Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Socca - A French Flatbread

Socca is a completely grain free flatbread that comes from France. It's even a traditional grain-free flatbread, so no weird substitutions to alter the taste, woo hoo!

This stuff is SO easy to make, it's awesome. And it tastes good, too. My kids tell me it reminds them of the batter around a corn dog; I assume that's a positive review, heh.

I based mine off the Socca recipe from here:  

Broiled Socca flatbread

1 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour (I made my own. Here's how)
1 cup water (I use 1 1/8 cup or so, but that may be too much for some. See notes after the recipe.)
1 1/2 TB olive oil
3/4 tsp salt

1. Mix all ingredients together and let sit at room temperature, covered, for 2 hours.

The dough

2. Heat up an iron skillet in the oven's broiler settings, about 5 minutes.
3. Take out the skillet. Add a little olive oil if your iron skillet isn't awesomely non-stick. Pour 1/2 of the batter into the skillet, or all of the batter if you have a larger skillet. Spread it around to coat the entire bottom of the skillet.  If your batter is thin, you can do this by rotating the pan. My batter was thicker, though, so I had to spread it around using the back of a spoon, at first, and then carefully used my fingers as I tried not to burn them on the skillet, LOL.
4. Broil until done. Based on the recipes I'm finding all over the web, it seems to me that your broiler will affect how long it takes to cook your socca. It can also be fried on an oiled skillet, if you prefer. For mine, I cooked it 8-11 minutes about 6 inches below the broiler, then moved it closer so it was 2-3 inches from the broiler. After I moved it, I broiled it for 2 minutes, flipped it over in the pan, and cooked it for another 2 minutes.  Some recipes claim only 5 minutes of cooking or less is needed, however, so I'd check your socca frequently until you know how long it takes your oven to cook the bread.

Result: It was tasty, salty, and had a bready-ish texture that grain-free folks might enjoy.  I think it would be awesome with added rosemary, which I found suggested online more than once.  Might be neat as the base of a green chile and chicken style pizza, too. Or, you know, as a corn dog batter, if you could find out a way to make hotdogs, eh? ;-)

1. Re: Water - The added water should probably be more than a cup. I'm going to try adding at least 1/8 cup more next time to see how that does. I live in a desert environment and my flour is coarser than some, so I am not sure if both of these are the reason why my batter was so thick, but I'm guessing it might contribute.

EDIT 3/4/13 - I liked it more with the extra water. It was less thick, so perhaps less water would be better if you need this to hold it's form more, but a little more water was definitely better.

EDIT 3/6/13 - I tried it with 1 1/4 cups water and that was a bit too much. I could finally tilt the pan to spread the dough, like is mentioned in so many recipes. And the flatbread looked smoother, and the taste was fine. However, it was harder to flip and it didn't quite cook all the way in the middle. So somewhere around 1 1/8 cup of water seems the best.

EDIT 3/4/14 - Here's another method of making socca, when you don't have chickpea flour but you don't/can't grind your own. Soaked socca.


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