Right now the Internet is almost entirely made up of with recipes for yeast-free bread and when this coronavirus crisis blows over we’ll have a sourdough starter surplus so big that it may devalue bread permanently. However, if you’re on lockdown and still looking for a yeast-free, gluten-free, egg-free, low carb, vegan bread food that is incredibly delicious and easy to make, anyone can do it, then you’ve come to the right place.
Farinata is a chickpea cake that originated in Genova, Italy but now has spread around the world, much like the coronavirus itself. Unlike the coronavirus, though, it is incredibly delicious and is something you can make at home and share with your family members.
Some refer to farinata as a ‘pancake’ or a ‘tart’, in Italy, that call it a ‘torta’ or a cake. In Nice, France (once the same region as Liguria), it is known as Socca. Farinata manages to be all these things and completely itself. It is a savoury snack that is crunchy on the outside, yet moist in the middle, served with plenty of black pepper and salt. It goes very well with beer.
Farinata is made with chickpea flour, which can be found easily enough in the supermarket. If you can find it though, fear not. You can use dried chick peas (or garbanzo beans as they are sometimes called). Just put your dried chick peas in a food processor, until they are ground down. Run the powder through a sieve and process what’s left. Repeat until you have a very fine flour. If you don’t have a food processor, a NutriBullet or even a coffee grinder will work but it will take longer.
1 1/2 cups Chickpea flour
2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
5 tablespoons Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Add the water to the chickpea flour a little at a time until you have a smooth mixture with the consistency of liquid paint.
Cover and leave to ferment for a minimum of two hours.
Skim the foam from the surface of the mixture.
Take a baking tray and pour olive oil onto the surface, enough to generously cover it. You can also use a cast-iron skillet, which you can preheat before adding the oil to.
Gently draw a wooden spatula across the mixture to allow the oil to mingle with the mixture.
Place in a preheated oven (at full temp) and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the surface has a toasted, crispy texture.
Remove and allow to cool. Serve with copious amounts of freshly ground black pepper.