The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Zinfandel Focaccia

  • Pin It
wassisname's picture
wassisname

Zinfandel Focaccia

I have a zinfandel grape in the yard, originally planted more as a whimsical tribute to our favorite wine grape than for any practical purpose.  It is now producing grapes, something I should have seen coming, but what to do with them?  They are tasty enough to eat fresh if you don’t mind the seeds but still…

Grape focaccia!  Of course!  I’ve never tried it but it sounds tasty and fun.  The catch? The seeds.  These are small grapes, so I needed a lot.  After about 10 minutes of seeding I had a much better idea of what I was in for, stopped seeding, and split the dough in half.  I decided to top the other half with tomatoes and resumed seeding.  Later that day… I finally had enough grapes.

I wanted to know what the grapes would do on their own so I kept it simple.  Just a little olive oil and a very few bits of rosemary sprinkled on.  The other half was topped with rosemary and yellow pear tomatoes.

In spite of a lackluster focaccia dough (no formula posted – I am confident that you can make a better one)  they were both tasty.  I was amazed at how sweet and concentrated the flavor of the grapes became.  If I can work up the enthusiasm to seed all those grapes again I’ll make a thinner bread, maybe even a regular pizza crust so the grapes will stand out more.  A great seasonal summer treat! 

Marcus

Comments

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Marcus,

these look very tasty indeed.

Have you come across Schiacciata di Uva, by any chance?

Best wishes

Andy

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Thanks Andy,

Schiacciata di Uva?  Another way of saying grape focaccia or something distinctly different?  Italian is not my strong suit.  I'll check it out, I need to do the grapes justice next time.  And I think there will be a next time because I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. 

Marcus

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Marcus,

2 thin circles of foccacia style dough.

sandwiched in between is a filling of raisins soaked in wine

Top this with fresh grapes.

How to use 3 season's worth of your grape harvest in one lovely sweet bread!

All good wishes

Andy

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Oh, wow!  I'll go plant some seedless grapes and get back to you in a few years!

Marcus

flournwater's picture
flournwater

I don't have any grapes on hand at the moment but I have a lot of blueberries.  OK; here we go......

wassisname's picture
wassisname

That could be amazing!  I'm envious, they probably grow like weeds on your side of the mountains.  If you try it be sure to let us know!

Marcus

lumos's picture
lumos

Beautiful looking focaccia, Marcus!  Lovely to see you've found the good way of using your grape.  It makes lovely liquer, too. You just put it in a large sterilised glass jar with white spirit (like vodka) and sugar, and forget about it for a year or two (longer the better).  By the time you remember about it and come back to check it, it'll have transform itself into a very tasty tipple...to go with your focaccia! ;)

btw, I love Zinfandel grape after it's mashed and sieved and fermented in a stainless steel tank, too. :p

lumos

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Interesting idea, I never would have thought of that.  Could be a worthy experiment!  Making wine is on the "someday" list somewhere ahead of building a WFO but still a long ways off.  A little grape liqueur might be a good stepping stone.  Hmmm...

Marcus

lumos's picture
lumos

A little help to move one step closer to your homemade grape liqueur....

http://www.liqueurweb.com/fruitliqueurs.htm

 

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Thanks for the link, lumos.  Looks like a pretty simple process, and showing-up somewhere with a little bottle of this would be a great conversation starter!

lumos's picture
lumos

You're most welcome, Marcus.

Yes, fruit liqueur is very very easy to make.  You can adopt the same basic theory to many ingredients,  almost anything, even with some herbs, like basil. The only thing you have to be careful about is sterilizing the container and equipment very well before use, and also the ingredients (fruits, etc) have to be completely dry or it can get mouldy.

I've got a few bottles of apple liqueur I made in mid-'80s.   It didin't taste very well, too sharp and bitter, after one year, so  I put it at the back of the cabinet to mature.....and have clearly forgotten about it completely, until several months ago. It was sooooooooo good! It's mellow, deep, sweet with amazing aroma of apples.

So when you get  too large harvest of your grapes you don't know what to do with, that can be the way to go.

I will gladly receive a couple of bottles of your Zinfandel liqueur as a payment for this valuable information.  Want my address? :p

 

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Well played!  And I haven't even told you about my pear tree yet...  =)

lumos's picture
lumos

Look forward to receive your pear liqueur, too! ;)

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

So how do you seed your grapes?  Hopefully, easier than peeling one : )  They do look so dark and yummy.  The tomato focaccia is tasty looking too!

Sylvia

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Thank you, Sylvia!  Never having tasted a wine grape before I just never expected them to be especially good for fresh eating.  I don't know where I got that idea, but I stand corrected!  In a world of giant, seedless table grapes I can see why there's no market for them, but as a backyard treat akin to wild berries they are great!

Easier than peeling, absolutely!  But still a long time to stand over the kitchen sink splitting them with a paring knife and pushing the seeds out.  A labour of love and an exercise in patience.

Marcus

Syd's picture
Syd

Very interesting flavour combination, Marcus.  Would never have thought of pairing grapes and bread.  Did you still sprinkle the top with coarse salt then, or did you omit the salt for the grape version?  Nice baking.

Syd

wassisname's picture
wassisname

I wasn't sure what to expect with this one so I left off the salt.  Somehow it didn't seem like a good fit.  I had glanced at the recipe in Local Breads to see what I should put on it (hence the rosemary) but missed that he a does add coarse salt.  I don't know... the grapes push the flavor so far in a sweet direction that I think I would rather go further that way than try to pull it back toward savory with the salt.  But I could be all wrong about that.  Next time I'll put salt on a corner of it and see how I like it. 

It's well worth a try, Syd.  Honestly, it was one of those ideas that I never actually thought I would try, but I was pleasantly surprised by the result.  Thanks for the comment, Syd.

Marcus

asfolks's picture
asfolks

Really nice looking breads! Ingredients you have grown yourself always taste better.I make a panzella using grapes instead of tomatoes, the grapes and bread taste much better together than you would imagine. I will have to try this!

Alan

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Thanks, Alan, I appreciate it.  I agree wholeheartedly, there is something about home grown ingredients...  I love experimenting with bringing the garden and the bread together all summer!  My other current favorite is Swiss chard (or Tuscan kale) chopped, doused in olive oil and sprinkled on pizza, mmmm...  Good thing tonight is pizza night!

Marcus

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Marcus,
Your focaccia are beautiful, with the fresh grapes and yellow pear tomatoes.
I made my first bread with grapes not that long ago and loved the flavor pairing of grape with anise - I bet your combination of grape and rosemary is equally delicious.
Lumos' suggestion of a grape liqueur is a wonderful idea - wow, and thanks for the link, lumos!
Another use for fresh grapes, I discovered from Carol Field's book In Nonna's Kitchen; a recipe for saba, or fresh grape syrup.
I found some juicy, dark, organic grapes at the market, juiced them and then slowly simmered the juice to a syrup consistency...a very flavorful syrup to drizzle over things...the flavor was rich, very grape-y and almost tasted of caramel, with a hint of molasses flavor too!
Happy baking (and liqueur-making)!
:^) from breadsong

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Thank you, breadsong!  And thanks for the tips.  Syrup, of course!  I never think of these things.  I'm embarassed to say that even juice never occurred to me - and I have a juicer!  Still in the box, but maybe I'll finally get some use out of it.  The syrup sounds like a real treat, though.  I'm going to have to give that a try.

Marcus