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Traditional Catalan Flatbread with Roasted Peppers and Anchovies

March 2013

Recipe adapted from Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America (Clarkson Potter).
Serves 4

For the onions:
¼ cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1 Vidalia onion, peeled and thinly sliced
For the flatbread:
½ ounce (2 envelopes) active dry yeast
½ cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour; plus extra for work surface
½ teaspoon salt
20 black olives, pitted and cut into small pieces
1 13-ounce jar roasted piquillo peppers (Spanish wood-roasted sweet peppers), cut into ½-inchwide strips
16 anchovy fillets (oil-packed)
6 ounces Manchego cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
Spanish extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the onions: Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and brown (caramelized), around 30 minutes. Set them aside.

Make the flatbread: In a small bowl, stir the yeast into the milk. Place the flour and salt in a food processor, add the yeast mixture, and process for 60 seconds, until you have a well-mixed dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the dough to rise.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Take out the dough and knead it for 5 minutes. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces, and roll each piece into a ball. Sprinkle a little flour on your work surface and roll the ball of dough out to form a very thin long strip, around 10 inches long and 2 inches wide. Prick the strip with a fork. Repeat with remaining dough balls, creating 8 strips of dough. 

Cover the strips of dough with the caramelized onion and the olives. Place on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, 10 minutes.Cover the cocas with a layer of piquillo pepper strips. Add 2 anchovies on top of each, and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Return to the oven for 2 minutes. Drizzle cocas with olive oil, add sea salt to taste, and sprinkle with the chopped chives.

Photograph by Francesc Guillamet