Pan Con L'uva
Literally ‘bread with grapes’, pan con l’uva is one of the traditional cakes of early autumn in my home town Prato and in the Florentine area. Also known under the name ‘Schiacciata con l’uva’ (‘stiacciata’ as we say in Tuscany), it is made only with dough, grapes, olive oil and sugar. The simplicity of its ingredients reveals a peasant origin, this being a dish closely connected to vintage time. Only grapes unsuitable for good wine-making were actually employed, particularly the so called canaiolo variety which has very small black round grapes. Baking these grapes with dough to make a sweet bread was indeed a way to make the most of food that otherwise had to be thrown away – an unforgivable waste – in a period when every woman made bread at home. Preparing pan con l’uva is very easy for it basically consists in two layers of dough with grapes and sugar inside.
For this recipe I must thank my husband Mario who did the greatest part of the job, kneading bread dough with his own hand. Fortunately, he’s exceptionally talented, maybe because he’s the grandson of two bakers and he had some tricks taught by his Calabrian grandmother. With awesome results, I dare say.
As suggested by a friend of my mother’s (who makes delicious pan con l’uva), aniseed can be added for a liquorice-fennel-like taste.