Let's bake a grape focaccia
September in Tuscany means schiacciata con l'uva
We decided we will resume our in-person cooking classes in 2022. I’m fighting my FOMO1 - as we will soon celebrate two years of no teaching classes - and you can imagine how fast-changing, unstable, and wild this world is. But this is the right decision for us. Good thins take time: we want to offer you the best experience possible when you are in Tuscany with us the next time.
We will use this time to work on our cookbook manuscript, to restore our cooking Studio and our home kitchen, and, most importantly, to enjoy precious moments with Livia in her first months of nursery school.
In the past months, though, we worked on new recipes, and we’re brimming with ideas and menus that we want to share with you. That’s why we finally decided to organise online cooking classes. We will soon announce dates and themes, but for the moment, we just wanted to pick your mind about online courses.
We created an online form to gather your advice, you can find it here.
It will just take a couple of minutes of your time, but, in return, you will help us create the best possible experience.
To thank you for your help, here’s the recipe for a Tuscan seasonal treat, schiacciata con l’uva.
I remember well the flavour of just-picked grapes. I was 19 years old and just about to head off to university. Towards the end of that summer, I decided to join in the grape harvest, a job that here in Tuscany, all young people eventually find themselves doing at some point, whether out of necessity, to pay for their vacations or to earn a little something extra for the winter months.
The work started early in the morning when the vine wires were still wet with dew and continued through the hottest time of day to finish around five in the afternoon. At first, you could resist the grapes. Eventually, though, almost without thinking, you’d end up popping one into your mouth, after which it wasn't easy to stop. That grape embodied so much: sour, sweet, refreshing, intoxicating. All the aroma and colour, and sweetness of that single just-picked grape are found in this grape schiacciata, my childhood snack whose flavour always signified the end of summer and the return to school. Lacking nearby vineyards, head to the markets from mid-August to the end of September to find clusters of wine grapes, the best kind for making this schiacciata. You’ll have to get there early. Many a market-goer remembers the flavour of schiacciata all’uva as I do, and with just a small basket of grapes available most days, they will be gone within a few hours.
Schiacciata con l’uva - Grape focaccia
In the past, this schiacciata was simply a portion of bread dough from the week’s baking, to which sugar and grapes would be added. It was then baked in the baker’s large wood-fired ovens to test the heat inside.
On the blog, there was an old recipe to make schiacciata con l’uva, but I update it with a new version, with less yeast and a longer proofing time. That is also the recipe that you can find in our cookbook, From the Markets of Tuscany.
If you decide to participate in the weekend cooking project, share the results with us on social media by using the hashtag #myseasonaltable and tagging @julskitchen on Instagram.
If you have questions about the ingredients or the recipe, if you have a special request for one of the next cooking projects, or if you just want to have a chat, just reply to this email.
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