“For generations, the housewives of Catalonia had a love-hate relationship with the cuina econòmica – a charcoal-burning beast on which they cooked their meals and 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.”
- 12 gm fresh yeast or 2 tsp dried yeast
- ½ tsp caster sugar
- 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 500 gm (3 1/3 cups) plain flour
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 each large red and green capsicum (350gm each), seeds and membrane removed, very thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp coarse polenta
- 250 gm zucchini (about 3), very thinly sliced
- 300 gm cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1Combine yeast in a bowl with 330ml lukewarm water and stir until yeast dissolves. Add sugar, 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil and ½ tsp fine sea salt and whisk together. Cover and stand in a warm place until foamy (25-30 minutes). Add flour and stir to combine, then place in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and knead on low speed until soft and smooth (10-12 minutes). Rest for 5 minutes, then knead again until smooth and elastic (4-5 minutes). Cover and stand in a warm place until risen (25-30 minutes).
- 2Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and bay leaves, sauté until slightly golden (4-5 minutes). Add capsicum and garlic, then cover and cook, stirring regularly until capsicum is tender (15-20 minutes). Remove from heat, set aside.
- 3Preheat oven to 220C. Divide dough into six equal portions, then roll out on a lightly floured surface into 30cm tongue-like shapes. Sprinkle three well-oiled baking trays with polenta, place dough pieces on top, cover and stand in a warm place until slightly risen (12-15 minutes).
- 4Toss zucchini in a bowl with a little salt and remaining extra-virgin olive oil. Brush pizza bases lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt flakes and divide onion and capsicum mixture among the bases, leaving a 1cm border. Scatter tomato, zucchini and parsley over the top, drizzle with a little more oil and season to taste. Bake until bases are golden and crisp (10-12 minutes) and serve immediately.
This recipe is from
by Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish and published by Murdoch Books ($59.95, hbk). In editing these recipes for publication, we have made minor changes to bring them into
This recipe is from the October 2009 issue of