Site News Cooking from Scratch: Socca

Published on April 5th, 2010 | by Rachel Shulman

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Socca – the French pancake that’s gluten-free and vegan

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One of my favorite ways to get “bread” on the table fast is to make socca, the chickpea pancake that’s a classic in France. It’s fast, easy, and – in it’s simplest form – contains nothing but chickpea flour, water, oil, salt, and pepper.

You can find chickpea flour at health food stores and larger grocery chains or order it online. Bob’s Red Mill is a popular brand (look for their Garbanzo Bean Flour).

Socca is wonderful as an appetizer or as a savory, gluten-free “crepe” (try filling it with braised meats or veggie stews). It’s also great for breakfast with some jam.

Recipe (4-6 servings):

  • 1 1/2 cups room temperature water
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (plus more as needed)

To make the batter, pour the water into a mixing bowl and sift the chickpea flour into it using a fine-mesh sieve or a sifter. Add the salt, black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Whisk the mixture together, cover the bowl with a towel, and let the batter sit on the counter for at least 5 minutes and up to 12 hours.

For smaller pancakes, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pour 2-inch circles of batter into the pan and cook until small bubbles appear on the top of the pancakes and the bottoms are browned (1-2 minutes). Flip the pancakes and cook until the other side is browned (about a minute). Serve hot.

To make one large, more traditional pancake, heat the oven to 450 degrees. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a 12-inch oven-proof skillet or pizza pan. Bake the batter for about 15 minutes, or until the pancake is set. Heat the broiler, brush the top of the pancake with a bit more olive oil, and then set the socca a few inches away from the broiler until it browns a tad (1-2 minutes). Cut into wedges and serve hot.

To make fancier socca, add half of a small, thinly sliced sweet onion and one tablespoon of fresh rosemary to the batter before cooking.

For an Indian version of socca, add half of a small, thinly sliced onion, 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger, 2-4 minced hot green chilies (such as jalapeno), 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander, and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro to the batter.

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Image courtesy of Dayna Mclsaac via a Creative Commons license.

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About the Author

I'm an ecologist turned journalist turned farmer-in-training. I'm currently working on an organic farm and creamery in Illinois. Follow me on twitter (http://twitter.com/rachelshulman), friend me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=3105709), or follow me on StumbleUpon (http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/RachelShulman/).



  • http://lavieestbelles.blogspot.com kathleen

    I have some chickpea flour that needs to be used up so I actually just got up from my computer and prepared this. I added cumin, turmeric, garlic, black pepper, pink salt and cayenne. I think I’ll bake it in my cast iron pan. I can’t wait. Thanks!!

  • http://www.Cibaria-intl.com Cibaria Oils

    great recipe! We are always looking for more gluten-free recipes to share with our customers!

  • Pingback: Vegan Bites: April 6, 2010

  • Pingback: Easy Gluten-Free Crust for Quiche and Pies : Eat. Drink. Better.

  • http://Web Sasha

    Why no baking powder?

    • Rachel Shulman

      Because it’s a flat, unleavened pancake.

  • http://Web Kobus

    Hey! Thanks for the recipe, why no easy print link?

    • http://community.importantmedia.org/beckyanne/ Becky Striepe

      Good question! We don’t provide a print link in hopes that folks will save some paper and jot the recipe onto scrap paper rather than printing. :)

      • http://community.importantmedia.org/beckyanne/ Becky Striepe

        Actually, scratch that. I just got a great email from a reader pointing out that without a print friendly version option, the recipes print out on multiple pages. There should be a print button behind the +Share menu now!

    • http://Web Laura Reesor

      I get around printing by copying the recipe, then pasting it in a new Word document. Then I save it on my computer. I never have to print that way, I just pull it up on my computer and follow the instructions.

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