Focaccia with red wine & grapes


Makes 1 round

This Tuscan bread celebrates the wine grape harvest. As you can imagine, it’s stunning with cheese. The grapes begin to caramelize when baked and form a really delicious slightly crispy topping.


For the dough

2 ½ tsp fast action dried yeast
2 tsp sugar
60ml warm water
425ml lukewarm water
600g “00” flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp salt
1 tsp chopped thyme
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil

 For the topping
20 red grapes
100ml red wine
4 to 5 small sprigs of thyme
3 tbsp caster sugar
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
5 small sprigs thyme, to decorate

Brush the mixing bowl for proving the dough with olive oil. Line the base of a 25cm springform tin with baking parchment. Brush the sides with olive oil. Cover the outside with foil just in case the red wine leaks through the sides of the tin.
Mix the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water in a small bowl and allow the yeast to activate and froth.
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt, olive oil, thyme and activated yeast mixture. Mix to a loose soft dough, adding more flour or water as required. Knead until the dough is very pliable and smooth, which should take about 7–10 minutes by hand OR place in a mixer and insert the dough and beat on a low speed for 4 to 5 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic. The dough can be a little sticky.

Place the dough into the oiled mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until the dough has trebled in size and is springy to the touch, which will take 2 to 3 hours.

In the meantime, heat the grapes and red wine but not to boiling point. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

When the dough has risen, knock it back by gently kneading it again on a lightly floured surface for about 2 minutes. Gently flatten the dough into the springform tin and brush with olive oil. Pour over the grapes and red wine. Cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, which will take about 30 – 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.

When the dough is risen, sprinkle over the sprigs of thyme and sugar and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. Check that the loaf is cooked by tapping the underneath of the loaf and if it sounds hollow then it is cooked. Allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, carefully loosen and transfer to the cooling rack. Sprinkle the sprigs of thyme over the top.

Fine foodCatherine FulvioGood living