Sounds sophiscated ... It is in fact a focaccia with grapes, where the fillings are traditionally made from raisins, or the last season's grapes while the new season's grapes are used to adorn the top. Tasty and flavourful, and it is a great conversational piece for home parties or gatherings.
Making this bread needs advance planning and an awful lot of time. The recipe uses a starter, which takes a portion of the yeast and flour to ferment between a few hours up to a few days. Using a starter usually results in a bread with an open, airy texture and is richer in flavour. I did an experiment once to test the effect of a starter and there is a huge difference in the flavour!
For the starter
0.5 tsp dried yeast (I used instant yeast)
125g strong white flour
For the dough
1.5 tsp dried yeast
375g strong white flour
1.5 tsp salt
3 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp olive oil
For the filling and topping
A glass of Vin Santo (or another sweet dessert wine)
500g seedless black grapes
3 tbsp demerara sugar (natural brown sugar)
To make the starter: Sprinkle the yeast into water. Leave for 5 min. Add flour and mix to form a thick batter. Cover with tea towel and let it ferment for at least 12 hours and up to 36 hours, until it forms a loose bubbling batter.
To make the dough: Sprinkle the yeast into 100ml of water. Leave for 5 min. Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour. Pour in the yeasted water, caster sugar, olive oil and the starter. Stir in remaining water to form a soft sticky dough. Knead by hand or a heavy duty mixer until smooth, silky and elastic. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave to rise until double in size, about 2 hours. Knock back and chafe for 5 minutes, then leave to rest, about 10 minutes. Divide the dough into two equal sized pieces. Roll out both pieces.
To make the filling and finally the completed bread: Marinate the raisins in the wine for at least 2 hours or overnight. Drain them thoroughly. Spread the raisins evenly over one piece of dough. Put the second piece on top and pinch the edges together. Cover with a tea towel and prove until double in size. Cover the top dough evenly with the grapes, lightly pressing them into the dough, and sprinkle sugar over the top. Bake in pre heat oven for 45 minutes until the crust is golden and the grapes slightly brown.
(Recipe from Bread, baking by hand or bread machine, by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno.)