The Fresh Loaf

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Schiacciata Bursting with Grapes (and Cherries)

breadsong's picture

Schiacciata Bursting with Grapes (and Cherries)

I was captivated by Sylvia’s Sourdough Fig Focaccia, and grateful to her for her recommendation of Carol Field’s book Focaccia. I have it on loan from the library, and I’m certain after the book goes back to the library I’ll be shopping on Amazon :^)

Wanting to make something similar to Sylvia's lovely bread, I tried making Ms. Field’s Schiacciata Bursting with Grapes (Schiacciata All’Uva), as fresh figs aren't ripe here yet.
Ms. Field's recipe makes two Schiacciata, so I made one with red seedless grapes, and one with fresh sour cherries:
 ...bursting with juicy goodness!

I pre-ordered some fresh sour cherries from a local grower (rare! and a luxury where I live) and was able to go pick them up yesterday. Some are now in the Schiacciata, some have been frozen for future pies, and some are marinating in the fridge for homemade eau-de-vie :^)

                                            ...the sour cherries!

Ms. Field’s dough recipe looked awfully attractive, as it has anise seed and Sambuca as flavorings for the dough.
The photo in her book of the grape-studded Schacciata is gorgeous, and the bread's flavor lives up to the photo -
it is incredibly delicious!
The grapes and the Sambuca are a fantastic flavor combination imho. We like the sour cherry version too.
Ms. Field notes another filling/topping option…raisins soaked in Vin Santo. Wow!

I found a similar recipe for this bread on the King Arthur Flour site. Compared to the King Arthur Flour recipe, this dough is based on a 150g sponge, 350g flour in final dough, uses butter instead of olive oil, and has 3 Tablespoons of Sambuca liqueur and 2 teaspoons lightly crushed anise seed added to the dough. Each Schiacciata used 1.5 pounds of fruit.

I took a quick look here on TFL and saw these beautiful breads, also:

Here are some pictures of the layering for these filled Schiacciata:

The dough (one of four doughballs):

Filling (the fruit was sprinkled with Turbinado sugar):

Layering (pressing the dough to seal):

Topping (sprinked again with Turbinado sugar):

After 15 minutes of baking, the breads were brushed with more Sambuca!

Some crumb shots:

....and Sour Cherry      

Thanks so much, Sylvia, for reference to Ms. Field's wonderful book!

Happy baking everyone!
:^) from breadsong


Mebake's picture

Mmm looks savory, breadsong!

breadsong's picture

Hello Khalid,
It was a joy to find fruit at the peak of ripeness and flavor, to use in this bread.
:^) from breadsong

ananda's picture

Hi Breadsong,

These are a really beautiful showcase; we made savoury and sweet versions as part of some Breadmatters courses.

The sweet version used raisins soaked in wine overnight for the middle layer, and fresh grapes for the top: how to use the grape crop from the last 3 harvests!

Did you have any problems with the grapes jumping off the top?

All good wishes


breadsong's picture

Hello Andy,
Thanks so much for your compliments.
I really like the idea of wine-soaked raisins, and in combination with fresh grapes, the bread's flavor must have been outstanding!
This bread didn't rise all that much in the oven, but just enough that one or two grapes (and a cherry) rolled over the side.
I rescued them and put them back where they belonged when I brushed the fruit with Sambuca partway through baking.
Gently, I tried to press the fruit into the dough before baking, hoping it would stay put.
:^) from breadsong


varda's picture

vicariously.   I can practically taste the sour cherries.   What a fabulous color.   As always, I enjoy just looking at your baking results.   You venture where I would never dare to tread.   -Varda

breadsong's picture

Hello Varda,
Thank you...and I love the color of those cherries too. They looked like little jewels to me.
It would have never occurred to me to add Sambuca as an added flavor component for bread dough, and am very grateful to Ms. Field for writing about this. The anise flavors in combination with these fruits is wonderful, imho.
:^) from breadsong

SylviaH's picture

What lovely bakes you have created!  

omg! you have some local fresh tart cherries!  What a treat!  I absolutely love tart cherries in anything!

What a jewel of a book 'Focaccia simple breads from the italian oven'!  by Carol Field.  ; )  Your welcome, breadsong for the reference.  

It's hard to choose, savory or sweet focaccia's!   

Happy Baking, 


breadsong's picture

Hi Sylvia,
Thanks so much! These cherries really are a treat - I'm glad I called ahead to reserve my order -
the grower will usually sell out, and did this year.
I am really enjoying Ms. Field's book, and think it is one I must add to my collection of books; and I so appreciate your recommendation of it.
Funny you refer to the book as a 'jewel' (as I just described the cherries in my comment above!);
I'm know I'm going to 'treasure' my copy.
Thanks again Sylvia!
:^) from breadsong

SylviaH's picture

Yes, I liked your comment so much, it stayed in my head because, the cherries do look like jewel's : )

added: Precious ones 'lol'


Franko's picture

Hi breadsong,

I can well imagine these must taste incredible with the flavour combinations you've got going there. I don't think I've ever had fruit (maybe strawberries once) with an anise or licorice flavour in the background. Sounds interesting! Your schacciata look very tempting, particularly the cherry version. Great stuff as always!

Best Wishes,


breadsong's picture

Hi Franko,
(The 'liquor-ish' subject above I picked up from Glenn when he was commenting on my post about scones;
I thought that was funny :^)     ) 
I love the flavors in these breads! The anise/licorice flavors in the dough are so yummy, I think the dough would stand on its own...but it's really tasty combined with these fruits.
I used Opal Nera Sambuca liqueur, made in Ghemme, Italy, for this a little something Italian
in these Schiacciata :^)
It's a dark-colored, gorgeous liqueur, but I don't think it's still being distributed in B.C. (sadly).
Our friends introduced us to this liqueur...I'm really looking forward to making this bread for them!
I shared these breads with my husband's family, and what a delicious 'test run'.
Thanks again Franko, and glad you like the tart cherries - such super color and flavor, and I consider myself lucky
to be able to get some of these, this year.
:^) from breadsong



Syd's picture

Never heard of this bread before, breadsong. It kind of looks like a deep dish pizza.  They look lovely.  :)

All the best,


breadsong's picture

Hello Syd,
I hadn't heard of this bread prior to seeing it on TFL; your comment made we wonder what the bread's Italian name means. Google Translate just told me 'schiacciata' means 'crushed'.
Ms. Field's introduction to the recipe notes grapes would be held back from wine-making, at harvest time, to make this bread; I wonder if 'crushed' relates to the wine-making, or the bread's filling, or both!
:^) from breadsong



EvaB's picture

are your cherries pitted, I have some a lucky find at the farmer's market (wish I had my own bushes or trees) and they are so tasty just out of the box (I love sour) but they are also very small and don't think they will work with my cherry pitter (old fashioned hand one)

breadsong's picture

Hi Eva,
Some years the grower will get the pitting line going, but not this year.
I used a standard hand-held cherry pitter. It took a little while to pit the quantity I'd ordered, but good music helped pass the time :^)
I find Bing cherries sometimes are too big for the cherry pitter I have, but these sour cherries were quite a bit smaller and fit easily with the pitter I was using.
I'm so happy for you that you found some at your farmer's market. What are you going to use them for?!
:^) from breadsong


EvaB's picture

cherry pitter and the cherries. Had to turn the kitchen upside down to find the thing, My brother made it for my mother in about 1964, and we've used it ever since. I did find my regular pitter, but the small sour cherries I got from a local grower (he sells a bit on the side) were way too small, they went right through the bottom loop!

I am going to make pie crust tonight, and make the pies tomorrow and then have delcious dessert for a couple days. I don't have a lot of cherries only 1 pint, so will make small pies. Just big enough to split between the two of us.

Total ditz that I am I forgot to add the pictures.


EvaB's picture

my brother made my mom a pitter for chokecherries which are tiny in comparison to these cherries, even the largest chokecherry is about half the size of one of these, and I've sat and pitted 3 cups of those, so it can't be any worse to pit the basket I have to make a pie.