Known by the Catalan locals as coca, these leavened flatbreads are indeed similar to pizza but you'd better not tell them that! While this version by chef Frank Camorra is topped with thinly sliced summer vegetables, you can use whatever is in season. They're just as good room temperature as they are warm, so they make great appetisers and picnic fare.
- 12 g fresh yeast or 2 tsp dried yeast
- ½ tsp caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tbsp extra
- ½ tsp fine sea salt, plus extra, to sprinkle
- 500 g (4 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 80 ml (⅓ 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 tbsp coarse polenta
- 250 g zucchini (courgettes), very finely sliced
- 300 g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: 45 minutes
Put the yeast in a bowl, add 330 ml (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 30cm (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 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.
Recipe and image from MoVida Rustica by Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish, published by Murdoch Books.