Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Some days just seem custom-made for baking. This was the case last Sunday, when the weather was grey and drizzly, perfect for staying indoors and pottering about the kitchen. More specifically, I was in the mood to make bread. When I saw this recipe in the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook, I knew exactly what to do, and I immediately went out to buy some grapes. The flavour combination intrigued me, and I’ve always wanted to try the schiacciata, which are like flatbreads with all manner of delicious toppings.
I’d made the basic olive oil dough before, which comes together really easily in a stand mixer (although you can do it without if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty!) For this recipe you only need 400g of the dough, but I would recommend making the full recipe, rather than halving it. You can use the rest for any number of things – shape it into mini bread rolls or panini, roll it out as pizza dough, or if you’re really keen you can make some chorizo and thyme rolls with the leftovers.
I loved the sweet/savoury qualities of this bread, and the rosemary was the perfect accompaniment. I also used some freshly ground black pepper over the top before I put it into the oven. I think I might have rolled my dough may just a little too thick this time, but I loved it nonetheless. This would be fantastic to serve warm at a casual lunch or take on a picnic. Of course the choice of toppings is completely up to you! Try tomato, basil and cheese, or even potatoes and prosciutto layered over the top.
Olive Oil Dough
Makes 1kg of dough, or two loaves
• 600g strong flour
• 13g fresh yeast (or 7g instant dried yeast hydrated with 10% of the water in the recipe)
• 400ml water
• 20ml extra virgin olive oil
• 20ml milk
• 1 ½ tablespoons sea salt
If using an electric mixer, place all of the ingredients into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes, then increase the speed to high and continue mixing for 5 minutes. The dough should come away from the edges of the bowl and have a silky complexion when done.
Place the dough in a container that has been sprayed with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to bulk prove for 1 ½ hours.
Knock back the dough every 30 minutes during the bulk prove – twice in total. To knock back the dough, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and press out into a rectangle about 2.5cm thick. Use your hands to fold one third back onto itself, then repeat with the remaining third. Turn the dough 90 degrees and fold over again into thirds. Place back into the oiled container, cover with plastic wrap, and continue to bulk prove for a further 1 hour. Once the dough has finished its bulk prove it is ready to be divided and shaped.
• 400g olive oil dough
• 500g black seedless grapes
• 2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
• Demerara sugar, for sprinkling
• Freshly ground black pepper
Divide the olive oil dough into 2 equal portions. Use a rolling pin to roll out each portion into a 30 x 15cm rectangle about 5mm thick all over. Gently transfer dough to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Set aside to prove for 20 minutes in a warm place.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F). If you have a pizza stone, place inside the warming oven. Pick and wash the grapes and black in a bowl. Roughly crush them with your fists to get some of the juice out (don’t pound them into a paste). Drain the juice.
Scatter the grapes over the dough, leaving a 5mm border around the edges. Sprinkle rosemary, demerara sugar and pepper over the top. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C (390°F), transfer schiaccita and baking paper to the baking stone if using, and bake for 25 minutes, turning after 10 minutes. It is important to check the base to see if it is cooked all the way through. Serve warm or room temperature.