Parcooking the dough and the topping separately creates a crisp, ultraflavorful Spanish flatbread.
Red Pepper Coques
MAKES 4 coques, serving 6 to 8 VEG
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Coques are thin and crunchy Catalan flatbreads served in many tapas bars. Some are sweet, featuring a topping of candied fruit and nuts, but we set our sights on an intensely savory version topped with bold Spanish flavors. To get the perfect crust for our coques, we started with our Thin-Crust Pizza dough since it produced a thin, flavorful crust that was appropriate for this dish. But to set our crust apart from pizza and get an extra-crisp base, we increased the amount of oil in the dough from 1 to 3 tablespoons and brushed each coca with more oil before baking. Parbaking the dough before topping it helped prevent a soggy crust and created a sturdy base. For a deeply flavorful topping, we started with onions and roasted red peppers. Garlic, red pepper flakes, and sherry vinegar brought depth, heat, and rounded acidity. We cooked the topping before spreading it on the parbaked dough to intensify the flavors. It is important to use ice water in the dough to prevent it from overheating in the food processor. We recommend King Arthur brand bread flour. If you cannot fit two coques on a single baking sheet, bake them in two batches.
3 cups (16½ ounces) bread flour
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1⅓ cups ice water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ teaspoons salt
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, halved and sliced thin
2 cups jarred roasted red peppers, patted dry and sliced thin
3 tablespoons sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
¼ cup pine nuts (optional)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1. FOR THE DOUGH Pulse flour, sugar, and yeast in food processor until combined, about 5 pulses. With processor running, slowly add ice water and process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
2. Add oil and salt to dough and process until dough forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of bowl, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds. Place dough seam side down in lightly greased large bowl or container, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 3 days.
3. FOR THE TOPPING Heat 3 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in onions, red peppers, sugar, garlic, salt, pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and have released their juice, about 10 minutes. Remove lid and continue to cook, stirring often, until onions are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Off heat, discard bay leaves. Transfer onion mixture to bowl, stir in vinegar, and let cool completely before using.
4. Press down on dough to deflate. Transfer dough to clean counter, divide into quarters, and cover loosely with greased plastic. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keep remaining pieces covered), form into rough ball by stretching dough around your thumbs and pinching edges together so that top is smooth.
5. Place ball seam side down on counter and, using your cupped hands, drag in small circles until dough feels taut and round. Space dough balls 3 inches apart, cover loosely with greased plastic, and let rest for 1 hour.
6. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 500 degrees. Coat 2 rimmed baking sheets with 2 tablespoons oil each. Generously coat 1 dough ball with flour and place on well-floured counter. Press and roll into 14 by 5-inch oval. Arrange oval on prepared sheet, with long edge fitted snugly against 1 long side of sheet, and reshape as needed. (If dough resists stretching, let it relax for 10 to 20 minutes before trying to stretch it again.) Repeat with remaining dough balls, arranging 2 ovals on each sheet, spaced ½ inch apart. Using fork, poke surface of dough 10 to 15 times.
7. Brush dough ovals with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and bake until puffed, 6 to 8 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking.
8. Scatter onion mixture evenly over flatbreads, from edge to edge, then sprinkle with pine nuts, if using. Bake until topping is heated through and edges of flatbreads are deep golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let flatbreads cool on sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to cutting board using metal spatula. Sprinkle with parsley, slice, and serve.
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