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Kalyn's Kitchen

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 Bread Recipes to find more recipes like this one.

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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

Socca is a 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 Paris and 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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    92 Comments on “Socca – Garbanzo or Chickpea Flatbread from France”

  1. That first photo is just glowing, Kalyn. I know you weren't happy with your shots early on, but I must say they have been evolving nicely.

    Nice, too, this socca. I'm hard pressed to pick my favorite legume, but the chickpea would probably be it.

  2. Now I really have to give it a try. Hopefully it will work in my regular stainless steel pan…the only cast iron pan I have is for mini- griddles.

    I think I might experiment with my griddler. let you know how that goes. 😉

  3. Hi Kalyn!
    I love socca! I found it tastes better with a lot of freshly ground peppers and olive oil!
    Thanks for the idea to use the broiler. That should make the top crispier than stove top method which I normally do. This reminds me of The one we had in Nice with famous Socca lady — they were cooked in the pan that's about 3 ft in diameter!

  4. Starting South Beach on Monday and love that I have a pseudo carb I can make to keep the boyfriend happy!

  5. It looks wonderful. I wonder how many carbs are in that?

  6. I love chick peas but I've never used chickpea flour. These would be nice as an appetizer for a Mediterranean style meal!

  7. Lovely, lovely, lovely & tasty looking chickpea flat bread!

  8. Sandra, I don't really know, but I'd guess that you could. If anyone else knows, please chime in!

  9. Hi Kalyn,

    This looks wonderful. If you like extra texture could you grind up dried chick peas to make the flour?

  10. I just noticed that there are some SB dieters at the Kalyn's Kitchen Facebook page who also say that chickpea flour isn't allowed in phase one, so I may be wrong about that (although I haven't seen that anywhere.) If anyone has seen that in print or online, please send me the link or citation for it. Thanks!

  11. CC, thanks but sorry to hear about the gluten issues. Not necessarily easy, but worth avoiding if it makes you feel better!

    Angela, I think it's a great pita substitute. Also very good eaten alone.

    Allegra, I just heard about that today from Dan on Twitter. Hadn't heard of faina before, and love the way it's served as an accompaniment to pizza.

    Ninette, good to know that it can be flipped and cooked on the other side. I didn't do that, since mine was cooking on both sides from the hot griddle and the broiler.

    Dara, let me know how the Indian chickpea flour works, I'd be interested.

    Tea, thanks, and I'm loving that griddle. Agreed, I was so happy when I saw it!

    MPA, glad you like the blog, thanks!

  12. O! M! G! was this send from the gods?!

    i just found your blog and am eternally grateful. these recipes look amazing! i'll definitely be linking to your blog from mine once i finally try some of these.

  13. Yum, aren't they good? I love your griddle; what a score!

  14. Fabulous recipe, Kalyn! I have some leftover chickpea flour from making vegetable pakoras (Indian fritters) and was trying to decide what to make with it. Now I know!

  15. I didn't now about socca or farinata, but I was making exactly these when I wason a gluten-free diet, just mixing the chickpea flour with water and seasonings. I just cooked it in a non-stick skillet, flipped it over and cooked the other side. Worked great. I used to eat these for breakfast with agave syrup since I couldn't have any bread products, sugar, dairy, eggs. It was slim pickins, but the chickpea pancake was a nice break from the rice cakes and quinoa.

  16. I thought you may find this interesting:

    "Buenos Aires’ unique contribution to the pizza world is the faina, a pizza, or foccacia, made of chickpea flour, the crust baked and usually served unadorned or with a simple herb or onion topping, as an accompaniment to a standard pizza. Though faina clearly comes from Liguria, where it is sometimes called farinata, (and there are versions throughout the Mediterranean – Gibraltar’s "national dish" of calentita or Nice’s socca come to mind) – what makes it unusual is that here it is served as an adjunct to pizza – a "classic" porteño lunch is a a slice or two of pizza and a slice of faina – which is often laid atop of a slice of pizza as a sort of top-crust, or eaten in alternating bites – and a glass of cheap Moscato."

    © 2006 Dan Perlman

  17. Wow, I've never heard of this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I'll definitely have to try this as a replacement for pita bread!

  18. Yay! It's so pretty, and like another of your commenters, I find I'm suddenly off gluten! Awk. So this is just great.

    Hi, David.

  19. Andrea, not sure what the difference is (if any) but I loved this!

    Judeoftheisland, Chickpeas (garbanzos) are listed as an approved food for phase one in every South Beach book, even the very earliest ones which were more restrictive. Actually all types of dried beans are approved for phase one.

  20. Hi there. Looks fabulous as always. Not to put to fine a persnickety point on it, though, I'm pretty darn sure that beans/peas/seeds are not a Phase 1 item, especially in a flour form. Any other phase, to be sure, but not Phase 1.

    Keep up the excellent work!