Flatbread Recipe - The Fermented Foody

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flatbread recipe

Flatbread Recipe

Following my ‘Foody Kitchen Fest’ on Monday, I have plenty to share with you and tons of new ideas have been piling upon me since.

I wish I could just spend a month in the kitchen just making food!

I’m having, instead, to just scribble down all my ideas and make time to try out a few of them before Christmas and the rest in the New Year, in between blogging and making plans on how to bring more to you in 2015!

So, let’s start with the chickpea bread, since Katrina, one of my readers, posted the other day that she can’t wait to  try them out!

I’ve been making this bread for years after a friend sent me a recipe idea.

Of course, I have no idea where the recipe came from (!) because it was in the days before I was writing about food and I didn’t make a note of it.

I’ve made my own variations since, eat it all the time and hadn’t researched the subject until writing this post today!

The History of ChickPea Flatbread

Farinata, socca, torta di ceci or cecina is a sort of thin, unleavened pancake or crêpe of chickpea flour originating in Genoa and later a typical food of the Ligurian Sea coast, from Nice to Pisa, dating back at least as long ago as 1860.

Cade de Toulon, probably the most ancient, was made from corn flour and the Socca de Nice that evolved from it is made from chick-pea flour. The Marseilles version is today made with a mixture of flours, using only a small amount of chick-pea flour; in Marseilles this was called “tourta tota cada”, meaning “tourte toute chaude”, or nice hot tarts.

It was mentioned in 1879 by Frédéric Mistral as “gâteau de farine de maïs qu’on vend par tranches à Marseille” (or in the vulgar tongue “corn-flour cake sold by the slice in Marseilles”).

In that ancient time, there were cade/socca sellers at the marchés and at work sites where they provided the favorite morning meal of the workers. The cade/socca sellers used special wagons with built-in charcoal ovens to keep their wares hot while they announced them with the appropriate cries of “cada, cada, cada” or “socca, socca, socca caouda”.

Some of the ambulatory socca/cade sellers (or their descendents) are still to be found in the markets at Nice, Toulon and la Seyne-sur-Mer, where the slices are served in paper cones. In Nice, the Cave Ricord has been selling socca continuously for the past 80 years.

Socca is made on a large round (50-70 cm diameter) copper “pie tin” (plaque) and cooked in a very hot wood-fired oven for about six minutes, until the top is golden. The copper is important for spreading the heat evenly.

Why Should You be Excited About ChickPea Bread?

Check out this article:`


So, What’s New?

From quickly reading through a few modern recipes today on the internet, it seems that there are two ways of cooking this wonderful flatbread.  And some look a lot thinner, crispier than the one I make.

One way to do it is to bake the bread in the oven and the other is to fry (or ‘bake’ on the hob!) using a flat pan/frying pan/skillet (whatever you like to call it) with a little oil.

Traditionally, the bread is made from a mix of chickpea flour, water, a little oil, salt and pepper.

The balance of water and flour seems to vary.  Some use equal measure, some more water to volume of flour and some less. I guess it’s about making it the way that suits you best.  For my part, I use equal quantities.  I like the batter to resemble a very thick cream, so I often add in a little extra chickpea flour after the initial blending of all the ingredients.

It’s only by actually ‘seeing’ the batter after you’ve blended, that you can tell if you need a little more flour.  It’s always surprised me that you can make a recipe time and again and adjustments can be made each time that vary, even though you are using the same ingredients. I guess that’s just nature’s way of being individual!

My recipe doesn’t use oil, but watch this space, I’m about to experiment after my super speedy read, because it’s given me some new ideas.  (Always very exciting!)

Flatbread Recipe

Gather Your Goodies

flatbread recipeThe Batter

2 Cups Chickpea Flour (sometimes I use an extra 1/2-1 Cup – you need a thick, pourable mixture and it does sometimes play with your head and turn out differently each time, so don’t be nervous about adding a little more flour if you need to)

2 Cups Filtered/Mineral Water (tap water is often very pungent with fluoride, so I don’t use it in cooking)

2 Tablespoons Dried Basil (you could replace this with fresh basil – half a cup would do – but I like the strength of flavour that dried basil offers)

2 Tablespoons of Dried Mixed Herbs

1 Lemon (juiced)

Salt and Pepper

The Topping

80-100g of Sun-dried Tomatoes – squeeze of the residue of oil and chop into small pieces

30 Black, pitted Olives – rinse them in a sieve, dry and cut into little pieces

It’s Action Time!

Pre-heat your oven to: 180-190 C, 350-375 F, 160 Fan Oven.

Pour your water into the base of a high speed blender jug.

Add the flour, herbs, lemon juice and light seasoning.

Blend until you have a fairly thick, pourable batter. (This is where you will add extra flour, if your batter looks a little thin.)

Line a 13″ x 8″ baking tray with parchment paper and grease it with some butter. (I use goat’s butter for all my cooking now as I don’t use dairy butter or eat dairy products at home as a rule.  If you don’t line with parchment, the bread will be so tough to remove from the tray, it will break up and also ruin your tray!)

Pour your batter into the tray and flatten it out with a palate knife/flat spatula/whatever you find easiest to use.

Scatter your sun-dried tomatoes over the bread evenly. (I’m really fussy about this – ! – I like enough in each bite, so I arrange them quite carefully – but that’s just me being uber pinickety. 😉

Do the same with your olives (again, I make sure that each square of bread will have a good covering).

Now take your palate knife/flat implement and gently press the tomatoes and olives into the bread.

Next, take the implement and very gently (so you don’t move everything around) smooth the batter over the top of the tomatoes and olives so they embed into the bread.  If you don’t do this, they will simply fall off the bread once it’s been cooked.

Pop the tray into the oven and set your timer for 15 minutes.

Check the bread to see if it has a doughy look in the centre. If it does, cook it a little more.  The trick is to avoid browning the top before the centre is cooked.  I’ve managed to do this before and the bread ends up too brown once it’s cooked through and can go a bit hard.  You want a squidgy finish, so it’s nice a soft to eat.

As soon as this had cooled down after cooking I cut it into squares, put it into large freezer zip bags and into the freezer it goes.

I do use a microwave.  Shock, horror! But generally only to de-frost foods or warm a meal for a few seconds if I’ve served up and forgotten to eat it when I’m busy!  A few seconds on defrost and this bread is available to accompany a host of dishes.

flatbread recipeHow Can I Use Chickpea Flatbread?

  • Butter it. It’s lovely all on it’s own!
  • Spread a thick layer of mayonnaise over your bread and top it with a boiled egg with a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. I LOVE this!
  • Scatter a few mixed salad leaves, herbs (chives/basil/parsley/coriander) some other salad ingredients and smother in a cider vinegar dressing, with poppy seeds and some cracked black pepper.
  •  (fermented recipes coming soon!)

  • Smooth over some pesto and ask yourself how you ever lived without it? (recipe coming soon!)
  • How about a bread to go with soup? Oooh, yummy!
  • Lavish it with kefir cream cheese.
  • Use it as an accompaniment to any dish that sings to the same tune!

Ooh, Really?!

The benefit of using a high speed blender means that you will either have one jug that works for both dry and wet ingredients, or two jugs that have separate uses.

I have a dry jug for making flours and powdering herbs etc.  In literally a few seconds I can take a bunch of hard chickpeas and make the flour for this bread.

Read more about the variations and history of unleavened chickpea bread here:


More of these breads to follow soon.

When are you going to make your first batch? 😉

KISSES - CBemail-signature1








About the Author Sarah Jackson

I love to experiment with food, write poetry, read, walk in nature, take iphone photographs, sing, cycle, watch good movies, documentaries, dramas and comedy.

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Leave a Comment:

Sarah Arrow says

Lovely recipe Sarah. Can you swap chick peas for something else? Another type of pea or bean?

    Sarah Jackson says

    Hi Sarah. Thank you on two counts. For the positive feed-back .. and for asking such an interesting question!

    I immediately wanted to do more reading on flatbreads, having stuck with chickpea to date because of it’s nutritional qualities. And a fascinating read it’s been!

    It seems that bean flours need to be added to another flour (wheat/or an alternative) to make a flatbread. i.e. black, white or fava beans. Chickpea can be a good blend for them, but also other flours too. Flatbreads can be made from pretty much any type of flour, sometimes best with a mix of flours.

    Then there’s a pea flour called ‘Green Pea Flour’ or ‘Peasemeal’ that’s good for many types of cooking and was originally one of the basic ingredients for Bannock, a flatbread that originated in Scotland that was also made with barley or oats or wheat .. although, apparently, it was thought that wheat ‘bound’ the ingredients together the most successfully.

    In West Scotland today, it’s made with oats and it almost indistinguishable from oatcakes, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg it seems .. because, dependant upon how they’re made, it seems that Bannock can be savoury or sweet and also turn out similarly to biscuits, scones or shortbread.

    So, back to flatbread. In essence, it is made worldwide in a variety of flours, according to local traditions and styles.

    Do you have a food exclusion that rules out chickpeas, or was it just a question borne out of general curiosity?

    If it’s an exclusion issue and you’re happy to share with me what you’re unable to eat/don’t like, I could try to create another version for you that would suit you better. Love a Fermented Foody challenge. 😉

Robyn says

My hubs is a bread-a-holic and would love this!! I’m going to have to get started making all of your recipes!! Lots to do!! Lots to do!!

    Sarah Jackson says

    🙂 … Can’t wait to hear how you get on Robyn. I’m so excited that readers are starting to make my recipes! Will be posting a photo tomorrow from a reader who lives in Ohio.

Morena says

Hi Sarah,
I don’t have much talent for cooking but I love your blogs because it makes cook seem so much fun!
I will keep following your posts with the hope of catching the ‘fermented-food-cooking’ bug 🙂

    Sarah Jackson says

    Am smiling. Am so happy you enjoy reading my blogs Morena. I hope you catch the fermented bug (and not any of the usual bugs that go around in winter!) 😉

Nicole says

Thank you for this recipe – I love bread of any type so will save this to try to make it one day :).

    Sarah Jackson says

    My pleasure Nicole! I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

Kara Lambert says

I was thinking about making flat bread this week. Thanks for the recipe.

    Sarah Jackson says

    My pleasure Kara! I’ll post a variation on that soon for you. 🙂

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