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Socca; Gluten Free Flat Bread From the French Riviera

Over a year ago I spent a delicious week in Nice, France soaking up the sun, enjoying the people and exploring the food.  Trips often cause a bit of anxiety if I am unfamiliar with the cuisine and wondering if it is gluten-free.  This trip was different, I knew I could indulge in a “crepe” or round “flat bread” made with garbanzo bean/chick pea flour.  Socca is a specialty of Nice and served in restaurants or bakeries.  I also found a version in northern Italy, called Farinata, at the Ventimiglia mercato or outdoor market.

The taste is a bit savory,a bit sweet and absolutely divine, especially when it is difficult to find decent tasting gluten-free baked products.  I often make this to accompany soup or use it in place of crackers for hummus or tapenade.  In France it is usually served without added seasoning but I like to add embellishments like rosemary, Italian seasoning, kalamata olives, chopped red onion or a variation.  It is best baked in an extra large iron skillet (the size of a pizza stone) but it can also be cooked over the stove top for a thicker texture.

Socca or Farinata
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4

Gluten free flat bread made with garbanzo bean flour.
  • 1 cup of garbanzo bean/chick pea flour
  • 1-2 Tbs. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • extra olive oil for pan
  • optional: 1 tsp each rosemary and italian seasoning and ¼ cup each of chopped red onion and kalamata olives

  1. In a large bowl whisk together garbanzo bean flour, olive oil, sea salt, pepper and water. Add the optional ingredients if using.
  2. Stir well, cover and let sit in refrigerator for 1 hour or as long as overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Allow large iron skillet to warm in oven for up to 10 minuets.
  4. Remove iron skillet, add olive oil to lightly cover the bottom of the skillet. Pour the batter onto skillet and spread evenly. Place in oven, cook 8-10 min. When cooked, and lightly brown around edges remove and cut into wedges or small square pieces. Best served warm but delicious room temperature.
  5. For stove top cooking use medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil to cover skillet pan pour a bit of batter in skillet, swirl around, like making pancakes or crepes. Allow to cook until slightly brown on bottom and firm on top, remove. Repeat until batter is complete.


2 Responses

  1. Charlotte says:

    Elizabeth, thanks for the recipe! I just picked up the garbanzo flour at the store. I’m ready! Hoping William will gobble it up again! Thanks

    • Elizabeth says:

      Glad you found the flour, I buy Bob’s Red Mill, which is in many stores. Try different spices or keep it plain, you never know what the little ones will go for. Happy Baking.

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