I realize that I haven’t posted an update on my attempt at making socca. Well, in a word, it was a failure 😦 I don’t think I used enough oil (I used less to try and cut some off the fat…but should have known better from my Food Science classes. The extra oil was necessary for the texture and consistency, and taste).
I followed this recipe from The Kitchn, but I only used 2 teaspoons of oil and less salt. The result? Crumbly socca that lacked flavor…boo:( Totally my fault for messing with the recipe so I’m going to give it another shot next week (and hopefully devise a creative way of using up my experimental failure).
The Wikipedia definition of socca – or Fainata as it is also called is that it is an unleavened pancake or crepe made from chickpea flour, water and olive oil. Seasonings like rosemary, black pepper and salt can also be added to taste. It seems to be popular in the Mediterranean region, especially in Italy and southern France, and is a popular street food in Nice – where it can be seen being sold hot out of the oven.
Slices of Socca. (Not my disastrous version – but the “real thing” in Nice, France 🙂 )
I’m eager to perfect the recipe since it’s a gluten free bread option for me – something I’m always keen to try! However, socca does not just have to be for folks are are gluten-free. Chickpea flour (the main ingredient of socca) has more fiber and protein than regular white or whole wheat flour. I used Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo and Fava Bean Flour which has 6g of fiber and 6g of protein per 1/4 cup compared to 2-3g of each in regular flour. (Bob’s also has a Garbanzo Bean Flour which has almost the same nutritional stats but 5g fiber per 1/4 cup. This wasn’t available in the store which is why I bought the Garbanzo Fava mix, but now I’m not sure if that was another reason for my socca failure…hmm ). Both flours also have a slightly lower carbohydrate count (18g carbs in 1/4 cup vs 24g in wheat flour) and can be used for other baked goods too, such as pizza, cookies etc (but none of us bake those right 😉
Bean flours are a great source of protein and fiber, so it might be worth experimenting with them as partial substitutes for your regular flour in baking. I’m not big on baking cookies or cakes from scratch – but let me know if you try it and what the outcome is. I’m more inclined to try the bean flours for pizza, breads and crepes so I’ll be sure to provide an update on my future baking experiments (disasters??) with them.
I’ll spare you the pictures of my crumbly socca and post a more successful version sometime next week. Till then, let me know if any of you try socca and how you eat it. On it’s own or with another dish/condiment? What are your thoughts on it?
Till then, it’s back to the socca board for me…