Socca – the most complicated simple recipe in the world

It’s a chickpea pancake.  I didn’t get to try it, but it looks pretty nice.  Chickpeas are nice, I imagine Chickpea flour tastes like chickpeas?  Broaden your horizons, live a little, let me know how that works out for you.

1 cup (4.5 oz) chickpea flour

1 cup water

1.5 tbsp olive oil (plus some for frying with)

0.5 tsp salt

1 tsp zatar (optional)

Whisk the flour, water, olive oil and salt together, then let it rest for 30min to give the flour time to absorb the water (that’s interesting. I think it’s interesting anyway, and it’s my Friday afternoon).

Preheat the oven to 450F and then 5 mins before your batter is finished resting, put a cast iron skillet in there to heat it up.

OMG I’ve realised that this recipe now gets all technical, and keeps referencing something called ‘broiling’. No, me neither, so I googled and found this:

The biggest difference between a grill and an oven broiler is that your oven has a thermostat to control temperature. While this might seem like it would simplify the process the problem is that your oven can turn off when it gets to a certain temperature — about 500 to 550 degrees F (260 to 288 degrees C). This will leave foods to cook in their own steam. You want that constant direct heat. To keep your broiler hot, prop open the oven door an inch or two. This allows heat to escape and will keep the oven from reaching its highest temperature where the thermostat may turn off the heating element.

 It is important that foods not bake, but broil and to do this, there needs to a constant flow of hot air. Baking is done with hot air. Broiling is done with direct heat from the source. Broiling is much more like infrared cooking.
So, now you know, I will plough on with this recipe.
Remove the skillet from the oven (wearing oven mitts for any muppets out there, health and safety first). Add a teaspoon or so of oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.  Pour the batter into the centre of the pan, and tilt it around to coat all of the pan.
Broil the Socca for 5 to 8 minutes, until you see the top start to blister and brown. if it goes brown too fast (i.e. still sloppy [is that an appropriate word for a recipe?] underneath) move it down a rack in the oven.
When done it should be fairly flexible on the inside and crispy on the outside.
Good Grief. I though this would be a simple job for a Friday afternoon.  How complicated can chickpeas be? What did I know?  I think this recipe has beaten me – if anyone out there has a go, do think to send me some, ta.
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