Although I usually class myself as semi-decent at baking, in this post I am instead making some claims towards telepathy and the power of reading minds. If you’re anything like me, you will probably look at this post and one ‘word’ will come to mind: ‘eh?’. However it is with reluctance that I admit that this is a pretty good representation of not only this bake, but my entire week. My brain does seem to have been in a semi-fried state for the last couple of days at least, but this is not stopping me from bombarding you with another post where I think it’s a good idea to bake bread in a cake tin.
But where my pain de savoie eventually paid off, the schiachiatta did not. For those who don’t know schiachiatta is a traditional Tuscan flatbread which, in this instance, has been baked with ‘grapes’. I first came across the loaf during my essential cookery course at the Grange. Here we had the luxury of a cheeseboard every evening for about a month and, once my stomach inevitably grew after some rather exorbitant face stuffing, I braved trying a piece of the schiachiatta with a slice of dolcelatte and I have to admit I did not regret it. It was absolutely delicious: the sweetness of the grapes perfectly complimented the flavour of the cheese and had almost caramelised into the bread, which worked perfectly as a base.
If you have been keeping up with my blog you will probably notice that I have made a few birthday cakes recently, such as my caramel shortbread cake and my white chocolate and raspberry cookie cake. However, I had one more very important birthday coming up, my Mum’s. While you may find this hard to believe, my Mum does not have a massive sweet tooth and controversially claimed she did not want a cake this year. However, I decided to seize the opportunity and offer you something a bit different, but also equally suitable, for an occasion or event. Therefore, I have to admit that this is the first recipe on my blog which I have left completely untouched (*cue shocked gasps*). I did debate fiddling around with it, but since I am still getting to grips with bread I thought it would be best to come to terms with the original first. And, to be honest, the original was good I thought it just didn’t need it.
However, I’m also reluctant to admit that I was wrong. At the grange we always shared all the meal prep between us so, even though all the recipes were covered, I didn’t personally try making this at the time. Since my attempt went a bit pear-shaped, I’m therefore going to have to use my gut to figure out what went wrong. One thing I will say is that the flavours are beautiful; even though the bread was clearly not quite right we got a fair way through it in one sitting as the balance between the sweet and the savoury was perfect. Unfortunately, there were quite a lot of technical errors. Not only did the bread rise a lot, which is ironic considering schiachiatta literally means ‘squashed’, but it was also raw in the middle. I personally think this was due to baking it in a tin and using too many grapes, which was a decision largely based on the massive sink hole of raw dough. When I try it again I will probably add the grapes more gradually (especially on top) to find a better dough to grape ratio and split the loaf into two and bake it free form instead. This will allow it to spread and will hopefully mean it will cook more evenly. But unfortunately we can’t get everything right first time. However, I do hope you decide to give it a go and, if you do and use my recipe below, please let me know; my ears are open for tips. Either way I hope you enjoy!
Schiachiatta Con Uva
For the dough:
- 300ml warm water.
- 1 tsp dried yeast.
- 1 tsp sugar.
- 25ml extra virgin olive oil.
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped and crushed.
- 600g strong flour.
- 2 tsp salt.
- 200g flame red seedless grapes.
For the filling:
- 500g flame red seedless grapes, halved.
- 50g caster sugar.
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds.
- 100g raisins.
- 1 glass of sweet dessert wine.
- Dolcelatte (or another blue cheese) to serve, optional.
- Mix the water, yeast and sugar together and leave to stand for about 10-15 minutes until it starts to form a head.
- Meanwhile, lightly fry the rosemary leaves in the oil for about 5 minutes to release the flavours and leave to cool.
- Once ready, add these mixtures to the flour and salt and mix until it forms a soft dough, then add the grapes and knead until smooth.
- Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove until doubled in size, which will take about an hour and a half.
- For the filling, coat the grapes with the sugar and the fennel seeds and leave to stand.
- In a separate bowl soak the raisins in the dessert wine for at least three hours. However they are better left overnight if possible.
- Once the dough has risen roll it out into a large round and place it in a greased 24cm spring form cake tin. Drain off the raisins and mix them with the grapes for the filling, and the pour the fruit on top of the dough, leaving a 1cm border round the edge. Leave to prove until it has doubled in size again.
- Preheat your oven to 210C/ 190C Fan. Once the dough has proved enough, bake it for 10 minutes at this temperature and then reduce the heat to 180C/ 160C Fan for another 30-40 minutes. If your fruit is burning you can use tin foil to cover the top. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before tucking in.