I have spent my whole life as lover of freshly baked bread. My mother made it almost daily, and when she had the windows open and the scent of fresh bread hit the air, you could come down our street and see most of the neighbourhood kids walking around with thick slices covered in homemade strawberry jam.
As a bread baker myself, I often view fresh bread as the perfect component to the quintessential comfort meal. Biscuits can be a quick back up plan, but I’ve never considered a skillet bread to be a reliable substitute until I discovered socca.
I use chickpea flour for making eggless breakfast frittata’s, but I was curious to see what else I could use it for when I came across this glorious french food. A popular food truck offering, this skillet bread is common in Nice, France but I had never heard of it here in Ontario, Canada. It’s also just naturally gluten free, dairy free, vegan, low carb and absolute perfection.
So far I’ve made my version a few times, and have eaten the cut wedges straight out of the pan with whatever leftovers were in the fridge. They are best fresh out of the even, but they also toast up really well in the toaster.
One blogger I read actually suggested using socca as a base for low carb pizza. Um… yes. That is totally what I’m going to do the next time I make pizza!
To make socca, you really only need a few ingredients, a little bit of patience, and a cast iron frying pan. The cast iron is essential for getting the crisp exterior and creamy interior. If you try making this without a cast iron pan and it doesn’t quite work for you… don’t look at me, because I told you so.
The only thing I’m unsure of, and maybe you can help me out here… is how to pronounce it. I’ve looked online and I was presented with TWO different pronunciations, both from reliable sources.
Is it S’aw’ka?
Or is it S’ew’ka?
If you figure that out. Let me know.
In a small bowl, whisk your chickpea flour, water, oil, salt and the optional seasonings together. Cover with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Chickpea flour is slower to rehydrate so this step is important.
In the meantime, place your un-oiled cast iron pan in the oven preheat it to 450 F.
When the socca batter has rested for the 30 minutes, carefully remove the hot cast iron from the oven and turn your broiler on. Make sure you have a rack positioned just below the broiler.
Oil the pan; I use a tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil for this, but you can use more olive oil if that is your preference.
Pour the socca batter into the very hot skillet, you’ll notice that it begins to sizzle on the edges almost immediately. Scatter some herbs over the top if you wish, and throw the pan back into the oven, under the broiler. Set the timer for 7 minutes.
Let it rest in the pan on the stove top for another minute or two, then cut into wedges and serve. Enjoy!