Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Schiacciata con l’uva (otherwise known as “Grapey Bread-Cake”)

I've just spent another great weekend surfing.  This time I came equipped - a brand new board significantly shorter than anything I’d ridden before, and a loaf of semi-sweet grape foccacia half way through its second proving. 

Trying to fit all four girls, improbable amounts of baggage, a weekends worth of food and a surfboard into a saloon car was the first of many tests.  After some careful juggling, (“...watch the fins... WATCH THE FINS!!”), we finally managed to wedge everything in and were off to spend another Friday night bonding with the M4.

Our surf-trips have come to rely on a superb formula of spending as much time as possible in the water before exhaustion sets in... then spending all of our time out of the water eating and drinking as much as physically possible. 

This trip, I’d decided to supplement the usual brunch fare with a loaf of sticky grape foccacia which should technically be known as Schiaccia con l'uva, but which spent the weekend being referred to as “that grapey bread-cake”.   Now, grapey bread-cake doesn’t really do it justice but I guess it’s a darned site easier to pronounce! 

The idea was one I'd found years ago to use up a surplus of my parent’s seedy grapes but shamefully had never got around to trying.  Unfortunately having tried it (and fully enjoying the results), I'm painfully aware that sharing it will seriously reduce the number of bunches I’ll be receiving in future. 

The girls (understandably) weren’t really sure what to expect from a sweet foccacia but once tried it was a surefire hit.  Sweet but not sickly – the perfect treat to start the day with!  It was especially good when we got around to having our second round a few hours after baking by which point it had become amazingly dense and sticky. 

After our first day's surfing we headed to the local old man’s pub where said local old men were greatly bemused by the four screeching girls playing a newly developed game of long-arm darts.  

Apparently the new technique was supposed to increase the power of your throw.  All I know is my first attempt ended up embedded in the ceiling followed shortly by a second dart quivering between flip-flopped feet...

So, a weekend of firsts!  My first attempt on a shortboard, my first attempt at “grapey bread-cake” and my first attempt at long-arm darts...  Two roaring successes out of three ain’t bad!

Schiacciata con l’uva:
Mix the flour, yeast, rosemary and salt.  Add the warm water and oil and mix until it forms a cohesive dough.  Knead for 10 minutes and place in the fridge in a oiled bowl covered in oiled clingfilm while it cold proves.  I prepared the dough before work and left it in the fridge for the day.
That evening, knock back the dough and knead again for approximately 5 minutes.  Divide the dough in two and flatten into two disks.  Place one in the bottom of an oiled cake tin and cover with half the grapes and half the sugar. 

Place the second disk of dough over the top and press the edges down to seal the two together.  Put the oiled clingfilm back over the cake tin and put it back in the fridge over night.

The following morning preheat the oven to 220˚C.  Press the rest of the grapes into the top of the bread, sprinkle over the rest of the rosemary and sugar and drizzle with a couple of tablespoons worth of olive oil and some honey. 
Place in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until hollow sounding.  You may need to place a baking sheet under the tin to catch any escaping juices.

Schiacciata con l'uva (makes 1 loaf):
500g strong white bread flour
7g sachet fast-action yeast
1 pinch salt
275ml warm water
60ml olive oil (plus extra for drizzling over the top)
2tsp rosemary, finely chopped
4tsp (heaped) demerera sugar
1 bunch of grapes
A drizzle of honey

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