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Socca – Garbanzo or Chickpea Flatbread from France

If you can’t travel to the south of France, use this recipe to make Socca Chickpea Flatbread at home. This tasty chickpea flatbread from France is low-glycemic, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and South Beach Diet phase two. Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

Click here to PIN Socca Chickpea Flatbread!

Socca (Garbanzo or Chickpea Flour Flatbread from France) found on KalynsKitchen.com.

Chickpea flour is used all over the world to make thin flatbread crepes, pancakes, or crackers. Depending on where they’re made, they can be called Pappadum (India), Farinata (Italy) or Socca (France). Farinata and Socca may or may not be the same, depending on which expert you ask, but they’re definitely similar.

When I found some chickpea flour at a middle eastern market in L.A., I experimented with Farinata, producing something that tasted great but seemed too thick and looked different than other versions of Farinata I saw around the web. At the time I had some e-mail discussion with David Lebovitz, who had loved the Socca he found in France and had been experimenting with making Socca. He told me there can be quite a lot of variation in different types of chickpea flour, which only made me more determined to try it again.

Fast forward to the release of David’s new book The Sweet Life in Paris, and the perfected Socca recipe on his blog, which rekindled my desire to try making it. I was also lucky enough to happen upon a great little cast iron griddle, small enough to fit under the broiler, so a few days ago I gave it a try.

If only I knew how to say it was fantastic in French (or Italian), I could properly express how much I liked this. Definitely thinner and less crispy than my previous Farinata experiment, and perfectly delightful eaten hot from the griddle, with a bit of olive oil drizzled on and some salt and fresh ground black pepper. And did I mention that this low-glycemic treat is not only South Beach Diet friendly, but also gluten free and loaded with nutrients?

Socca (Garbanzo or Chickpea Flour Flatbread from France) found on KalynsKitchen.com.

I found this brand of garbanzo or chickpea flour at Whole Foods, and it seemed yellower and not as fine as the type I used for my Farinata, so I had hopes it would be more similar to what’s used in Europe. As David recommended, after I mixed the chickpea flour, water, salt, cumin, and olive oil, I let the batter rest for a few hours.

This is my lovely new cast iron griddle, purchased at Smith’s Marketplace in Salt Lake City for $12.79. What a bargain, huh? To cook the Socca, you brush the griddle with olive oil, heat it under the broiler, pour on a thin layer of batter, and cook under the broiler. Maybe I was nervous about burning it, because my first attempt turned out a little pale, although it was quickly devoured with no complaints! This was my second try, but by the third one I learned that I got best results when I poured the batter straight down in the middle and let it naturally run out to the edges. By the second one I was leaving them under the broiler until they browned a bit, but were still slightly soft and could easily be folded.

Socca (Garbanzo or Chickpea Flour Flatbread from France) found on KalynsKitchen.com.

I guess I’ll have to go to France and Italy and try authentic Farinata and Socca to see how my results would compare, but in the meantime I’ll definitely be making them often at home.

More Tasty Treats with Chickpeas:

Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce ~ Aggie’s Kitchen
Chickpea Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil, and Parsley ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Sweet Heat Chickpea Avocado Salad Sandwich ~ Tidy Mom
Curried Chickpea Salad from Joan’s on Third ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Salt and Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas ~ A Beautiful Plate

Socca - Garbanzo or Chickpea Flatbread from France

This tasty chickpea flatbread from France you can easily make at home.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 T water
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin (David used 1/8 tsp.)
  • 1 1/2 T olive oil (plus more for brushing griddle and drizzling over finished Socca)

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the chickpea flour, water, cumin, and olive oil.
  2. Cover container and let rest for 2-3 hours at room temperature.
  3. When ready to cook Socca, preheat broiler. (I have a gas broiler, so I’m not sure how the results would be different with an electric broiler.)
  4. When broiler is hot, brush cast iron griddle or frying pan with olive oil, heat under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, then remove from oven (use a mitt!) and pour on a thin layer of batter.
  5. Cook Socca under the broiler until it has firmed and well-browned, especially on the edges.
  6. For me, this took 2-4 minutes under the broiler.
  7. Continue to make Socca pancakes like this, brushing the griddle with oil and heating it between each one.
  8. Cut finished Socca into rough triangular pieces, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  9. Serve hot.

Notes:

This recipe adapted very slightly from The Sweet Life in Parisand Socca Enfin on David’s blog.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Socca Chickpea Flatbread is too high in carbs for traditional low-carb diet plans, but it’s low-glycemic and approved for the South Beach Diet Phase Two. I think this would make a great gluten-free replacement for pita bread and I can imagine serving it with HummusFalafel, or Tzatziki Sauce.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
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Socca (Garbanzo or Chickpea Flour Flatbread from France) found on KalynsKitchen.com.

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92 comments on “Socca – Garbanzo or Chickpea Flatbread from France”

  1. I soooo want to try this. I'm terrible about planning ahead. So, just wondering, is the 2 to 3 hour a limit. Or could it sit longer before baking. Also, potentially could it be stored in the refrigerator and used as needed? Thanks Kalyn

    • Hi Nancy,
      I have only made it the way described in the recipe, so I can't say for sure if the batter can sit longer or be stored in the fridge, sorry. My guess would be yes, it can sit longer, but I doubt it can be stored in the fridge. I'd love to hear if you try it.

  2. I know I would love these, I need to experiment with that flour!! Thanks for linking to my chickpea patties!

  3. I made this tonight and I was so happy because I have to be GF. It is hard to find a really easy flatbread recipe for this purpose. It is delicious and easy. It worked great in my electric oven taking about 3 minutes.

  4. C'est tres fantastique! Tres bien

  5. Camille, I must come there and try it someday!

  6. Oh, and it's only found on the south east coastline of France.

  7. You're actually supposed to cook socca in the oven. A wood stove is the best option, and you're supposed to use a big round copper plate, but obviously, people don't generally have all that in lying around, so a traditional oven would do the trick. Tons of pepper, a bit of olive oil, no cumin and you've got the perfect socca !

  8. So glad you've been enjoying the recipe, and thanks for the tip about cooking just with the stove-top!

  9. These are delicious! We are grain free and we use them as a substitute for sandwich bread, pancakes, tortillas (make them thinner), tamales (make them thicker), pita bread, and pizza crust.

    I just cover the bottom of a 9" non-stick frying pan with a thin layer of batter, wait for it to set (bubbles in middle), and flip. I skip the broiler. They come out perfect!

    P.S. I make a month's supply at a time, then pop them in the oven or toaster (depending on size) to reheat. Yum!

  10. Good to know it will still work without letting the batter rest, thanks!

  11. Yum, I just made these on the stove top with a small skillet. I added grated garlic to the recipe. Didn't even let the batter rest. Flipped after about 1 minute and viola, beautiful and delicious! thanks for the recipe 🙂

  12. I made David's recipe as well and loved how healthy and delicious (and EASY) this bread is. Here is a link to my slightly modified recipe (and pictures.) http://cuceesprouts.com/2011/08/socca-bread/

  13. PT, I would love to go to France and try the real thing! I haven't tried making it, but I know there is a type of thin flatbread from Ethiopia called Injera and it's made with teff flour so it might work for this (or maybe try part chickpea and part teff.) If you try it would love to hear how it works.

  14. Thanks for the interesting read. I just found Socca in a Rick Steve's travelogue of the French Riveria. As anyone tried making it with other than garbanzo flour? I don't eat gluten and I am limited when it comes to garbanzos as well… and some of the non-wheat baking subs with all the gums don't do well either.

    Has anyone tried teff?
    Thanks.
    PT

  15. Jane, glad you like it. I love that grill but never knew what it was called.

  16. I'm eating some now, but it doesn't look as good as yours! That griddle is a traditional Indian tawah – or tawa – for cooking roti. V. useful to have in the kitchen for more than just roti (though, roti is the MOST delicious;), so well done!

  17. Found it! Had to type in 'socca recipe' instead of just socca. Great post! Am I behind the eight ball or what? 🙂

  18. I definitely thought this type of flour would be phase one myself, but a reader pointed me to one of the SBD cookbooks which clearly said no flours at all in phase one.

  19. How ironic that I just came across this post regarding chickpea flour.
    I was under the assumption that it would be allowed, however serving size may be the issue. I'll have to wait till phase 2… sigh…

  20. I don't make up the rules; I'm just reporting what the SBD book said. I'm guessing he restriction on flour is because the serving size for dried beans is 1/3 – 1/2 cup, and if you use the flour to make baked things you'd probably eat more than that.

  21. The only ingredient listed on the bag of chickpea flour I bought is chickpeas. Chickpeas are allowed in phase 1, so what is the difference if they are pre-ground or whole when you put them in your mouth? I personally think chickpea "flour" qualifies for a phase 1 food unless someone can actually explain a reason for why it would not other than it is called "flour".

  22. Stefania, so glad to hear you enjoyed the Socca.

  23. I tried your recipe but made smaller soccas.They are delightful and were devoured.

  24. Shane, what a great comment to wake up to on Monday morning! Congratulations on your success, and I love hearing that my blog has influenced your life so much. Love the sound of your variation for this recipe too!

  25. Kaylyn, I've yet to make one of your recipes that hasn't thrilled my palate. This wonderful flatbread is in heavy rotation here, both as written (with 1/4 tsp cumin) & as a spicy Indian-style variation (1/4 tsp each of cumin, Hot Madras Curry Powder, & Penzey's Garam Masala, plus 1/8 tsp of Cayenne Powder).

    Your blog & recipes have improved my life so much in 2010. I've now lost 50lbs since August, *while discovering a love for cooking.* What a gift! Thank you so very much for sharing your talent & insights here. Best wishes for a happy, blessed 2011!
    Shane. <—- Kalyn Kitchen fan for life

  26. So glad to hear you liked it! It is a great gluten-free bread option.

  27. These are great. Made them for the first time. I'm gluten free and have tried every bread out there. My husband says it's the best "bread" he's ever had. We ate our with chicken chili.

  28. Cologner, love the idea of basil olive oil with this! Thanks for sharing the idea.

  29. Our intention was to follow the recipe – with the suggestion to add ground black pepper, rosemary and onions – till we found a bottle of basil olive oil in the kitchen and used instead of normal olive oil…
    That came out great! Gie it a try.

  30. Jean, your variations sound great!

  31. Woops. Jean again. Meant to say that I can't use cumin, so don't include it in my recipe. Otherwise – with the aforementioned addition of cracked black pepper – we use the same ingredients. Other people may know this as 'Besan' flour, by the way.
    Happy gluten-free cooking from 'Down-under'.

  32. I first saw this recipe online in a news piece from the NYT and thought it was great. It was being made in a wood-fired oven, which I'm sure would add a depth of delicious smokiness to it. I make it in a conventional oven, on a pizza pan, and my old recipe adds the fresh, roughly ground black pepper at the mixing stage, and salt after serving (to taste – we don't do salt a lot here in Oz!). Other tip – add chopped fresh rosemary at the same time as the pepper, and finely chop a small onion and fry off lightly with a little butter or olive oil, and add it to the mix just before cooking. Yum!!

  33. ~M, I think what you'd end up with if you used freshly cooked chickpeas would be much different than this, more like a chickpea cake (where this is a thin crepe.) As far as being more phase one friendly, the guidelines in the newest book says for beans and legumes to start with 1/3 to 1/2 cup serving size for phase one. Of you made something using only that amount per serving, it should be okay.

  34. Hi Kalyn,

    Happy New Year! Do you think this would work using freshly made chickpeas (ie, soaked and cooked chickpeas) instead of chickpea flour? I just cooked a bagful and ended up with way more than I intended. Also, if you could figure out a way to use freshly cooked chickpeas, that would make socca phase 1 friendly, right? 🙂 Thanks!

  35. Maria, thanks so much for that. I had looked online but didn't find anything specifically saying chickpea flour. Will edit the post.

  36. Hello! In response to your question about chickpea flower being 'allowed' in Phase 1 – on page 19 of the The South Beach Diet Quick & Easy cookbook it says to avoid ALL flour in Phase 1. Hope this helps.

  37. Elizabeth, I loved it with the cumin!

  38. What a wonderful little cast iron pan! We too can't believe how wonderful it is! We adore it with fresh rosemary. But this winter, when we daren't disturb our rosemary plant, we must try it with cumin!

    -Elizabeth

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