Socca: An Easy, Naturally Gluten-Free Flatbread

I have a weakness for all things garbanzo bean. Garbanzos (or chickpeas, if you prefer) are the basis for my beloved falafel. And, of course, the highly addictive hummus. Baked or fried (I prefer baked) garbanzos are, I believe, the snack of the future. Give me a salad with garbanzo beans, and I will leave and extra tip.

As I’ve been thinking about gluten-free breads, I’ve been researching naturally gluten-free breads. And by naturally, I mean breads that don’t require a mix of five different flours before they’re added to a mix of five different flours. Simple, minimal ingredient breads that just happen to be gluten free. Continue reading “Socca: An Easy, Naturally Gluten-Free Flatbread”

Socca (Chickpea Flatbreads)

Socca, and its cousins farinata, cecina, tortillata, or fainá (among others), is probably the best gluten-free bread you’ve never heard of. At its most basic, it consists of three ingredients: chickpea (garbanzo bean0 flour, water, and olive oil. These ingredients are mixed together, the batter is poured into a hot pan or skillet, baked until crisp and brown.

Simple, huh? As you can imagine, any food that simple has be delicious and flexible. Socca (and relatives) takes on different flavors based on how you choose to season it. Want to keep it basic? Fresh rosemary is traditional. Thyme is delicious. Za’atar is unusual — or not, since this dish has a Middle Eastern cousin. Even Indian spices work well here.

Socca is traditionally thin and a bit crisp on the outside, but still flexible. Farinata, or those I’ve encountered, are a bit thicker. Much of the final product depends on how thick your batter is — for the recipe, I’m suggesting a medium-weight batter. Make it thicker or thinner according to your taste.

Hint: since this is a great flatbread, you can also treat it a bit like a pizza, with great toppings!

Your Gluten-Free Pantry: Online Sources for Gluten-Free Flour

While baking isn’t my strong suit, I do try my hand at gluten-free breads every now and then. I like a good challenge…and gluten-free baking is certainly that, particularly because it takes a lot of ingredients to make breads that are  tasty and light. While gluten-free baking has the potential to reduce the costs of the breads you eat, tracking down the ingredients you need can be challenging.

Sure, stores in my area are starting to stock a limited selection of gluten-free flours and mixes, but selection is generally limited to more popular items. Whole Foods a broader selection of gluten-free flours, so I’ll use them as a resource. However, based on my experience, product availability can be spotty. I’ve run in to pick up a flour I know they carry, only to discover it’s out of stock. Continue reading “Your Gluten-Free Pantry: Online Sources for Gluten-Free Flour”