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Recipe: Sweet coca

January 23, 2008

Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes to 2 hours, 15 minutes (includes rising time)

Servings: 8 to 10

1 envelope yeast

1 teaspoon plus 1/3 cup sugar, divided

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

3 tablespoons top-quality olive oil, preferably Spanish, plus extra for greasing a bowl and the baking sheet

2 tablespoons good-quality butter

1/2 cup pine nuts

4 tablespoons anisette, or to taste

1. Sprinkle the yeast over one-fourth cup warm water mixed with 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a small bowl. Stir to mix, then let stand 5 minutes, until bubbly.

2. Combine the flour, salt, oil, butter and three-fourths cup warm water in a large mixing bowl. Scrape in the yeast mixture and stir with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead by hand until it turns smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If necessary, add flour -- just enough to keep the dough from sticking.

3. Turn the dough out into an oiled bowl, cover and let stand in a draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

4. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a large (about 12-by-18-inch) baking sheet.

5. Punch down the dough and knead just a minute or two. Press or stretch the dough out very thinly in a rough rectangle on the prepared baking sheet. Prick it all over with a fork. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar, evenly coating the dough. Sprinkle evenly with the pine nuts, then drizzle with the anisette.

6. Bake the coca until crisp-edged and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly on a rack before cutting into squares to serve.

Each of 10 servings: 268 calories; 4 grams protein; 35 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 12 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 2 mg. cholesterol; 170 mg. sodium.

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