After eyeing socca recipes for a few years and just now finally trying it, I have to admit I feel like I’ve been totally missing out.
Is socca a type of bread? Yes, socca is a traditional type of bread alternative. If you’re not familiar with socca (pronounced SOCK-uh), it’s basically a hybrid between a chickpea flour pancake and flatbread.
Socca is originally from the south of France and north of Italy (where it’s called farinata) and served warm with herbs and often paired with a glass of French rosé wine. Um, yes please!
Is chickpea flatbread healthy? Yes, chickpea flatbread is very healthy. One serving boasts over 6 grams of fat, fewer than 6 grams in net carbohydrates, plus a ton of important nutrients. This chickpea flatbread recipe is:
This Mediterranean dish makes a fantastic gluten-free flatbread, savory crepe, pizza crust, or bread-like thing to snack on.
What are the ingredients in socca? Socca typically contains just 4 wholesome ingredients:
What does socca taste like? Socca tastes like chickpeas, maybe a little nuttier.
Chickpea flour is ground chickpeas and is minimally processed, unlike most grain flours that have had the bran and nutrients stripped out before becoming flour. You can grind dry chickpeas into your own flour or purchase a high-quality chickpea flour at your natural foods store.
Chickpeas are naturally high in protein and fiber. They are naturally gluten-free and, since chickpeas are a legume and not a grain, socca is also grain-free. Chickpeas are also a natural source of iron and high in potassium, making them a superfood all around.
What is the difference between socca and hummus? Socca and hummus are both chickpea-based. However, socca is a bread alternative, whereas hummus is a spread or dip.
You can even use sprouted chickpea flour like I used here for an added nutritional punch. Sprouted beans and legumes have been soaked and sprouted, which makes them easier to digest.
I buy from Thrive Market because it’s organic, sprouted, non-GMO, preservative-free, and affordable.
4 Handy Tips for Socca Success
You need to make this yummy French/Italian street food in a cast-iron skillet. It won’t work in another type of pan or on the stove top. You can grab a Lodge cast iron pan for around $20 at most home stores.
Don’t over-pour the pan. Your batter should be thick, but if it’s poured too deep in the pan, your socca will turn gummy and won’t set. The recipe below is for a 12-inch cast iron skillet. If you have a 10-inch skillet, adjust your measurements per my notes below.
The mistake I made the first few times I tried this was not cooking the socca long enough. Allow the edges to turn a crispy deep brown and pull away from the pan. Under-cooked socca is underwhelming. Perfectly cooked socca is outstanding.
What is socca eaten with? You can eat socca by itself, or with a nice helping of (healthy) chili. You can top socca with pizza ingredients for a gluten-free pizza. You could even serve socca as an appetizer with different dipping sauces, like basil pesto or hummus (which is also chickpea-based).
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary, or other herbs for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow it to come up to temperature before heating your cast iron skillet in the oven (see step 4).
Prepare the socca batter. Combine with chickpea flour and salt in a medium bowl. Using a whisk, stir in the water until a smooth batter forms. Using the whisk, stir in 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil until the batter is well combined and smooth. You don’t need to whip air into the batter, the whisk just helps make it smooth.
Let the batter rest for at least 30 minutes (up to 2 hours). This is an important step, don’t skip it. It’s just about enough time to allow your oven to come up to temperature and preheat the cast iron skillet.
Place your cast iron skillet in the oven after the oven has come up to temperature. Allow the cast iron skillet to preheat (empty) in the oven for 15 minutes. This gets the skillet nice and hot and allows for even cooking.
Once preheated, very carefully remove the cast iron skillet from the oven with oven mitts. Swirl 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil around the hot skillet, then pour your batter into the skillet.
Return the skillet to the oven and turn the oven to broil. Bake under the broiler for 7-10 minutes until the socca is cooked through and set.
The socca is done once it slightly pulls away from the sides of the pan and the edges turn golden brown.
Once the socca is prepared, top with your favorite toppings. We like to sprinkle ours with freshly chopped rosemary and an additional small sprinkle of sea salt. Others may prefer feta and cooked veggies on top. A gluten-free socca pizza also sounds delish.
This recipe is for a 12-inch skillet.
If using a 10-inch skillet, adjust the measurements for the batter to 3/4 cup chickpea flour, 3/4 cup water, 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and ¼ teaspoon + 1 big pinch sea salt. Still use 1 extra tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of the pan before cooking.