Farinata (Chickpea Flour Flat Bread)
I love to load mine up with brown butter sage mushrooms (recipe below for those) and my hubby loves his with prosciutto and shaved Parmesan on his. Sometimes I like to add fresh rosemary, caramelized onion slice or shallots to the batter. I also like to add some slices of chopped chives to mine too. This Farinata Flatbread or savoury pancake can also be a great Gluten Free Pizza Crust. It’s simpler than making a cauliflower crust or any other kind of gluten free pizza crust. Think of it as a very thin crust pizza crust. I bake it for a tad longer when I’m loading on the toppings because I love extra crispy edges on mine.
What I have learned from trying several versions of this and doing my reading on this simple flatbread is that everyone makes there’s a little different, everyone prefers there’s a very specific way and everyone also seems to make it the most authentic way. Well all I can say is this is my version of a simple classic. It has a soft center and lovely crispy edges. It’s a very flexible recipe when it comes to add ins but the main components stay the same - chickpea flour, water, salt and olive oil.
How to make Farinata
Simply mix the water with the chickpea flour until a smooth batter forms. Let the batter rest for at least 1 hour to fully hydrate before putting it in the hot skillet. Skim off the foam from the top of the batter before putting in to the hot pan for a more stable batter. Stir in any herb you would like to add to the batter just before pouring it in to the pan - that includes the salt as well and any add ins. I like to caramelize my onions or shallots ahead of time and then stir them in the batter before pouring it into the hot pan. Bake until edges are nice and crispy and serve hot right out the pan or slide it out of the pan onto cutting board and slice and enjoy with some extra salt and pepper sprinkled over top. If making it into a pizza - cook the pancake halfway through, carefully remove pan from oven, add your toppings and then bake for the remaining time. I like to bake mine till nice and crispy on the bottom and edges. It’ll be a thin, crispy, and delicious. Hope you enjoy!
For the pancake:
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- A pinch of salt
For the brown butter sage mushrooms (optional topping):
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoon of butter
- 2 cups of assorted wild mushrooms halved or chopped if large
- 10 fresh sage leaves
For the Farinata
- Mix together all of the ingredients with a fork until the batter is smooth. Let the batter sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour at room temperature or for up to a few hours, before proceeding.
- Once ready preheat oven to 450°F. Place 9 inch cast iron skillet in the oven while it’s preheating. You want your skillet to be smoking’ hot.
- Once up to temperature, remove skillet, and carefully add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and swirl to coat the bottom.
- Quickly pour in the batter, and return the pan to the broiler.
- Cook for approx 10 minutes, until the top is set and edges are golden brown. (Keep a close eye on it, it can easily burn if left unattended) if the top has not already browned or not browned to your liking, place the pancake under a broiler for 1 to 2 minutes until it is flecked with tasty brown spots.
- Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, slice and serve.
For the brown butter sage mushroom topping
- If topping yours with the sage butter mushrooms simple heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat then add the mushroom and pan fry gently until soft.
- Add the sage leaves and turn up the heat a little and cool stirring until butter is browned along with the mushrooms and sage is crisp. Spoon over hot pancake or serve on the side.
- If you want to add the onion or shallots use approx 1/2 of a small one sliced and for the herbs I usually use 1 tbsp fresh herbs - usually rosemary which I chop roughly. Sauté the thin onion or shallot slices in extra virgin olive oil until soft and translucent but not brown. Just before finishing, stir in the herbs to cook for a few moments, then add the cooked onions to the batter just before pouring it in the pan.
- The batter can sit up to 12 hours. So this makes it the perfect make ahead batter. I love to make it the night before if I’m making it for breakfast (I love savoury pancakes for brekkie) and then it’s ready to go as soon as you want to get food ready in the morning.