Coca is to Catalans what pizza is to Italians. This simple and delicious comfort food is essentially a thin, oval-shaped dough that serves as a base for a variety of toppings, sometimes savory, sometimes sweet. Cocas differ from pizzas not only in their shape but also in that Catalans do not use cheese or herbs toppings. Different but still tasty!
Coca: Catalan Pizza [Vegan]
- 1 tablespoon dried yeast, dissolved in 8 teaspoons of hot water
- 5 cups plain flour
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 1/3 cup water
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Zucchini, sliced thinly
- 1 onion, julienned
- Piquillo pepper strips
- In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients well with your hands while also forming a crater shape to pour all the liquid ingredients in.
- Add the olive oil and the water. Mix it well with your hands and then knead it on a flat surface until you achieve a smooth and elastic dough.
- Put the dough back in the bowl, brush with some olive oil, and let rest for 1 hour in a warm place until the dough rises, almost doubling its size.
- Preheat the oven at 450ºF.
- To bake 2 cocas for 2 people each, prick the dough with the tip of a knife and split it into two equal sizes.
- Over a flat, clean surface, roll the dough with the help of a roller, until you get a long oval shape that is around 1-centimeter thick.
- Place the dough on a shallow oven dish covered with greaseproof paper and brush with a little olive oil.
- Make some shallow cuts diagonally over the surface and repeat in the opposite direction too. You should end with a diamond shaped pattern.
- Pinch the edge of the dough to create a decorative pattern all around it. On top of looking pretty, this will help to prevent the toppings from spilling over the edges.
- Top the dough with paper-thin slices of zucchini, julienned onion, and some Piquillo pepper strips.
- Put into the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until golden.