Panel, an old tradition of the peasant families of Chianti,
is a word that cannot be found even in the most popular dictionaries. Only a few people remember that when bread was made at home, part of the dough was kneaded separately in order to obtain a squashed shape about due centimetres high: the panel, in fact, that was eaten immediately, fresh and crisp (while the loaves places on the board to cool lasted for the whole week).
During harvest time, a little lard, a sprig of herbs gently fried in oil and a little sugar were added to the dough prepared for the panel and after leaving it to rise it was kneaded into shape and then covered with washed black grapes which were slightly pressed into the dough. Some nuts and a pinch of aniseed could also be sprinkled over it. After baking, some sugar was sprinkled over; this was panel with grapes, a simple sweet derived from simple cooking.
In recent decades this recipe has been modified in order to obtain a sweet that is appreciated all over the region. Now it is called "schiacciata" with grapes, it is lighter and more delicate, the lard has been replaced by butter and eggs have been added. As well as by bakers it is also prepared by pastry cooks.