This is a rustic flatbread recipe that originates from the abundance of the harvest, when the sun shines on the Mediterranean coast of Catalonia, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands, a region located in the east of Spain.
A coca is usually a fine dough and, like all the simple and delicious things of this world, it was born by chance. In this case, thanks to the bread dough that had not fermented properly. Instead of the dough being discarded, it was cooked as flatbread and seasoned with whatever was on hand. Coca may also be made in a quicker unfermented version, which you’ll be learning to do today.
Each version of coca has its own traditional toppings.
In the case of Coca de Recapte, recapte means “provisioning” in Catalan. This one is normally topped with Escalivada (roasted peppers and eggplants), although other seasonal local products can be added: vegetables, sardines, Catalan sausage… generally basic and inexpensive foods, which allow for creative combinations.
The story goes that housewives used to bring their ingredients to the local bakery, where the bakers would cook them with their own fine dough.
Nowadays, this is a very common recipe that you can find in almost any bakery in Catalonia.
Some people think it looks like a half-baked pizza. “You forgot to add the cheese!” they might say. But without the cheese, the flavors of these roasted vegetables shine through even brighter.
As you can imagine, it is worth investing in quality fresh products to get the best out of this recipe! Opt for seasonal vegetables, a good flour and the best olive oil.
Eating coca is like taking a bite of Mediterranean land, seasoned with the finest this corner of the world has to offer: olive oil, vegetables and a simple recipe from the past, which warms the heart (and the stomach!).
Other recipes from the heart of Spain:
Garlic Soup with Egg and Croutons
Tortilla Espanola (Egg and Potato Omelet)
Cod with Tomato Sauce (Bacalao a la Riojana)
Roasted Veggie Flatbread (Spain)
FOR THE DOUGH......
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup water
FOR THE TOPPING....
- 1 medium red pepper, seeds removed and cut into strips
- 1 medium green pepper, seeds removed and cut into strips
- 3 medium tomatoes, halved and cut into thick slices
- 1 small eggplant, peeled and sliced into thin slices
- 1 medium onion, cut in half and then thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried dill
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Add all the vegetables to a bowl. Toss well with olive oil and herbs. Spread vegetables evenly on a sheet pan. Roast for about 20 minutes. Veggies should begin to soften and caramelize. Do not overcook as they will continue to roast when they are put back in the oven with the dough.
- While vegetables are cooking, prepare dough. In a bowl, mix the flour with the salt, pepper, and baking powder. Then mix in the olive oil. The texture should be like wet sand on the beach.
- Gradually add the water until it has a silky and elastic texture. Knead for 5 minutes.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out on parchment paper. Roll until dough is about ½ inch thick.
- Place dough with parchment paper on a sheet pan. Evenly spread the roasted vegetables onto the dough.
- Bake the flatbread at 400ºF for about 20 - 30 minutes or until crust is browned.
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