This rustic flat bread baked in a very hot cast iron skillet with a couple of handfuls of grapes makes a perfect snack or a light meal all on its own.
By Roxana Jullapat
This recipe was born one day when I happened to have leftover bread dough and a bowl of beautiful grapes from my local farmers’ market here in Los Angeles. It is best to use seedless grapes, and while you may choose from a variety of hearty herbs such as thyme or rosemary, I prefer savory above all others for its subtle and elegant taste that pairs magically with the juicy grapes. Seasonal tip: this flat bread works really well with all kinds of fruit…try it with figs and marjoram in the summer or pears and sage in the early fall.
- 1 ½ cups (225 grams) bread or all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon (2 grams) dry active yeast
- 1 cup (235 milliliters) cold water
- 2 cups (1 pint) seedless grapes, stemmed
- 3 to 4 tablespoons (about 60 milliliters) olive oil
- 2 teaspoons (12 grams) sugar
- 2 stems savory, leaves only
- Coarse salt such as Maldon or Fleur de Sel de Guérande to taste
- Start by making the dough the night before (At least 12 hours and up to 12 hours before you start baking): In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and yeast. Add the water and mix by hand until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds.
- Transfer to a clean bowl, wrap tightly with plastic film and let sit at room temperature (68ºF or 20ºC) for at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours.
- Half an hour before baking the flat bread the following day, preheat the oven to 450° F (232ºC) and set the oven rack to the middle position. Place a cast iron skillet (about 12 inches or 30 centimeters in diameter) in the center of the rack.
- Transfer the risen dough to a plate (about 12 inches or 30 centimeters in diameter) previously brushed with olive oil. Gently stretch with your fingers to cover the entire surface of the plate and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Using potholders, carefully remove the preheated skillet from the oven and brush generously with olive oil.
- Slide the dough into the hot skillet and gently stretch the dough with your fingers trying to cover the entire skillet (remember the skillet is screaming hot and you must handle the dough only with your fingertips, barely touching the surface of the dough).
- Working quickly, arrange the grapes on top, brush the fruit with additional olive oil, sprinkle with sugar, coarse salt and savory leaves and put in the oven.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the dough acquires a rich golden color and the fruit starts to burst and shriveled.
- Remove from the oven. Transfer carefully to a cooling rack. Let sit for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Pastry Chef Roxana Jullapat, a Los Angeles native of Costa Rican and Thai descent, pursued a degree in journalism before turning to cooking. While taking a break after graduating from college, Roxana found herself baking a tarte tatin in the tiny kitchen of a local bistro. Her fate was sealed. Over the next ten years she held tenures at highly acclaimed American restaurants including Campanile, Bastide, Lucques, AOC and Clarklewis. Since 201, she owns and operates, Cooks County in the heart of Los Angeles, where she’s also the head baker. Fueled by the yearlong availability of outstanding fruits and vegetables of California, Roxana’s strongest suit is in working with seasonal produce and alternative grains. Her menus are known as perhaps one of the most farmers’ market driven in town.