For a recent meal with friends who are gluten intolerant, we wanted to look at including some form of bread accompaniment that we all could enjoy. We went so far as tracking down a loaf of gluten free Sourdough but having heard bad things we didn’t want to rely only on that, and in hindsight we are glad we didn’t as it really wasn’t enjoyable. Perusing Alvaro Maccioni’s Mamma Toscana Tuscan cookbook we came across a recipe for Torta di Ceci, a Tuscan chickpea based tart/flatbread. Alavaro’s never let us down in the past, whether dining at La Famiglia in Chelsea, London, or finding inspirational recipes from his cookbook, we decided to take a chance with this vegan chickpea tart dish and we’re glad we did.
Elldrew always like to research recipes and read other bakers tips or hints, so after doing this and making a couple of slight adapts to Alvaro’s recipe, we produced a lovely tart/flatbread that was easy and delicious. Our advice for anyone wanting to try this recipe is allow time, you need time for the ingredients to rest to ensure a great result.
- 300g of chickpea flour (also known ‘gram’ flour)
- 900 ml of water
- A generous 1/2 cup olive oil (and more to grease)
- Salt and pepper
- Optional fresh rosemary, roughly chopped (or any other herb)
- In a large bowl slowly add the water to the flour, whisking well to remove all lumps.
- Once the flour has completely dissolved, cover and leave the mixture to stand at room temperature for 1 to 6 hrs (Alvaro says 1 hour; other recipes say overnight. Elldrew rested ours for 3.5 hrs and the results were delicious).
- Heat the oven to a hot temperature – approximately 230°C for fan assisted.
- Generously grease a large flat-ish tray; a pizza tray would do here – we used a thin baking/cookie sheet.
- After the resting time, use a slotted spoon to skim off any foam that’s settled on top.
- Season with salt, pepper and rosemary to taste.
- Add the olive oil and stir gently to form an emulsion.
- Pour the mixture into the greased tray – it should be thin; no more than 1 cm thick.
- Gently pop the tray into the oven for around 30 mins. By then the top should be crispy and golden with the edges just coming loose from the sides of the tray. Some recipes suggest cooking the tart for a shorter time and grilling the top for a crisper top; we found the hot oven was perfect, it gave a better consistency throughout, and was much easier than watching a grill when you have guests over!
Best served hot or warm and worked perfect as an alternative wheat accompaniment.
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