Back when I lived in Florence, I would hit up my local bakeries on the regular always in search of the best schiacciata. Though Tuscan bread gets a bad rap for being too boring and bland (most of the breads are baked without salt so they can be used to sop up the ingredients of the foods its served with), schiacciata proves that isn't always the case.
Schiacciata is the Tuscan version of foccacia that is found all over the city. The difference from the better-known Genoan focaccia? It comes down to the technique. The term schiacciata means "squashed" or "pressed," so, when you make the Tuscan version of foccacia, you press the dough down with your fingers rather than using a rolling pin.
During the Fall harvest, the last of the wine grapes are traditionally used to make schiacciata all’uva. Translating to smashed bread with grapes this is often a double-layer of bread with grapes sandwiched between the layers and scattered across the top. The result is a grape-studded bread with a jammy flavor -- totally simple to make but totally delicious too. The traditional schiacciata all'uva is a sweet foccacia made with nothing more than sweet grapes and powdered sugar (we like Emiko Davies recipe).
Though we love the original just as is, I've made tweaks over the years since I first tried it. This is my cocktail party equivalent schiacciata made in individual bite-sized pieces and topped with one layer of both caramelized onions, grapes, and and blue cheese so you can cheers and chow without a prob.
plus more for brushing the dough
halved then thinly sliced into half moons
halved (can substitute Concord grapes or blueberries)
Heat oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Press the dough into a 1-inch thick circle then use a biscuit cutter or an overturned glass with a 2-inch diameter to cut the dough into 12 rounds. On a lightly floured surface, use your lightly floured hands to shape each into a 2 1/2 to 3-inch round. Brush each round with olive oil then cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place to rise, at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and grinding of fresh pepper. Stir to coat onions then cook, stirring rarely, over medium-low heat until onions are golden brown and soft, about 20 minutes. Stir in thyme then continue to cook until onions are deep brown. Stir in grapes and coat with onion mixture then remove from heat.
The onion mixture can be made up to 2 days ahead. Store refrigerated until ready to use.
Arrange 12 dough rounds on an oiled rimmed baking sheet then press the dough all over with your fingertips to create dimples. Top each round with a spoonful of the grape mixture then divide blue cheese among all 12 rounds. Bake until golden brown and cheese is melted, about 10 to 12 minutes and serve topped with sea salt.
The focaccia can be made up to 8 hours ahead of time. Warm in a low oven (about 250°F) before serving.
More Italy On Salt & Wind
Did you know we lead boutique food and wine tours for food lovers? Come join our next Salt & Wind trip!
P.S. If you liked this story, you'll probably like our newsletter too!