Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Socca with Za'atar & Sumac (Garbanzo Flour Crepes)

I usually avoid baking with garbanzo bean flour with its strong legume flavor that seem out of place in any sweet baked goods. However, when used in the right culinary applications, legumes prove amazing in taste, texture, and nutritional quality and quantity. About two years ago, I finally made socca for myself. So easy with only water, chickpea flour, and olive oil. Socca (aka farinata, cecina) originated in France and Italy that is an unleavened crepe of chickpea flour. Other relatives to socca can be found in Gibraltar, Argentina, Uraguay, Algeria, and India. Socca can handle aggressive seasoning, such as rosemary and black pepper in France, cumin and harissa in Algeria.

This month's Gluten-Free Ratio Rally challenge was crepes, hosted by TR from "No One Likes Crumbley Cookies." Crepes usually act as a vehicle for anything sweet or savory. Great challenge. The Gluten-Free Ratio Rally is a group of GF bloggers, rallied by Shauna of, where we put our on spin a a culinary standard. These culinary standards are known formulas, ratios, that professionals use. The caveat is that everything is done by weight, since weight is more standardized and much more accurate than measuring by volume. This is the foundation of the GFreeRally as started and explained by Gluten-Free Girl here. The book that we base our ratios is Michael Ruhlman's Ratio. Ruhlman's crepe ratio is 1/2 part flour : 1 part liquid : 1 part egg.

I started making the tradition crepe using half buckwheat and half sweet rice flour. It was so delicious! Then the next day I found myself craving socca using strong, exotic flavors. Socca does not fall in line with Ruhlman's crepe ratio. The ratio I used for socca was 1 part flour : 2.2 part liquid with a scant amount of olive oil. The thin batter requires time for the garbanzo flour to hydrate. Speaking of flour, my favorite is "Meera Gram" Indian garbanzo flour which is ground superfine with an amazing fresh flavor. Bob's Red Mill garbanzo flour works well, too but will be a little more course and "rustic." This recipe is great for the most sensitive of us folks: no milk, no eggs, no starch, no grains, no animal products. Simple.

The most exotic spin on socca comes from the seasonings. I personally have been obsessing over za'atar and sumac lately. Za'atar (za‘tar, zaatar, za'tar, zatar, zatr, zattr, zahatar, zaktar or satar) is a popular spice from the Middle East, usually consisting of an herb such as thyme, oregano, hyssop, or savory and sesame seeds. Sumac is small red berry that is dried and milled to a powder, and is dark red in color. Sumac is very popular in Turkey and the Middle East. The flavor is sour but I find very appealing.

100 grams garbanzo (Gram) flour
220 grams warm water
15 grams (1 Tablespoon) olive oil (more for cooking)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon za'atar
1/2 teaspoon sumac

  • In a medium/large bowl, scale and mix all the ingredients well. Cover with plastic wrap for a minimum of one hour. (Cook within two hours, or place in fridge to keep safe until ready to cook. Allow to warm to room temperature before cooking.)
  • Heat up an 8" fry pan/skillet over medium heat. Add in 1 teaspoon olive oil and swirl around. Mix up the socca batter and add in 1/2 cup into the skillet. Slowly pick up the skillet and swirl around until the batter has evenly covered the bottom surface of the skillet. (I found this took practice.)
  • Cook undisturbed until bubbles show up throughout the crepe, a couple of minutes. Using a large spatula, carefully flip over and cook other side for a couple of minutes.
  • These keep well in a warm oven, 150F, until all four socca crepes are made and ready to serve.
I served this with a kale and walnut salad, recipe forthcoming. But can be enjoyed alone, made into a pizza, or sandwich/wrap of your creation. Enjoy!

-Erin Swing
The Sensitive Epicure

Please be sure to check out all of our awesome bloggers and their recipes:

Adina ~ Gluten Free Travelette ~ Breakfast Crepes Three Ways
Caitlin ~ {Gluten-Free} Nom Nom Nom ~ Buckwheat Crepes
Caleigh ~ Gluten Free[k] ~ Banana Cinnamon Crepes
Claire ~ My Gluten Free Home ~ Victory Crepe Cake 
Ginger  ~ Fresh Ginger ~ Sweet 'n Savory
gretchen ~ kumquat ~ nutella crepe cake
Heather ~ Discovering the Extraordinary ~ "Southwestern" Crepes
Karen ~ Cooking Gluten-Free! ~ Gluten Free Crepes Savory or Sweet
Mary Fran ~ FrannyCakes ~ Gluten-free Peanut Butter Crepe Cake
Morri  ~  Meals with Morri ~ Russian Blini for Two
Pete and Kelli ~ No Gluten, No Problem ~ Key Lime Crepes
Shauna ~ gluten-free girl ~ Gluten Free Buckwheat Crepes
T.R. ~ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies ~ Brownie Crepes with Strawberry Wine sauce
T.R. ~ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies ~ Basil Tomato and Feta Crepes
T.R. ~ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies ~ Fresh Fruit Crepe
Tara ~ A Baking Life ~ Breakfast Crepes with Eggs and Kale
Jonathan ~ The Canary Files ~ Vegan Crepes for Filipino Spring Rolls
Rachel ~ The Crispy Cook ~ Raspberries and Cream Crepes
~Mrs. R ~ Honey From Flinty Rocks ~ Crepes - Spinach & Dessert