For some time now I’ve thought it such a shame that gluten-free wraps taste so ordinary and that a good, flexible gluten-free pita bread is hard to find. I love Greek food, so it would be great to serve up a souvlaki or a mezze plate and have a great gluten-free flatbread as an accompaniment. I think I’ve found it.
Some time ago, I came across the recipe for this chickpea flatbread (or Cecina) in an Italian cookbook that my Mum gave me called The Taste of Italy. Unfortunately, there were no cooking directions with the recipe, so being short of time to experiment, I cooked batches of the flatbread in a pan, much like a pancake.
The results were fantastic. Soft inside and crunchy outside, it was delicious served warm. I could well appreciate why the Italians enjoy this bread simply, with a glass of red wine. I also could imagine it cooked with crushed garlic or herbs. Yum! Let it go cold and it will lose its crunch and you will have a flatbread with the flexibility of a wrap – a great option for lunchbox fare. Even better, as it’s made with chickpea (besan) flour, it’s cheaper to make than many other gluten-free specialty breads.
I recommend serving this flatbread as part of a dip platter or for a barbecue and then sending the leftovers in the lunchbox the next day, with vegetable sticks and a little pot of dip.
I’ve changed the recipe a little – adjusted the ingredient quantities and added my own cooking method. Enjoy!
3 cups water
150g chickpea (besan) flour
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
Pour the water into a bowl and sprinkle in the chickpea flour little by little, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the salt and mix to obtain a smooth batter. Let rest for 30 minutes.
Pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into a 24 centimetre non-stick frypan. Heat the pan on medium high heat. Stir the batter and measure 1 cup of the batter. Pour it into the pan. Cook for approximately 10 minutes until edges come away from the pan a little and the top is nearly cooked through. Then flip the bread and cook for approximately 5 minutes on the other side or until browned and crispy. Drain on wire rack and repeat cooking process with remainder of batter. Remember to stir the batter each time before measuring.