Bread baking has been the biggest obsession of this year for me. I am glad that I have tried out several different kinds of bread and I am also glad to be back to baking with this lovely group of bread bakers where one member chooses the theme for the month and the rest of us pick from the multitude of bread recipes that conform to that theme. The theme for the month of October
is 'Fall/Autumn Breads
' hosted by Wendy Klik who blogs at A Day in the Life on the Farm
. This is the part I like best as we have the freedom to select the kind of bread we want to bake. These days I like to bake breads that will my little ones will like. Imagine going through the whole process of bread baking if there are no takers!
Over a period of time I have realised that savoury breads score higher over the sweet ones. I can always use up plain or savoury breads at home as my son likes to take some to school as well so when this month's theme was announced I was hesitant and decided I would wait till the last minute (which I usually never do) and participate in the challenge only if I could manage to find a suitable recipe. I had always wanted to bake a the famous Italian focaccia (pronounced as 'fo-ka-chya'), a flat bread similar to the pizza, seasoned with herbs, salt and olive oil and topped with a variety of toppings such as olives, meats, onions, cheese etc. The bread I have selected today is essentially a focaccia but is called as the Schiacciata Con L'uva (pronounced as 'Skiya-chya-tha Kon-Loova') which is a flatbread topped with grapes. This bread is usually made in Tuscany during the fall (autumn season, around September-October) to use up leftover grapes from the harvest. While small wine grapes are traditionally used here, any grapes work well.
When I found this recipe I was really happy as I had some red grapes hanging around the fruit basket. I googled for a recipe of focaccia with grapes and that's when I came across a whole lot of gorgeous pictures of the schiacciata. To my luck, it also fit the theme so well. Since the schiacciata is also seasoned with fresh rosemary I went hunting for it but unfortunately the store ran out of that day so I replaced it with the dried version which worked well. However since fresh herbs scattered on the bread make it look even more beautiful I would still prefer to use the fresh herb.
I went along with the recipe and decided to use some goat cheese. It was my first experience with it and I fell in love with it. Goat cheese tastes a lot like feta but is creamier and less salty. If you don't have goat cheese you can replace it with feta or any soft cheese of your choice. My son was completely bowled over by the taste and helped himself generously to the remaining cheese. The addition of sliced black olives was my own idea so you can skip them if you wish tovbut they do add to the overall taste
. You see, this bread is simply wonderful as it won't fail to please you anytime of the day. Have it for breakfast or as a snack or as a dessert. The best part about this particular recipe is that it is a no knead bread. I was pretty apprehensive about the final result as all I needed to do was mix the flour and the liquid and make a paste like dough (more like a thick batter) and pour it into the pan. After an hour of proofing it was ready to be baked and we got to taste some wonderfully risen, ultra spongy bread that got gobbled up in no time! The sweetness of the grapes and honey was perfectly paired with the saltiness of the olives (and cheese) and the creaminess of the cheese.
I do hope you give it a try, it won't fail to impress you, I promise!
Schiacciata Con l’uva (Tuscan Style Grape, Olive and Goat Cheese Focaccia) ~ No Knead Bread
Prep time: 15 mins+1 hour (proofing time) | Baking time: 25-30 mins | Yield: 13x9" loaf
- 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour (maida)
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons honey, divided
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup seedless red grapes (or any other variety)
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, yeast and salt. Mix together the warm water, 1 tablespoon honey and 2 tablespoons olive oil and add it to the flour mixture. Use a spatula or spoon to mix everything well to a paste like consistency.
2. Grease and line a 13x9" pan with baking parchment, pour the dough into it and even it out slightly. There is no need to fill up all the space. Cover with cling wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for approx 40-50 mins or till doubled in volume.
3. When the dough has doubled, poke deep holes evenly into the surface using lightly oiled fingers (the dough will still be sticky). Drizzle the remaining olive oil and honey all over it and cover the surface with the rosemary, chunks of goat cheese, grapes and olives. Leave the pan uncovered for another 15 minutes while your oven preheats to 190 C
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and cool slightly before cutting. Serve with olive oil or any dip of your choice
Recipe adapted from foodess.com
Other references: Italianfoodieforever.com
Let's take a look at the other Fall Flavors being shared today
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here
. Links are also updated each month on this home page
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to email@example.com