Schiacciata (ski-a-chi-atta), named for the squashing of the dough before baking, is an Italian ﬂatbread-like focaccia—or to be more precise, like two focaccias baked atop each other, with grapes sandwiched inside. Zacchary Bird uses a medley of white and black grapes, but this version is all about celebrating when grapes are in season, so use what’s local and fresh. Pips in the grapes are okay, too! What you’ll end up with feels like a rustic raisin loaf that is equally at home as a breakfast, after-dinner treat, or even paired with really good vegan cheeses. If you prefer, split this recipe across two smaller baking trays.
Makes 1 giant flatbread to share or 2 medium flatbreads
WHAT YOU NEED
9g active dried yeast
210ml warm water
375g bread ﬂour, plus extra for dusting
80g granulated white sugar, plus 50g extra for sprinkling
1¼ tsp sea salt
3½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing and drizzling
1 rosemary sprig, plus 2 scant tbsp very ﬁnely chopped rosemary leaves
ﬂaky salt, to serve
icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting (optional)
WHAT TO DO
Add the yeast and warm water to a large bowl with a pinch of the flour, then leave for a few minutes to get frothy.
Add the yeast mixture, flour, 80g of sugar, and the salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead for 4–5mins, then slowly pour in 1½ tbsp of the olive oil and knead for another 3mins. Fashion the dough into a ball and place in a large lightly oiled bowl. Leave to rise somewhere warm for 2hrs or until tripled in size.
Pour the remaining 2 tbsp of oil onto a very large baking tray to coat it. Place the grapes in a large bowl and press down with your hands to slightly squish them.
Punch down the dough to release the air bubbles, then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut the dough in half. Roll out one portion into a 20cm × 45cm oval, then spread it out on the baking tray. Evenly sprinkle half of the 50g of sugar and half the grapes over the dough, leaving a 2cm border. Dip the rosemary sprig in the olive oil in the baking tray to brush the dough border.
Roll out the remaining dough in the same fashion, then place it over the grape-covered dough. Pull the border of the bottom dough up over the edges and press down to seal the filling. Arrange the remaining grapes over the top, drizzle with extra olive oil and scatter with the remaining sugar. Artfully place the chopped rosemary among the grapes. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for another 1 hour somewhere warm.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Just before baking, use your fingertips to prod the dough and squash it down. Bake for 45–50mins, until golden on top.
Scatter flaky salt over the top of the schiacciata and allow to cool fully, so the grapes get nice and jammy. You may like to dust icing sugar over the top.
Cut into slices and eat fresh, or toasted like a rustic raisin loaf. It is best eaten on the day of baking.
Take a schiacciata that’s a few days old and slice into chunks. Add to a baking dish, pour brandy-spiked vegan custard over the top and bake until lightly golden, to make a particularly breathtaking bread and butter pudding.