Food of the Gods
Guess what I had on Saturday. Go ahead, guess. No, wait, nevermind, I'll just tell you.
Arguably some of the best pizza I've ever had, to be honest.
The toppings were amazing, to be sure, but the crust was the missing link.
We used homemade socca bread, and it's so ridiculously easy, you guys. I've stretched and pulled and baked and prayed over pizza crusts before and this makes it all look so very ridiculous. As if making a normal pizza crust is some kind of Three Stooges routine.
Socca bread. It's a traditional bread from somewhere and somewhen and the coolest thing is that it's just about as flexible a flatbread recipe as you could ask for.
I've made plain socca, Italian socca, Turkish socca ... and I'm planning on making sweet potato socca, chocolate dessert socca, and about eleventy billion different kinds of pizza crust socca.
Socca is gluten-free, vegan, simple, and deeeelicious.
The hardest part is finding garbanzo bean flour. If you have a strong enough choppah, you can pulverize garbanzo beans into the flour yourself (it's not a fancy flour) but most folks end up buying pre-pulverized flour from the store. Our local Piggly Wiggly does not have garbanzo bean flour, but the Woodman's does (and of course, the fancy schmancy grocery stores do). We buy Bob's Red Mill - they've got a great reputation as a company and also happen to be the only brand we can find locally, which is like a win/win. I find it either by the normal baking flours OR in the special gluten-free section of the store, if the store is large enough to have such a thing.
How Easy Is It?
It's so easy I can do it.
Not convinced? A delightful penpal sent me a recipe for a very simple, beginner irish soda bread.
I bungled it.
Cooking, I can do. Baking is too much like chemistry - I always manage to get the proportions wrong enough to set something on fire.
Socca bread, however, I can make all day long. And eat all day long.
- 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 1/2 cup WARM water
- a pinch of salt
- a drizzle of oil
- other seasonings to taste
Mix ingredients together in a bowl until smooth.
Let it sit for AT LEAST half an hour. I've had it sit for half a day with no problems. It needs to rest just a little while. The consistency should be somewhere between thick and thin - not too runny and not too pudding-y.
Get a nonstick fry pan hot (medium heat on the burner). Drizzle a little more oil in the pan (just enough to give the socca a reason not to stick much - think of it like making pancakes)
When the oil is hot and runny in the pan, pour the socca mixture in. FSSSSHHHH sizzle.
Leave it alone.
I know, I know, you want to poke it or flip it or whatever, but just give it some time. How much time? Slightly longer than you wish it would take.
When the bottom is completely cooked (and at this point it should be at least halfway cooked through, if not 3/4 of the way) you can flip it. Because you were patient and waited, it's firm enough on the bottom that you can do a super-chef pan-toss flip.
Unless you're me, and then you'll want to use a spatula. *grimaces at the stain on the ceiling*
Let the other side finish cooking and when it's no longer squidgy in the middle, pop it out onto a plate and let it cool a smidge before you gobble it up. Experience tells me that you can taste the delicious socca-y goodness better if your tongue isn't burned. Whodathunkit?
This recipe makes one small socca flatbread. To make more, just keep doubling it. Remember to keep the warm water to garbanzo bean flour ratio consistent and don't forget to give it time to rest before you cook it and you're golden.
Sweet, Spicy, Savory Socca
Plain socca bread tastes bland when you first bite into it, then the second half of the taste is this amazing nutty creaminess from the garbanzo bean flour.
Spiced socca bread tastes flavorful AND you still get that nutty creaminess. Furthermore, the bread is exceptionally elastic, accepting just about any flavor you might want to throw at it.
Traditional socca is baked instead of fried, and most socca recipes still recommend baking. I prefer frying them like pancakes for now.
My inspirations in this breadly endeavor are the Socca Twins over at Pure2Raw.
To make the personal pizza, we used Italian seasonings in the mix (basil, oregano, thyme, black pepper, salt) and then when it came time to flip the socca, we scurried to add the toppings while the bottom was cooking. We added a lid to the pan so that the toppings could warm along with the cooking bread and then when the bread was done, so was the pizza!
We made more than one. Because they were so small, we were able to experiment with the toppings and sauces to make each pizza different.
Sauces included pesto and bruschetta.
Toppings included roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichokes, fresh tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast flakes (terrible name, delicious cheesy flavor)
Pizzas were AH-Mahay-ZAHING.