapes on the dough and evenly sprinkle with the remaining superfine sugar and 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces/45 ml) olive oil.

Bake until the dough is golden and crunchy and the grapes are oozing, 30 to 35 minutes.

Let the grape focaccia cool completely. Cut it into squares. (If you like, you can dust it with confectioners sugar or coarse sea salt just before serving—although this isn’t exactly traditional, it is rather nice.) This is best served and eaten the day of baking. Originally published October 10, 2016.

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    Grape Focaccia Variations

    • Aniseed Grape Focaccia
      There are rarely adaptations made to this traditional recipe, but often you can find the addition of aniseed–a typical Tuscan flavoring for sweets. It’s a good addition, one that brings extra perfume to this bread. When you incorporate half the grapes into the dough, add 1/2 teaspoon aniseed. And when you add the remaining grapes to the surface of the focaccia, sprinkle with another 1/2 teaspoon aniseed prior to dusting with the sugar.

    • Blueberry Focaccia
      If you can’t get concord grapes or wine grapes, or it’s the wrong season, try replacing them with about 18 oz (500 g) blueberries. It’s completely unorthodox, of course, but it’s a very good substitute, giving you a much closer result than using regular table grapes.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    I was initially a bit skeptical. I love Concord grapes and I love bread, but I wasn't sure how I would like the two together. After making this grape focaccia recipe, I cannot stop eating it. The grapes in the center melt into a jam-like consistency. This is sweet enough to me to feel like a dessert, but I think that it's perfect for breakfast.

    The most difficult part for me was where it says to stretch out the rest of the dough to roughly the size of the pan. I tried stretching the dough like pizza dough, but the dough kept tearing. I ended up oiling a separate baking sheet and pressing the dough out and gently transferring it on top of the first layer.

    I did not use confectioners sugar but it would also look beautiful with a sprinkling of coarse sugar on top for some added sparkle. I plan to try it again with blueberries! Not everyone liked the crunch from the seeds as much as I did, so chew carefully if using grapes with seeds!

    Oh my goodness. This grape focaccia was delicious! This recipe is definitely a keeper for me. Very excellent! In my opinion, it's way better than it sounds. It actually reminded me of a plum cobbler that I've had.

    I did mine all at once and it took me under 2 hours, so it really is a quick recipe. I know this is totally untraditional, but I think it would have been really good with a dollop of vanilla ice cream right out of the oven. Also, I would love to sway from what is traditional and try it with blueberries, peaches, and a variety of other fruits in place of grapes. You could make it for a nice brunch addition or it seems to work well as a dessert. Either way, give it a try.

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