This tasty, summery focaccia comes from Tuscany, and is believed to have Etruscan origins.
From the first time I’ve tried this unique bread, I loved how the taste of the sweet and slightly acidic grapes, combined with the saltiness of the bread and the wonderful aroma from the rosemary, were just perfect together.
There are many variations for this bread, and most make use of white flour alone. So, once again, I’ve decided to experiment with other types of flours, so that the dough will be less one-dimensional.
I ended up using types of flour that are far from the authentic Italian version, such as dark rye, oats and steel cut oats. The result was so tasty and the texture so much more interesting, that I’ve decided sometimes authenticity can be overrated. I definitely like this version as much as I like the original recipe I’ve been using for years.
I invite you to try this version, or create your own based on my experiment, and enjoy this wonderful bread.
* I left the starter at room temperature for 2 hours, to the point it was almost sour. The process added lots of flavor and made the bread lighter. However, if you’re pressed with time you can go back to letting the starter sit for 10-15 minutes only, as shown in THIS focaccia recipe.
* The dough is quite soft and moist, as it should be. Don’t be tempted to add more flour unless you feel you really have to.
* The steel cut oats add a nice, crunchy bite, which I liked a lot. However, you can omit it if you prefer smoother texture.
* I highly recommend not adding more grapes, as otherwise you’ll end up with a grape pie rather than bread seasoned with grapes.
Makes: 20-22 portions
Prep time: 20 minutes
Proofing time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes
For the starter:
1 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
1 packet dried yeast (1/4 oz/7 grams)
1 cup warm water
For the dough:
2 cup warm water
2 cups white flour
½ cup dark whole rye flour
½ cup spelt flour
¾ cup fine semolina
½ cup oats flour
½ cup steel cut oats
1 Tbs salt
¼ cup olive oil
Handful roughly chopped rosemary
To roll the dough:
¼ cup olive oil (additional)
For the topping:
22-24 green and black grapes
1 Tbs coarse salt
For the pan:
1 Tbs semolina or cornmeal
2 Tbs olive oil
1. In a large bowl, mix the starter ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 2 hours (see notes).
2. Add the rest of the dough ingredients and knead for 4-5 minutes, to form a soft dough. Pour the additional olive oil on top and roll the dough in it, to coat it from all sides with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in a warm place for 2 hours, until the dough doubles in volume. Punch down the dough and let sit in a warm place for 15 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 380F (195C). Line a cookie sheet (11”x17”/28cm x 43cm) with baking paper and sprinkle the semolina or cornmeal all over. Add the dough and press it with wet hands, so it will cover the pan evenly. With the tips of your fingers, press dents all over the dough Add the grapes on top, pressing them into the dough. Sprinkle the coarse salt all over.
4. Bake for 40 minutes, until the focaccia is golden brown. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool a bit before drizzling the 2 Tbs olive oil all over.