A close friend and closet gourmet chef—we’ll call him “Joe”—served this bread at his last food fest. He had eaten it in Italy, and then miraculously saw a recipe for it in the New York Times (the next best thing to Italian cuisine itself).
I wanted to recreate Joe’s recreation, and thought I found that very recipe in a 2005 NYTimes post. My first attempt was nothing like Joe’s. Super salty, floppy not crispy, and looked like cracked, dehydrated dessert groundcover. Disgustoso!
Thankfully, Joe then disclosed his gourmet chef fine-tunings: 1. let the batter sit for a few hours rather than a few minutes, 2. bake it longer (like, double the time), 3. sprinkle salt and pepper over the top instead of mixing it into the batter. Uffa.
Version due was tested on some friends who went to Italy one time a few years ago (so obviously had the credentials). Here is the result, a Bitchin’-Joe-Times collaboration.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Batter Sitting Time: 2 hours (or overnight)
Baking Time: 25 minutes
Makes 6 appetizer-size portions
1 cup chickpea flour (or garbanzo bean flour; same thing)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, or in my variety: 1 tsp dried basil + 1 tsp. dried oregano
1. Sift chickpea flour into a bowl; add salt and pepper (or reserve to sprinkle on final product); then slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps.
2. Stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Cover, and let sit for at least 2 hours, or up to 12 hours. Go organize your workshop or take a nap. Batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream.
3. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Pour 2 tablespoons oil into a 12-inch pizza pan or cast-iron skillet. Place it in the heated oven for 15 min.
3. Stir herb(s) into batter. Take pan out of the oven and pour batter into it. Bake 25 minutes, or until “pancake” is firm and edges set.
4. Cut it into wedges, and serve hot, or at least warm.
Nutrition Info Per Wedge (1/6th of recipe): 159 calories, 12.3 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 8.8 g carbohydrate, 1.7 g fiber, 3.5 g protein, 206 mg sodium, 4.4% iron.
While this bread doesn’t get you out of eating beans for the day, it does give you a gold star with your dietitian and gluten-free enthusiasts. Enjoy it as is, or as a bean dip vehicle. Figo. Fantastico. Delicioso!