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May 16, 2018

Red Pepper Coques

These Red Pepper Coques are a wonderful Catalan-style crunchy flatbread topped with an intensely flavored mixture of red peppers, pine nuts, and sherry vinegar.

Red Pepper Coques

Coques can be found in Mediterranean Spanish tapas bars. They can be sweet or savory, but the unifying factor is a crispy crust, resembling thin crust pizza.

These Red Pepper Coques get their distinctive flavor from the amazing red pepper topping. I used jarred roasted red peppers from Mezzetta. I've also recently discovered the Cento brand.

You can also roast your own red bell peppers. Halve fresh pepper and brush them with olive oil and broil then in the oven. Wrap them in foil and cool in the refrigerator before slicing.

Red Pepper Coques flatbread

One thing you should not scrimp on is sherry vinegar. This ingredient makes the flatbread. I used Napa Valley Sherry Vinegar, but any good brand will work here.

The dough in this bread does have some trouble relaxing. One trick I've tried when the dough is too springy and I'm out of patience, is to stretch it out on parchment paper, and then laying the parchment out on the oiled sheet pan, and then pulling the parchment out at the 8 minute mark when "dressing" the bread. 

Red Pepper Coques flatbread with pine nuts

This month the Bread Baking Babes are making Coques.

After the recipe, be sure to check out the rest of the Babes' take on this bread. 
Recipe adapted from Bread Illustrated, a wonderful book loaded with bread recipes from America's Test Kitchen. 

Yield: 4 flatbreads serve 6 to 8

Red Pepper Coques


  • 468 grams (16 1/2 ounces/3 cups) bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 10 2/3 ounces (1 1/3 cups) ice water
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table or fine sea salt
Red Pepper Topping
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups jarred roasted sliced red peppers
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and yeast about 5 times. Turn the processor on, and slowly pour in the ice water and process for about 10 seconds. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. 
  2. Add the oil and the salt to the dough and process for 30 to 60 seconds, until the dough forms a ball. Remove the dough from the the processor, and knead by hand for a few seconds, and form it into a ball. Place it into an oiled bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, and up to 3 days. 
  1. Heat three tablespoons of the olive oil in a 12 inch non stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions, red peppers, sugar, garlic, salt, pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes over medium low. 
  2. Remove the lid and continue to cook, stirring regularly, for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Transfer the mixture to a heatproof bowl and stir in the vinegar. Cool completely before using. You can make the mixture in advance and refrigerate overnight. 
To Make the Coques:
  1. Deflate the dough and divide it into four equal sized pieces. Shape each piece into a tight ball and place, seam side down  on your work surface, and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let rest for an hour. 
  2. Place oven racks in the upper and lower third positions and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Brush two half sheet pans with 2 tablespoons of olive oil each. 
  3. Place one dough ball on your work surface, and roll it out to a 15 inch by 5 inch oval. Place it on the baking sheet, lengthwise. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls, two per baking sheet. If the dough springs back, let it rest for another 10 to 20 minutes, and re-roll. Dock each about 15 times with a fork. Brush each oblong piece of dough with the rest of the olive oil. 
  4. Bake the dough for 8 minutes, switching the pans at the four minute mark. 
  5. Remove the pans from the oven, and spread them with the red pepper and onion mixture. Sprinkle with the pine nuts. Place the baking sheets back into the oven, and bake for 16 minutes, switching and rotating the pans at the 8 minute mark. Continue to bake until the flatbreads are golden and crispy. 
  6. Remove the pans from the oven and let cool on the pans for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley, and transfer to a cutting board to slice and serve. 
Created using The Recipes Generator

Red pepper flatbread #coques

Recipe adapted from the wonderful book, Bread Illustrated, from America's Test Kitchen. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Karen this was just a glorious choice for the month. I love the way you cut yours into pizza like triangles! I know I'll try that cut soon. I way over used the pine nuts compared to yours but we really enjoyed them. Your colors are beautifully intense. No crumb photo for this one, crunchy does give that.

  2. Karen, thank you for choosing this flavorful and crispy bread. The red pepper spread is awesome! I used red wine vinegar instead of sherry vinegar because that is what I had on hand. Delightful flat breads! I will be making these again.

    1. Thanks Cathy! I'm so glad you enjoyed these.

  3. I swear, Karen... I will have to wear a bib before opening any of your new posts... this is just incredible!

  4. Still thinking of more things to try for variations! So tasty just as written though. Thanks for choosing!

    1. Thanks Kelly! I love what you did with them.

  5. We loved these red pepper coques, Karen. Even though I didn't exactly follow the instructions....

    You were right about the sherry vinegar!

    1. Now you have a supply of it! It's so delish!

  6. Ack! I keep getting interrupted and I don't know if I left this comment or not - so.... These are gorgeous. The red pepper, onion and sherry vinegar have always been favorites! Great bread for May!

  7. Total YUM! I love your breads and this one makes me want to run down to the kitchen and start baking. Thanks so much for linking to First Monday Favorites.

  8. Hi Karen! This is a great recipe. I'm wondering why you didn't credit America's Test Kitchen. Except for a few word changes, this is exactly their recipe. Quite disingenuous to pass this off as your own.

    1. I agree and I can't imagine why I omitted it. Fixed.


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