This recipe is a version of something enjoyed around the word. It is called a crepe here, a fritatta there, 绉 Zhòuin the middle kingdom and a flat bread down under. It is a perfect street food; a tasty, filling tidbit you can walk around with and enjoy without making a mess.
Known across the border in Italy as a Farinata, the main characteristic of this unleavened treat is that it is made with garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour, that is allowed to ferment. This makes for a dense bread that can stand up to pizza toppings, sandwich fixings or simply a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of pepper as it is enjoyed in the market of Old Nice.
- 1 cup Chickpea Flour
- 1 cup cool water
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Herbs De Provence
- Freshly ground pepper and sea salt, to taste
- coconut oil as needed
Put the flour, water, 1½ tbsp oil, a pinch of salt, and the Herbs De Provence in a bowl and whisk until the batter is smooth—"it will be the consistency of light cream." Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
You will need a 12"+ pizza pan or can substitute it with 2 cast Iron frying pans or 8"+ cake pans. About 20 minutes before you're ready to bake the socca, position a rack in the upper third of the oven if your oven has a top broiler; if not, put the rack in the lower third or center. Put your pan on the rack and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Using care, remove the pans from the oven and coat with coconut oil. (I use coconut oil because it does not smoke at high temperatures.) Return your pan to the oven for another 5 minutes. Pour the batter into the hot pans, attempting to get an even layer. "Bake the socca for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and run the socca under it for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it starts to burn. If it burns here and there, it will look authentically Niçoise. Serve hot, sprinkled generously with pepper."
More from this classic cookbook:
Photo Credit: Julie T Cecchini