100 g (3½ oz) chickpea flour
300 ml (1 1/5 cup) water
1 ½ tbsp delicate olive oil + 1 tbsp for the baking tray
½ teaspoon salt
1 rosemary sprig (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the chickpea flour in a bowl and gradually add the water while whisking until you obtain a smooth batter that is very liquid. Stir in oil and salt, add the rosemary sprig if using, cover and leave the batter to stand at room temperature for at least an hour, better if longer, up to 10 hours. Heat the oven to 250°C (480°F), skim off any foam that has formed on the surface and stir well. When the oven has reached the right temperature, grease a shallow non-stick 24-cm (9½-in) baking tray with the remaining oil. Pour in the batter, sprinkle over a few rosemary leaves and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until a thin golden-brown crust has formed (the flatbread remains slightly creamy on the inside, however). Grind the pepper over the top as soon as it comes out of the oven, cut into slices and serve immediately.
Chickpea flatbread, farinata di ceci, is a soft type of flatbread that is something like a cross between bread and pancakes. It is particularly common in the northern province of Liguria where it is known as fainâ. However, it is widely popular in many parts of northern Italy and goes under various names: cecina in Tuscany, torta (di ceci) in Lavorno, fainà in Genoa where it originated, but you can also find it in parts of Sardinia and in the south of France where it is called socca and cade. It has been known since Greek and Roman times when it was used as an alternative to bread. It can be served on its own as an appetizer or snack, or together with grilled/baked vegetables to make a complete meal. Chickpea flatbread contains good levels of zinc, iron and potassium and is gluten and lactose free. It should be eaten in moderation if you are on a low-calorie diet as it has a moderate calorie count; 160-170 calories per 100 g (3½ oz) or a quarter of the bread in this recipe.
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