I must admit I was a bit Iffy about this month’s Bread Bakers’ Theme. It had never occurred to me to put grapes in bread. Raisins? Yes. Currants? Sure. Even Craisins. But shoving big old grapes into bread just seemed odd to me. Turns out, there’s a long tradition of using grapes and grape products (wine, juice) in bread. Just scroll to the end of this post to see all the other amazing breads our bakers made utilizing grapes.
Savory Grape Bread
I found a great base recipe for a Savory Grape Bread by Rose Prince, and from there, I used The Flavor Bible to round out the flavors. Under “Grapes,” I found lemon, goat cheese and salt among myriad other likely pairings, and this bread was born. It’s soft on the inside, bright with lemon zest, juicy with grapes (which, it turns out, are delicious in bread) and savory with both the goat cheese and the salt.
It’s a very quick bread to put together, even. Quick for yeast bread, that is. You could certainly stretch things out by using less yeast, letting the dough rise at a cooler temperature and/or letting it rest in the fridge overnight. All of these techniques would boost the flavor of the dough, but there is already so much flavor going on here that it is completely your call whether this bread is ready in about four hours or in two or even three days.
If you think putting grapes in bread is odd, I encourage you to give this a shot anyway. Or give any of this month’s breads a shot. I have certainly changed my mind, and maybe you will too.
- 1 pound , 3 oz (540g) all purpose flour (I used and Strongly Recommend King Arthur's Unbleached AP flour)
- 7 grams kosher salt (very slightly rounded 1 teaspoon)
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- zest of 2 medium lemons
- 175 g whole milk , warmed to about 110-120F (it will feel very warm but not hot)
- 175 g water , warmed to about 110-120F (ditto)
- 1 Tablespoon white grape juice* (you can buy white grape juice, but I just mashed about 8 of my grapes and strained the liquid, measuring 1 Tablespoon)
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , plus more for your work surface, hands and for drizzling on top
- 40-80 grapes (I used black seedless. Use what you like, but make sure they're seedless), depending on how many grapes you want in your bread.
- 5-6 oz goat cheese , crumbled
- Fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt of your choice for sprinkling the rolls before baking
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the flour, salt and yeast.
- Add the lemon zest, all the liquid and the 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
- Using the dough hook on low speed, mix for about a minute, until the dough starts to come together.
- Cover the bowl and let rest for about 20-30 minutes.**
- Mix another two minutes, cover and let rest an additional 20-30 minutes.**
- Knead on medium speed for 8 minutes. The dough should clear the bottom of the bowl, but it will be very sticky. You will most likely need to oil your hands to work with it.
- Here it is: Oil your hands and form the dough into a ball, drawing the top fairly taut.
- Plop it back in the mixer bowl and cover with a lint-free towel. Put in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Lightly oil your work surface. This will prevent you from tossing in a whole bunch of extra flour and ending up with dry bread. You're welcome.
- Preheat your oven to 475F. Place a rack in the center of the oven and put a baking stone on it if you have one.
- Lightly oil 2 baking sheets (or line with parchment). Set aside.
- Scrape the dough out onto the oiled surface and pull into a more or less regular square or rectangle shape. Be fairly gentle. You don't need (or want) to press out the gases for this bread.
- Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, pulling the top fairly taut while trying not to squish out too much air.
- Set the dough balls on an oiled tray. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place until they are just about doubled, about 30 minutes.
- One at time, gently stretch each dough ball out into a long oval shape, again trying to be gentle.
- On half of the oval, place 2 to 4 grapes. Really press them down into the dough. Sprinkle on some crumbled goat cheese.
- Fold the the other half of the oval up over the grapes and cheese, covering them completely.
- Press 2-4 more grapes into the top of the dough and a bit more goat cheese.
- Drizzle with maybe 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil and sprinkle on just a bit of the coarse salt.
- Set aside on one of your two prepared trays.
- When you have five on a tray, you can go ahead and put that tray in the oven right on top of your baking stone so those guys will be baking while you finish making the other five. Bake for 7 minutes. Rotate the tray and bake for 7 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven and scoop them off the pan with a spatula to let them cool on a rack.
- Repeat with the other tray.
- Cool to warm-ish before eating.
*You don't have to bother with the grape juice if you don't want. I just thought the yeast might enjoy a bit of grape sugar. Just increase the water or the milk by 1 Tablespoon, roll your eyes and me, and keep going.
**You do not have to give the dough the rest periods, or autolyze, but it can be helpful. Here's a good explanation of why.
Come See All the Grape Goodness!
- Beaujolais Bread from Robin at A Shaggy Dough Story
- Cinnamon Raisin Bread from Rocío at Kidsandchic
- Double Chocolate Red Wine Bread from Heather at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Easy Grape Focaccia from Kimberly at Rhubarb and Honey
- Golden Raisin and Fennel Sourdough Pocket Bread from Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Grape Bread Pudding from Cindy at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Grape Cornbread from Vonnie at My Catholic Kitchen
- Grape Focaccia from Renee at Magnolia Days
- Grape Poppy Bread from Mireille at Chef Mireille’s East West Realm
- Oat & Raisin Hokkaido Loaf from Kelly at Passion Kneaded
- Peshawri Naan from Anshie at Spiceroots
- Poached Pear Brioche Tart from Sophie at Sweet Cinnamon & Honey
- Povitica from Stacy at Food Lust People Love
- Raisin Bread from Caro at En La Cocina de Caro
- Savory Grape Bread with Goat Cheese, Lemon and Coarse Salt from Jenni at Pastry Chef Online
- Schiacciata all’uva from Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Sweet Dry Grapes Bread with Cinnamon from Kathya at Basic N Delicious
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to email@example.com.
Thank you so much for spending some time with me, and with all the Bread Bakers, today. Have you ever had grape bread, or had a bread that sounded odd until you tried it and decided it was delicious? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Have a lovely day.