So what do you make for people who can’t have gluten?
The simple answer is “lots of things” – soups, salads, meat and rice dishes all come to mind. But when it comes to breads, the answer is not so simple and a question that I wrangled with a bit this past semester. I was teaching a class on cultural foods and several of my students could not have gluten. Since they needed to sample to dishes I demonstrated in class I had to find some alternatives and in the process, found some absolutely fabulous dishes – such as this gluten free Moroccan Flat Bread. Made with chickpea flour, it is Morocco’s version of socca, a chickpea flour pancake that is a common street food in Nice. This Moroccan Flat Bread is thicker – it has an almost custardy texture and is generally served with a sprinkling of cumin and a dab of harissa.
And it is really, really good.
And really, really easy.
In class, we enjoyed this Moroccan Flat Bread straight out of the pan, but it would be great served alongside a salad, with soup, or as an appetizer (maybe with a little tapenade or tomato salsa!) or as part of a mezze platter.
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing
- 2 tsp. salt
- 4½ cups lukewarm water
- 2⅔ cups chickpea flour, sifted
- ground cumin and/or harissa for serving
- In a blender or a food processor blend the olive oil and the egg until it's foamy. Add the salt and half of the water and blend. Add half of the chickpea flour and blend until smooth. Add the remaining flour and water. If the mixture has any lumps, pass through a fine mesh strainer set over a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate the batter overnight or up to 2 days.
- If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven and Pre heat the oven to 500 degrees - if you don't have a pizza stone, just pre heat the oven. Brush a 12 inch cast iron skillet with olive oil. If aren't using a pizza stone, pre heat the skillet in the oven for 3 minutes. Whisk the batter so that it's fully blended and pour into the skillet. Bake for 30 minutes. Brush the top of the bread with olive oil and cover about ⅔ of the skillet with a baking sheet. Turn off the oven and bake for another 20 minutes or until the top is a deep golden brown and nicely glazed.
- Remove from oven and using a spatula, loosen the edges and bottom of the bread and slide it onto a cutting board. Cut into triangles or rectangles and serve warm or at room temperature.
And it was not only a hit with me, but with my students!
To be honest, baking with gluten free ingredients isn’t something that I’ve done a lot – there is an art to it