Coca de Recapte

Catalan Flatbread

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • 6

    Medias Raciones

Appears in

MoVida Rustica

By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2009

  • About

FOR GENERATIONS THE HOUSEWIVES OF CATALONIA HAD A LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CUINA ECONÓMICA — A CHARCOAL-BURNING BEAST ON WHICH THEY COOKED THEIR MEALS, HEATED THEIR WATER AND IN WHICH THEY BAKED THEIR COCAS. COCAS ARE LEAVENED FLATBREADS THAT ARE COOKED IN A HOT OVEN. YES, THEY ARE SIMILAR TO PIZZA, BUT NEVER TELL A CATALAN THAT THEIR COCA IS A PIZZA! TOPPED WITH WHATEVER WAS IN SEASON, SAVOURY OR SWEET, THE COCAS SOAKED UP THE HIGH HEAT OF AN OVEN WITH A FRESHLY MADE FIRE. AFTER THE FIRE WENT DOWN, THE REST OF THE DOUGH WENT IN TO MAKE THE DAILY BREAD. THIS IS A SUMMER VERSION OF COCA SO PLEASE FEEL FREE TO INCORPORATE YOUR OWN TOPPING OF COOKED SEASONAL VEGETABLES.

Ingredients

  • 12 g (¼ oz) fresh yeast or 2 teaspoons dried yeast
  • ½ teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons, extra
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus extra, to sprinkle
  • 500 g (1 lb. 2 oz/4 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 80 ml ( fl oz/ cup) olive oil, plus extra, for brushing
  • 1 large brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 large red capsicum (pepper), seeded and membranes removed, very thinly sliced
  • 1 large green capsicum (pepper), seeded and membranes removed, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coarse polenta
  • 250 g (9 oz) zucchini (courgettes), very finely sliced
  • 300 g (10½ oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Method

Put the yeast in a bowl, add 330 ml (11¼ fl oz/1⅓ cups) lukewarm water and stir until the yeast has dissolved. Add the sugar, olive oil and sea salt and whisk together. Cover and leave to stand in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until bubbles start to appear.

Add the flour and stir to combine. Place in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and knead on low speed for 12 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then knead again for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Cover and stand in a warm place for another 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and bay leaves and sauté for 5 minutes, or until slightly golden. Add the garlic and capsicums, then cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until the capsicum is soft, stirring regularly. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7).

Divide the dough into six equal portions, then roll out on a lightly floured surface into 30 cm (12 inch) tongue-like shapes. Sprinkle two well-oiled baking trays with the polenta, place the dough pieces on top, cover with a clean cloth and stand in a warm place for 15 minutes.

Toss the zucchini in a bowl with a little salt and the extra 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

Brush the pizza bases lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and divide the onion and capsicum mixture among the bases, leaving a 1 cm (½ inch) border. Scatter the tomatoes, zucchini and parsley over the top, drizzle with a little more oil and season to taste. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the bases are golden and crisp. Serve immediately.