Baked Socca

What is a socca, you may be wondering?  That’s a very good question!  Soccas are essentially savory pancakes or flatbreads originating from the south of France. Thanks to a novel but easy-to-find ingredient, they’re naturally protein-rich, gluten-free, and a breeze to prepare.

In this traditional recipe, garbanzo (chickpea) flour takes the place of wheat flour and, in the process, provides a unique flavor that is further enhanced by slivered onions and a hint of rosemary.  Soccas are a protein-packed option to a dinner roll, but they can be topped in a variety of ways.

My recipe is an adaptation of one made by Mark Bittman of the New York Times.  It makes one large socca, the diameter of a 10″ cast iron pan. When sliced into quarters, it should serve 2 people as a main dish or 4 people as an appetizer.

Socca is a traditional French dish, and as with so many traditional dishes, there are countless interpretations.  Many recipes create thin, crepe-like soccas and call for cooking them on the stovetop.  You can absolutely experiment with different ways of preparing this wholesome recipe.  However, the thicker, oven-baked version described below is our favorite.

In addition to an impressive 6 grams of protein per serving, garbanzo flour provides 20% of the recommended daily allowance for fiber and 10% of the RDA for iron.  Where to find garbanzo or chickpea flour?  Look in the natural foods aisle of your grocery store.  Bob’s Red Mill sells a stone-ground variety that I usually buy.  Note:  Bob’s Red Mill does have a product that is a combination of garbanzo and fava bean flour, which I do not recommend this recipe.  Look for a package labeled garbanzo or chickpea flour with the beans being the only ingredient.

Enjoy a slice of warm socca with soup or salad or top as you would a flatbread.  Pesto, tapenade, caramelized onions, roasted veggies, even hummus, are all good options.  We especially enjoy a quick salsa of chopped olives, tomatoes, and crumbled feta broiled until the feta is lightly golden.  Adding a handful of arugula adds freshness and makes for a light, salad-like meal.

Baked Socca
Yield: 2 people as a main dish or 4 people as an appetizer
Serve this protein-rich recipe as a nutritious alternative to bread alongside soups, salads, and pastas. Or pair with roasted veggies for a surprisingly satisfying meatless main dish. The flexible soak time ensures best texture and allows for prep-ahead convenience.
  • 1 cup (120 grams) garbanzo (chickpea) flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (use 1/2 teaspoon if using regular table salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup warm water (no need to measure temperature–it should just feel warm)
  • 3 tablespoons olive or avocado oil, divided use (plus more for brushing)
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced onion (I usually use red; yellow is fine, too)
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

In a large bowl, sift together the garbanzo flour, salt and pepper, and then add the rosemary leaves.
Whisk in the warm water and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
Cover the bowl and allow the batter set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.  After resting, the batter should have the consistency of heavy cream. Stir the sliced onions into the batter.

When ready to cook the socca, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  When the oven has come to temperature, heat a heavy skillet with a 10-inch diameter* (cast iron is preferable) for 5-10 minutes or until very hot.
Remove the skillet from oven and add 1 tablespoon oil to the hot pan.  Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the “pancake” is firm and the edges are set.  The top may not be browned, which is okay.
Switch the oven to broil.  If you wish, brush the the socca with a thin layer of oil.  (This is not required but will help the socca retain a little extra moisture.) Place it a few inches below your broiler for 1-2 minutes, or just long enough to brown it in spots.  Watch carefully so the socca doesn’t burn. Cut into wedges and serve hot, with toppings of your choice.


If you prefer a thinner pancake, cook the batter in a skillet with a 12-inch diameter and check the oven a few minutes early.

A pizza pan may be used as an option to the skillet.

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen



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    1. Ann Post author

      Oh gosh, Emme. Garbanzo flour is unique and, since it’s the dominant ingredient in this recipe, it would be hard to replicate. If I were to experiment though, I’d try teff, millet, or buckwheat flour — or a combination of them. If you try, I’d love to know how you make out!