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Recipe: Savory coca

January 23, 2008
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)

Total time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours (includes rising time)

Servings: 4 to 6

Note: Adapted from a recipe by Bruce Stutz. The topping can be varied into infinity; try adding black olives or substitute anchovies for the sausage. Botifarrita sausage is available at La EspaƱola Market in Harbor City; substitute Italian or spicy turkey sausage or kielbasa.

1 envelope yeast

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

7 tablespoons top-quality olive oil, preferably Spanish, divided, plus extra for greasing

4 large onions, very thinly sliced

Coarse sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips

1/4 pound cooked sliced sausage, preferably Spanish botifarrita

1. For the dough, sprinkle the yeast over one-fourth cup warm water in a small bowl. Mix with a fork, then let stand 5 minutes, until bubbly.

2. Combine the flour, salt and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a mixing bowl. Add three-fourths cup warm water. Scrape the proofed yeast mixture in. Stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Knead by hand for 10 minutes to make a smooth, pliable dough.

3. Grease a clean bowl with a little olive oil and transfer the dough to it, turning to coat all sides. Cover and let stand in a draft-free spot until the dough is doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

4. While the dough rises, make the topping. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a very large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with about a teaspoon of coarse salt and cook, stirring often, until the onions are very soft and starting to caramelize, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to allow the onions to cool enough to handle.

5. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a second skillet over medium-high heat and cook the red pepper strips until they are soft, about 5 minutes.

6. When the dough has risen, heat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet lightly with olive oil. Punch the dough down and stretch it out thinly on the baking sheet into a rectangle with a low edge. Spread the onions evenly over the dough. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the pepper strips in a crisscross pattern over the onions. Top with sausage.

7. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown on the bottom. Serve warm, not hot, cut into squares.

Each of 6 servings: 443 calories; 10 grams protein; 52 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 22 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 11 mg. cholesterol; 513 mg. sodium.

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