It is bread making time at the Bread Baking Babes once again. Karen picked Red Pepper Coques for us to make. Coques are the Catalan flat breads that are thin and crunchy flatbreads that can be found across the Mediterranean. They’re similar to flatbreads like the Turkish Lahmacun and French Pissaladiere.
Catalan Coques can be sweet or savoury, open or filled . The sweet ones are generally topped with candied fruits and pine nuts. The savoury Coques are more varied with toppings of vegetables, meats, fish, etc. The name Coques (singular coco, plural coques) is thought to have come from dutch with roots in the in the word “cake”!
In the old days, people who live in Catalan villages did not have ovens in their homes. Breads were more of communal affairs. Peasants would carry produce from their vegetable gardens to the village bakery. The bakers there would use these to make Coques which were share by the peasants.
Coques were popular because they were affordable, easy to carry around and eat on the go, if necessary. They were a good way to use up leftovers too. They could be eaten warm or cold, or even the next day.
The most popular Catalan Coque is the Coca de Escalivada. Here the topping is a preparation of roasted eggplant, red peppers and onions. Sometimes sardines, spinach, or/ and pine nuts are also added.
I came across someone referring to the Coque as a Catalan pizza. This is far from the truth. While I understand the reasoning, Red Pepper Coques iare nothing like pizza. It’s a crisp flatbread topped with a delicious mildly sweet, tangy and spicy savoury mix. Eat it for breakfast, brunch, lunch or whenever you please.
It is quite easy to make. You just need to plan a little ahead because the dough involves a retarded/ slow rise of at least 24 hours. The dough is made with chilled water (now you know that’s no pizza) and refrigerated for 24 hours. Then you let it rise for an hour before you make the Red Pepper Coques.
The original recipe calls for the use of canned red peppers. We don’t get that here. So I roasted my own red peppers. You can do this in the oven or the open flame. I prefer using the flame. They don’t need to be brushed with oil. Wipe the red peppers dry, and roast them on an open flame one at a time. Keep turning them so that the peppers are charred uniformly. Let them cool completely. Peel the skin, trim the top and remove the seeds. Then slice them and use for the topping.
The Bread Baking Babes are –
The Bread Baking Babes (BBB) is a closed group, but you’re most welcome to bake with us as a Bread Baking Buddy. Here’s how it works.
Karen is this month’s Kitchen of the Month. Bake Red Pepper Coques and post it on your blog before the 28th of this month. Make sure you mention the Bread Baking Babes and link to her BBB post in your own post. Then e-mail her with your name and the link to the post, or leave a comment on her blog post with this information. She will do a Buddy round-up for this month on her blog and send you a BBB badge to add to your post on your blog.