Quite possibly my favorite discovery of the year: Socca Bread! This chickpea flatbread is gluten-free, incredibly versatile, and requires less than 5 minutes of prep. How does fresh bread under 30 minutes sound?!
I'm breaking away from the traditional Instant Pot recipe today. Don't panic, it's for a good reason.
That reason: Socca Bread.
Remember this Instant Pot Burst Tomatoes recipe when I promised you my go-to Socca Bread recipe? Well, today's the day!
I also gushed about it in a past TIDBITS Talk and ever since this chickpea flatbread has made nearly a weekly appearance in my kitchen. Instant Pot recipe or not, how could I possibly resist sharing it with all you hungry-for-good-food people?
Bonus, it's a perfect side dish to many Instant Pot soups, shredded meat, salads, and bowl-type recipes, which means while the Instant Pot is doing its job, you can focus on whipping up this dreamy, savory, buttery, crispy flatbread.
WHAT IS SOCCA BREAD
Again, Socca Bread is a flatbread made from chickpea flour. It's thicker than a tortilla, has a softer chew than flatbread made with wheat flour, and has the most addicting crisp, buttery edges you could ever imagine.
Warning: If you choose to eat a pan of Socca at the same table as me, expect to get served a slice minus the crispy edges. I simply can't help myself (sorry hubby).
It's popular throughout southern France and northern Italy, but is so versatile, you can easily pair it with any type of cuisine.
Aside from the special ingredient, Chickpea Flour, this Socca Bread batter is whisked together with a few basic ingredients and then baked in a blazing hot skillet in the oven until golden brown and crispy around the edges.
Now, I know what you're thinking:
“Do I really want to buy a special ingredient like chickpea flour to make one recipe?”
The answer: “YES!”
If the only thing you ever use your chickpea flour for is to make Socca Bread, you will absolutely 100% work your way through that bag of flour. I promise you, it will not sit in your pantry and expire because once you've had Socca Bread, you will make it weekly for the rest of your life.
In fact, to ensure you love, love, triple love this Socca Bread recipe, I'm including my favorite way to eat it in the recipe card below: smeared with herbaceous cream cheese and topped with a pile of burst cherry tomatoes.
Are you on board with the chickpea flour thing yet? Keep reading. I'll get ya in the end, I just know it!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE SOCCA BREAD
- EASY: Typically a bread recipe means a lot of careful measuring, mixing, kneading, etc. Not here! Whisk, dump, bake – literally ready to throw in the oven in less than 5 minutes.
- SPECIAL: Indeed, this bread is special. It is unique in taste and texture, unlike any bread you've likely ever experienced. Soft, foldable, dunkable, dippable, spreadable bread with the most amazing nutty, buttery flavor I've ever experienced in a flatbread.
- THOSE EDGES: Again, wow, those crispy brown edges make me feel like a 1-year-old attacking their first birthday smash cake. Simply irresistible.
- VERSATILE: Dunk it in soup, top it like a pizza, dip it in fresh homemade Hummus or Romesco Sauce, stack it open-face sandwich style, or slice it into wedges and eat the whole thing plain, straight from the pan for dinner.
HOW TO MAKE EASY SOCCA BREAD
- Preheat pan with a drizzle of oil in the oven. While it preheats, whisk together the chickpea flour, water, salt, and olive oil.
- Pour into hot pan.
- Bake until browned and the edges are crispy.
SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR DETAILED COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
THE BEST WAY TO EAT SOCCA BREAD
Obviously, this is just my opinion, but if you want to experience the best Socca Bread dish of your life, here's what you need to do:
- Mix some herbs, salt, and pepper into whipped cream cheese (found with the regular cream cheese, it's softer and fluffier)
- Tear off a piece of Socca Bread and smear it with the cream cheese while it's hot.
- Add a pile of Instant Pot Burst Tomatoes and dive in.
It'll be a tad messy, but that's okay. Your cream cheese and tomato smeared face and hands won't mind one bit (the children might be giving you a side-eye but what do they know anyway? They can't eat a piece of cake without chocolate smeared from their hair to their chin so . . .).
If you can get your hands on summer ripe cherry tomatoes, grab as many as you can and eat your Socca this way all summer long.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- CHICKPEA FLOUR: Yes, you'll need to use chickpea flour specifically for this recipe. The Bob's Red Mill brand is quite easy to find in-store or online.
- PREHEAT THE PAN: You will absolutely want a screaming hot pan to pour the batter into. This starts the cooking process and is what results in the crispy, browned edges.
- PAN CHOICE: Socca bread is typically made in a cast iron skillet because it can handle the 450°F oven well and is great for browning the bottom of the bread. I use a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Anything from 8-10 inches will work but will of course alter how thick or thin your bread is. If you don't have a cast-iron pan, any flat, shallow 8-10 inch dish will do as long as it is safe at high temperatures.
- WHISK UNTIL SMOOTH: Make sure the Socca batter is smooth before pouring it into the hot pan, otherwise, the end product will be lumpy.
- EAT IT WHILE IT'S HOT: This bread is hands down best right out of the oven. However, I've reheated leftovers in the air fryer before and that was just as good as the day I served it.
- DOUBLE IT: If needed, this recipe can be doubled and cooked in two separate batches or in a larger 12-inch pan.
- CUT DOWN ON THE OIL: This bread uses plenty of oil to get those crispy edges. If you'd like to cut down on the amount of oil, I suggest using a non stick oil spray in the pan instead of the extra oil. It won't be quite as crispy, but it's still amazing.
HOW TO STORE, REHEAT, AND FREEZE
- Store: Place leftovers in a sealed bag or container. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Reheat: To get the crispiness back, reheat for a few minutes in an air fryer or throw it in a 450° oven until warm and crisp.
- Freeze: Place leftover Socca Bread in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen as directed above.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH SOCCA BREAD
- Slather It: Think Hummus, Romesco, Tzatziki, Pesto, etc slathered on top while the bread is hot.
- Dip It: Serve it with Chili, Tomato Basil Soup, Butternut Squash Soup, or really any Soup for dunking.
- On the Side: Serve it with Salads of any kind to make the meal feel more hearty and complete.
- Keep It Simple: If you want it as simple as can be, drizzle it with a little extra olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese – heaven.
This recipe is very simple – just a little salt, but the sky's limit for what you can add to your Socca batter:
- HERBS: Dried or fresh rosemary, thyme, basil, cilantro, etc.
- Vegetables: Thinly sliced onions, roasted veggies (cut small), etc. After you pour the batter into the hot pan, add the veggies you want on top then bake.
- CHEESE: Sprinkle the top of the Socca Bread with cheese before baking.
- SPICES: Za'atar, garlic powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, fresh cracked black pepper . . . whatever spices you like!
Please tell me I've convinced you to give it a go by this point! If not, come on over, let me feed you. I can't handle another soul not experiencing Socca Bread one day longer.
I hope you love this very simple recipe! Let me know the creative ways you come up with to enjoy your Socca Bread! I can't wait to hear.
MORE BREAD RECIPES
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE SOCCA BREAD
Note: Pinch of Yum's Socca Bread recipe was the first I tried and I was hooked right away. I tweaked it a bit to decrease the amount of oil and to adjust the thickness to my liking. I will forever be grateful to Lindsay for posting her recipe!
Easy Socca Bread
Socca Bread is a warm, crispy chickpea flatbread, made in less than 30 minutes! Serve with a slather of cream cheese and burst tomatoes.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: French
- Diet: Gluten Free
- ¾ cup chickpea flour
- ¾ cup + 2 T water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
For the Herb Whipped Cream Cheese
- 4 ounces of whipped cream cheese
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- Fresh or dried herbs like basil, thyme, parsley, rosemary, etc.
- Preheat oven to 450° F.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a 10 inch cast iron skillet (or other oven safe pan) and let it heat up while you mix up the socca batter (about 5 minutes).
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and water.
- Pour the batter into the hot skillet and swirl lightly so it comes up the sides of the pan just a little bit.
- Bake for 15 – 18 minutes until golden brown and crispy around the edges.
- While the Socca bakes, make the Herb Whipped Cream Cheese by whisking the cream cheese, salt, pepper, and herbs together until smooth. Set aside.
- Serve Socca Bread hot with a spread of whipped cream cheese and a scoop of Instant Pot Burst Tomatoes.
- If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, any flat, shallow, 8-10 inch oven-safe dish will work. Make sure your dish/pan is oven safe to 450°F.
- The recipe can be doubled. I suggest cooking half of the batter at a time or using a larger 12 – 14 inch skillet to make sure you get those thin, crispy edges.
- To cut down on the amount of oil used, spray the pan with nonstick oil and omit the extra tablespoon of oil used to coat the pan. It won’t be quite as brown and crispy, but it’s still delicious.
- Use “whipped” cream cheese in a tub if you can find it, not a block of cream cheese. If all you can find is regular cream cheese, just add a splash of milk and whisk until it’s soft and spreadable.
- Socca bread can be served in a variety of ways. See the post for more ideas.
- Note: Nutrition facts are for the Socca Bread only.
Keywords: Socca Bread, Easy Socca Bread, Easy Bread Recipe
Thank you. Better this time. Now I know how to work it to get the thinner batter. I also changed things a little. I added herbs (Zaatar) and this helped the flavor a lot. Also to lighten up the dip I used Greek yogurt and ranch powder dressing to put on the socca. It is a very bland base and adding the spices helps. needed to cook a little longer but now i understand how to make it work.
A girl in my book club made it but I didn’t attend due to covid. everyone was talking about it and I really wanted the experience. thank you for your help
Esta, happy to hear it! I have Zaatar in my cupboard so I’m excited to try that out next time. I’m glad you could make it work for you!
thank you for following through with me. I enjoy your site and follow you regularly
Esta, Thank you! I really appreciated your feedback on it as well. It’ll make it better for everyone.
Thank you for following up. I’m using Just About Foods organic Chickpea flour. using the designated amount of flour water and oil. It comes out thick on the pan and have to force it to thin out .It does not flow…how about add more water? or more oil…its like a thick pancake nd have to work at stretching it out.
Esta, I’m making it again tonight. It should definitely be thin enough to pour and fill the pan without needing to coax it much to spread. I’m guessing the difference is the brand, so yes, add more water next time. It should be quite thin. I’ll report back if I notice anything funny tonight when I make it.
Esta, I just wanted to let you know that I tried it again in a couple of different pans last night with 2 tablespoons extra water and it worked out fabulously. So I would definitely say you’re safe to use extra water. Report back if you try it!
I was born in Buenos Aires, which saw a large number of immigrants from Genoa. “Faina”, in Ligurian, is available in every pizzeria.
I make it often. In addition to herbs I add a lot of caramelized onions or leeks. Try it!
Alex, that is so interesting! Do you have a different way of making it that you like? Do you add the onions and leeks to the wet batter then bake it?
I love most anything you make but honestly this wasn’t my favorite. I so wanted to like it because I love chickpeas and your description made it sound delicious. I think mine may have been too thick? It didn’t pour into the pan like a cornbread. Rather I had to dump it in and then push it around to fill the pan. Just tasted kind of dull and wasn’t as crisp as you described. Is it suppose to be more pourable into the pan? Does it rise at all? I want to try again. Maybe a bit more salt next time, I went light on salt.
Debbie, oh wow, that doesn’t sound right at all! It’s very runny, pours like water almost into the pan. Look at the recipe for me and tell me if you did all the same measurements because I’m baffled! How big was your pan? I’m so sad it didn’t work for you. I adore this flatbread!
Same here says
Same for me. very thick and not pourable. spread it out as best I could. made it twice. Im going to add more water and try again….
Oh no, this is making me crazy that you’re not getting the buttery, crispy socca I love so much. I’ll make it this week and see if I can figure out what’s happening. What brand of chickpea flour are you using? Did you add the oil?
I make a pizza crust similar to this. I add cumin for a smoky flavor. Super easy and gluten free!
Elaine, Great idea! Can you give me the details? I want to try this!