Socca (Besan/Chickpea) Flatbread
Recipe Type: Bread, flatbread, gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian, vegan
Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Total Time: 
Makes: 2 large (10-inch) or 4 small (5-inch) flatbreads
  • 2 cups besan flour (also labeled as chickpea, garbanzo bean or gram flour)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher or flaky sea salt
  • 2 cups room temperature water
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp regular olive or grapeseed oil, for coating skillet (4 tsp if making the smaller socca)
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, garlic, thyme and salt. Add water and olive oil, whisking again until smooth. Set the bowl aside at room temperature, covered if you like (not necessary), at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  2. Set an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler. Set oven to highest broil temperature and preheat with a 10-inch (for 2 large; use a 5-inch if making the 4 small socca) cast iron skillet inside, 10 minutes. Carefully remove the skillet and add 1 tsp olive oil, using a silicon brush or small rubber scraper to ensure the bottom and sides are coated. Whisk the batter briefly, then pour 1/2 (if making 2 large; 1/4 for the 4 small) into the skillet. Place under the broiler and cook 5 to 10 minutes until the socca is set in the middle, crispy at the edges and browning in spots on the top. Remove from the skillet onto a cooling rack, and quickly proceed with the remaining batter, remembering to add another 1 tsp oil to the pan first. Cover with a towel to keep warm.
  3. Once all the socca are prepared, serve whole topped as desired with your favorite sauces, greens, cheese, etc., or cut into wedges. Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead of time and served room temperature or re-warmed. Will keep frozen in a zipper-top freezer bag for several months; thaw overnight in the refrigerator or during the re-warming process.
HGN Notes
Even though these do cook for a short period of time, I recommend using extra virgin olive oil in the batter as it enhances the flavors of the otherwise simple ingredients.

+ Use any fresh herb you like in place of the thyme. Swap in other woody herbs, like rosemary and sage, in equal amounts. For tender herbs, like basil, dill, tarragon and chives, stick with the equal amount or increase slightly.
+ No fresh herbs? Dried are great, too, but require less. The standard ratio of fresh to dried is 3 to 1, so here you would use 1/3 tsp dried herbs.
+ Add a spicy kick with a sprinkling of dried red chilli flakes or cayenne pepper, or a smoky background with smoked paprika or ancho chile powder.
+ Lemon and orange zest are nice for freshness as well!