Socca - A Quick and Easy Gluten-Free Flatbread
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Socca - A Quick and Easy Gluten-Free Flatbread
Socca, a gluten-free flatbread, also known as farinata and panisse, is made throughout Western Europe, as well as other places, including Argentina and Algeria.
Socca is easy to make, with just three ingredients: chickpea flour, salt, and oil (water, if you want to get technical) and requires no equipment, just a bowl and whisk.
It can be made on the stovetop in a skillet or in the oven using a baking sheet.
Here, we make it on the stovetop, with a thick batter that results in a flatbread with a soft, malleable texture.
Socca is an incredibly simple and quick flatbread to make, making it an easy choice for weeknight dinners.
On the other hand, its presentation, once covered or combined with dips, is elegant enough to entertain.
The flavor is somewhat reminiscent of chickpeas, but it doesn't taste like beans.
It's very light; you may not even know it's made from chickpeas if no one tells you.
The flavor of the oil will be prominent here, so good quality oil goes a long way. This is a perfect recipe to have in your repertoire when you want to make no-fuss homemade bread.
What is chickpea flour?
Chickpea flour, also known as chickpea flour, is a whole wheat flour, which means it's made with only the name of the flour on the label, in this case, garbanzo.
The chickpeas are ground to a fine powder and packed as a shelf-stable product. Chickpea flour has a light yellow/beige color and a fine, smooth feel.
It is available in health food stores, specialty stores, online, and some large grocery stores.
It is an inexpensive flour that only costs a few dollars per pound.
Tips and tricks for making socca and working with chickpea flour
While this is an easy recipe to make, following a few guidelines will help you avoid any mishaps. Chickpea flour does not contain gluten and has no binding capacity.
It is not interchangeable with wheat flour and is less absorbent than other gluten-free flours such as rice flour.
- Let the dough rest for thirty minutes before cooking so that the chickpea flour absorbs the water. If you reduce this time, the dough will be too runny to cook well.
- Season the socca batter aggressively. Too little salt will result in a soft flatbread.
- If you flip the socca on the stovetop before it has the dark brown spots, you can cook it again on the first side after the second side is fully cooked. Dark golden spots produce the best flavor.
- In terms of thickness, your socca should be thinner than a pancake but thicker than a crepe. A thinner, crepe-like crust would produce a crispier socca.
- The amount of water will determine how chunky or chunky your socca is: more water will produce a thinner, crispier flatbread, more of a crepe or cookie, while less water will create a thicker, bread or pancake-like product.
Note that this recipe is for a thicker pancake like socca. If you prefer to use the stovetop method for a thinner, crispier socca, you can add another 2-3 tablespoons of water, until the batter is creamier.
Socca two roads
Baked socca will be different from baked socca. Our baked socca is thick enough to use as sandwich bread or pizza crust, while baked socca is firmer and more cookie-like.
This goes even if you use the thicker dough in the oven.
Stove Socca: When cooked on the stove, socca is soft and can be used for sandwiches or as a base for a pizza. Your socca will be delicious if you make it in a cast iron skillet, although it's not a must. Using a non-stick pan to make your socca works great. You should avoid using a non-stick pan, as the batter is likely to stick to the pan.
Baked Socca: In the oven, socca will be much crunchier and should be used more as a cookie. It is usually done on a flat baking sheet, which should be well greased or lined with parchment. You can also use a large, well-seasoned cast iron pot. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. This version does not need to be flipped or covered during cooking.
How to serve socca
This flatbread, cookie, and pancake hybrid has so many uses!
I love socca as a base for tuna or grilled cheese sandwiches, or as a vehicle for dips like hummus, pesto, or tapenade, and cut into bite-sized pieces and topped with a variety of spreads like jam or chopped liver as a previous entry.
Socca is best consumed the day it is made.
If you have leftovers, store them in the fridge in an airtight container and reheat before eating.
You can reheat on the stove or in the oven.
Reheat for 10 minutes on a baking sheet in a preheated 325 degree oven, or on the stove with a teaspoon of water added, over low heat, covered, reheating for 2 minutes on each side.
- 1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of water
Combine the socca ingredients:
In a medium bowl, combine garbanzo bean flour, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and water. Beat well to form a smooth dough.
If it's thicker than pancake batter, add more water, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the consistency of pancake batter.
When you take the whisk out of the dough, it should leave a thick ribbon.
Let the dough rest:
Let the dough rest for 30 minutes before cooking.
Heat a nonstick or cast iron skillet:
Heat a large, well-seasoned nonstick or cast-iron pot over medium-high heat. Spray skillet with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.
Cook the soca:
Once hot, using a measuring cup or ladle, spoon half of the socca batter into the pan, while rotating the pan in a circular motion to help the batter spread evenly.
Cook the socca, until the top looks almost set, about 2 minutes. Similar to pancakes, any bubbles that appear should have hardened.
There will be a visible firmness to the top at the edges, but no charred spots on the top.
Flip the socca with a large metal spatula and continue cooking for another minute.
It should have some brown spots on both sides. Remove from pan.
Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and cook the remaining socca dough.
Socca is ready to serve straight from the pan.
Keep whole and top with pizza toppings, cut into triangles and serve with dipping sauce, or cut in half and fill with sandwich toppings.
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