FarinataPosted: October 10, 2009
I’ve not had great success with re-creating bread and bread-like foods using gluten-free/wheat-free flours, so I’ve decided that it’s better to make bread-like foods that were never intended to be made with wheat flour in the first place! (Which is not to say that I will never again attempt to make a nice loaf of bread with assorted GF flours… just that I’ve released myself from the stress of trying!)
My favorite so far of the non-wheat breads I’ve tried is farinata, an ancient flatbread hailing from Italy and other regions of the Mediterranean. It has always been made with chickpea flour (also called besan flour or garbanzo bean flour), so it’s not a cheap imitation of the real thing: it IS the real thing! And the people rejoice!
It’s very easy to make and doesn’t use a lot of ingredients (no xanthan gum, thank Heavens!). Did I mention that it’s delicious? Very! It’s a flexible recipe too: you can cook it a shorter length of time for a softer bread (good for my toddler), or you can cook it longer to make it cracker-like.
I didn’t set out to find this recipe, I actually stumbled across it (or rather, I think the Lord led me to it!) in the free magazine published by my favorite grocery store. I had just purchased my first ever package of garbanzo bean flour and was trying to figure out what in the world to do with it. Enter farinata!
~He leadeth me, o blessed thought! Oh words with heavenly comfort frought!~
Enough talking. Here’s the recipe:
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed Italian herbs (I used rosemary, thyme, oregano)
1/8 cup + 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Stir chickpea flour and water together; let it rest for a couple hours. It will be liquidy; don’t worry.
After it rests, skim the foam off the surface and stir in herbs and olive oil.
Heat oven to 500F (yes, 500!). Heat a large cookie sheet with a lip for about 10 minutes. Oil the cookie sheet with an additional tablespoon of olive oil and pour in the farinata batter. It will be thin; once again, don’t worry. Bake for 25-30 minutes until crisp (but not black, lol) around the edges.
To serve, it’s traditionally cut into wedges, but I found the rectangular shape of the pan lent itself better to square, cracker-like shapes.
My Certain Little Someone gobbled this up! I have to admit, he’s not real picky when it comes to carbs – he eats pretty much any bread-like food I give him, but I ate some of it myself and I thought it was delicious!