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SOCCA (FARINATA) – CHICKPEA FLATBREAD RECIPE

Socca is a wonderfully quick and easy flatbread recipe made with chickpea flour and cooked in a skillet until golden and crispy along the edges. It’s bakes up dense, yet tender, and can be easily customized with herbs & spices!

top down view of sliced socca flatbread.

You may already be familiar with the Savory Chickpea Pancake which is another way to use chickpea flour. It’s made like a pancake with vegetables of choice mixed right into the batter and is delicious served any time of day – it’s a must try as well!

What Is Socca Bread?

Socca is a simple and savory, unleavened, round flatbread cooked in the oven until crispy on the edges and tender in the center. It’s made with chickpea flour, making it gluten free, grain free and a good source of protein and fiber.

Traditionally, socca is cooked in an open oven on a large tin-plated copper pan, where it is then sliced and served plain, with an optional sprinkle of pepper on top. It can also be topped and used as a pizza crust of sorts, or stuffed making a chickpea omelette or crepe.

Where Did Socca Originate?

The origin of socca is believed to have originated in Genoa, Italy, where it is said that Roman soldiers roasted chickpea flour on their shields. Others believe it comes from the French Riviera (southeast France). But what we can all agree on is that this Mediterranean flatbread is delicious no matter where it began!

You will find this popular dish rooted in and around the area of Nice, France and the province of Genoa, Italy. And depending on your geographical location, this flatbread is served various ways using the same batter base of one part flour to water plus salt and oil.

top down view of ingredients used to make socca farinata flatbread using chickpea flour.

Ingredients You’ll Need

In this recipe, chickpea flour is whisked together with water and optional spices and herbs, creating a savory flatbread to be eaten as a snack or as a side to a main meal.

Here is everything you will need:

  • Chickpea flour (aka besan)
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

For additional flavor:

It’s great as is, but you can change up the base using a generous pinch of any of these flavor enhancers:

  • cumin
  • rosemary or thyme
  • red pepper flakes
  • basil
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • za’atar
  • sliced shallots

There are no rules to the spices, simply use what you love, or will pair well with the accompanying dish.

Today, I added red pepper flakes for a little heat along with a dash of cumin and garlic powder.

side by side photos showing the mixing the socca batter in a glass bowl.

How To Make Socca

(Note – The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post)

  • The base of socca bread is a 1 – 1 ratio of chickpea flour to warm water whisked together with salt and optional spices and/or herbs.
  • This batter, once whisked together, will need to rest at least 15 minutes, and up to 12 hours, covered.

side by side photos showing the process of making socca, farinata chickpea flour flatbread in a skillet.

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place skillet in the oven to preheat with the oven.
  • After batter has rested, give a good mix, and add it to the preheated skillet swirled with oil, place back in the oven to cook for 12 – 15 minutes.
  • Once your socca is done, gently lift edges with a spatula, pull apart, or slice, and enjoy hot or warm!

Tip: In this recipe I’ve used a cast iron skillet but you can use any flat, shallow and oven-safe baking dish you have on hand.

top down view of socca flatbread in a cast iron skillet.

How To Serve Socca

Typically this savory flatbread is served with a few herbs and spices and eaten with the hands. The flatbread can be eaten as is (torn apart or sliced), served with condiments or serve topped with various ingredients. Here are a few of my favorite options for a full meal:

side angle view of sliced socca flatbread.

More Easy Bread Recipes

If you try this socca flatbread recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

SOCCA (FARINATA)

Socca is a simple, savory gluten-free, grain free flatbread that pairs well with soups, salads or eaten alone!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 - 8 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: oven, bake
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free, Mediterranean

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup chickpea flour (aka besan or garbanzo bean flour)
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon mineral salt
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil

optional add-ins for variation

  • 1/81/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary or thyme
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • small handful chopped basil
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/81/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • sliced shallots

Instructions

Mix and let rest: In a medium size mixing bowl, add flour, water and salt. Whisk until smooth, cover and let set for at least 15 minutes, up to 12 hours, covered, on the counter or overnight in the fridge.

Preheat: Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a well seasoned skillet on the middle rack while oven is heating (we want it to get nice and hot).

Oil skillet + pour batter: Once oven is ready, carefully remove skillet, add 1 – 2 tablespoons oil and carefully twirl skillet so the oil coats the bottom evenly. Pour the batter into the skillet.

Bake: Place skillet into the oven and back in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes, until golden on the edges and firm throughout.

Optional broiler: Once done you may like to add a more golden and rustic look, turn broiler to high, place skillet under broiler for about 2 minutes, until top starts to golden a bit.

Cool & remove: Remove from the oven and let cool a few minutes. Using a spatula gently push under and around the sides of the flatbread. Tip skillet to remove socca bread or carefully flip skillet over to remove.

Serve: Cut into 4 – 8 slices or pull apart and eat. Socca is best eaten right away.

Store: Socca can be stored on the counter in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes

Using a 12 inch skillet, pan or baking dish will give you a thinner bread, while a 10 or 8 inch skillet will give you a slightly thicker bread. The one I have shown here is a 10 inch, bread was about 1/4 inch thick.

If you don’t have an iron skillet, you can use any flat, shallow oven-safe baking dish.

Chickpea flour (aka garbanzo bean flour or besan) can be found on-line, at most health conscious stores and at Indian and Middle Eastern markets.

Updated: Changes made to the recipe include omitting 2 tablespoons of oil added to the batter (as is traditional). It’s delicious without it, but make sure to oil the pan well!

Nutritional information is calculated with 1 tablespoon olive oil included.

Keywords: socca, socca recipe, farinata, chickpea flour flatbread

Updated: Socca was originally published in September 2014. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in February 2020. The only changes made to the recipe were omitting 2 tablespoons of oil added to the batter (as is traditional), but it’s delicious without it.

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57 Comments

  1. Love this bread so much!!! Thank you!

  2. Or maybe the flour is just ground differently, settles differently, and it’s not so much about the measurement as the consistency – adjust with water/flour to get the right consistency.

  3. I’m not the only one to find my dough to be the wrong consistency. I looked it up, and besan flour is not the same as chickpea flour. I used chickpea flour, and I should have added more water for the batter to “pour” instead of “plop.” I’ll try to buy some real besan flour and try the recipe again.

  4. My attempt was much like another post- very thick. I kept adding more water, probably 1 3/4 cups total (almost a full water bottle). Still after sitting, it was so thick. I baked it 30 min and was still goey in the middle. Can humidity play a keen role in how this turns out? I often have recipes that just do not work, and we chalk it up to Southern humidity.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      So sorry to hear it didn’t turn out right! I’m not sure what it could be if all the measurements and ingredients were correct. It could be your climate, but I’ve only heard of altitude affecting the outcome when baking. With so few ingredients, you may want to try again to see if it works.

  5. I have made this a few times and it always turns out great. I make it on a large cast iron skillet because I like it crispy. Great to serve as an appetizer to guests or for a gluten free option. Yum!!

  6. I just tried this…the flavor is great, but appearance not so much. I read some comments that said the batter was runny to pour into the pan. Mine was very thick after sitting and difficult to spread. Top texture is lumpy looking. Would not want to serve to guests. What did I do wrong?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Hi Sharon, it sounds like there was too much flour or water. Somehow the ratio was off. I would try again, making sure to use level measurements. Hope that helps!

  7. Really good – like the interior of falafel. Very easy to make!

  8. I was so shocked by how well this turned out. I had little hope when I saw how runny the batter was when I first mixed it. But this is AMAZING and amazingly easy. Even my husband liked it!

  9. This was so simple and easy! Thank you so much for the recipe, it’s a keeper!

  10. I find that I cannot digest besan well, but that cooked chickpeas are fine. I’m thinking maybe I could blend the cooked chickpeas with a smaller amount of water or perhaps the liquid that comes with them (I use canned ) and then bake. Has anyone tried this? What is the texture of the batter like? Thin like a crepe? Thicker like a pancake?

    1. Lauren Schmidt says:

      Hi! I’m not sure how old your comment is (because the website doesn’t show the date), but I wanted to offer the suggestion of trying organic SPROUTED garbanzo bean flour (I get mine online). Many who have trouble digesting regular beans/grains don’t have any issues with sprouted beans/grains. I hope that helps :)

      1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

        Thanks for the sharing, Lauren, that’s super helpful!

    2. Mary Mentiplay says:

      It is easy to make your own chickpea flour if you have a decent blender. Just Google it!

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