To continue in our recipes meant to highlight the change in season, we bring you another beauty: freshly baked focaccia bread with sweetened Tuscan grapes to teleport you directly to Tuscany's doorstep for a culinary treat.
While each area has its own variations, we love making this specific recipe, and treating ourselves to a gorgeous, healthy snack or a light dessert (especially paired with a honeyed Vin Santo wine). You'll make this lovely treat and will immediately bring your loved ones back into a classic Tuscan country home, feet up and enjoying a quality lunch!
Prepare the dough
In medium mixing bowl, blend flour, sugar, and salt. In room temperature or slightly heated water (optimal temperature should be around 35C - anything warmer can destroy rising action of yeast), dissolve 1 cube fresh baker's yeast and add directly into bowl with flour mixture.
Blend all ingredients well using your hands to make sure everything is mixed well. Knead slightly inside mixing bowl. Flour working surface, turn the blended dough onto working space, and continue kneading with hands for a few minutes. Keep kneading until dough reaches an elastic, firm consistency. Dough shouldn’t be too tough, and perfect dough is soft, slightly damp and light. Every flour is different, so look for dough that is too damp (add more flour), or too stiff (add more water).
Place dough into oiled mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap or moistened clean kitchen towel. Place bowl into warm area of kitchen, being sure to stay away from air flows or colder temperatures. Allow to rise until doubled, approximately 45 minutes.
Bake the dough and finish dish
Preheat oven to 180C.
Wash grapes, dry well. Remove stems from grapes, and place fruit into medium mixing bowl. Dress grapes with sugar and a soup spoon of olive oil, mix well to combine. Set aside.
Place leavened dough onto floured surface, roll out with rolling pin. Divide dough in half. Oil baking tray thoroughly and place half of prepared dough into tray, pushing dough with your fingers to cover entire surface of baking tray.
Sprinkle dough with majority of grapes, cover with second half of dough. Press edges together to seal and close well. Place remaining grapes on top of dough, and using fingers, press grapes down until fruit breaks and releases some juice.
Place into preheated oven, cook 45 minutes. Remove from heat, and sprinkle additional 1 tablespoon granulated sugar on top. Allow to cool before cutting into serving-size pieces and serving at cold or room temperature.