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thecuriousone

Chickpea Batter?

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 Hello Everyone-

  

I've spent most of this holiday cooking out of a couple of issues of sale e pepe that I got.  I'm relying on Google translate to do the heavy lifting and give me a sense of how the recipe goes together.

 

I am working with a  recipe called, "cecina con porri e gorgonzola".   My issue is the "batter".   I've have checked my conversions 3  times and the ratio is 7/8 of a cup of chickpea flour to 2 cups of water.   This makes a slurry, not a batter as I understand it.  The recipe required that I let the solution sit for 4 hours and I did.   Is it supposed to be this thin or is there a better ratio of water to flour I should be using?

 

The recipe requires I put it in the oven for 20 min to firm in, that is where it is now.  It seems to be firming up.   Are there just differences  when working with chickpea flour from working with wheat flour.

 

Thanks for any hints that can help me and have a wonderful new year all.

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How did it turn out?  I assume you're talking about this recipe (link to Google translation), which they're calling a focaccia.  So, basically you're making a thin cake and the question is whether there's enough chickpea flour to bind the water.

 

FWIW, I don't agree with that conversion (which I assume you found on the internet).  In the past, I've measured 3 c chickpea flour to come in at 13 oz.  By my math, that means 200 g should be about 1-5/8 c.  Of course, the way to be certain would be to use a scale.

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Cecina is the Tuscan name for farinata, or socca on the French Riviera. It's very runny, that said, if you had the real thing you already know the home made farinata is going to be a hit or miss. Usually the proportions are 1 part chickpea flour to 3 parts water, salt, good extra virgin olive oil. In Liguria you can buy a very large and thin copper pan to cook farinata, best would be baking it in a pizza oven.

Some people suggest if you don't have the right setting to cook on the stove in a non stick pan...I almost ruined my very nice coating on my crepe pan trying to cook farinata. Never again... I used to stop in Albenga, Puppo restaurant to eat it, or in Savona at Vino e Farinata. It's good eating it there, in the house, my mediocre farinata it's not worthed the effort...

They make also a polenta with it, panissa in Italy, panisse in France also very painful to cook. I don't like the stuff so much to justify the work involved.

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Thanks so much. When I read the recipe, I thought socca, something I have heard of often but never tasted or seen made.  The picture looks like a thickened pancake with leeks and Roquefort on top.   I was thinking the consistency of injera batter and this batter  was much thinner than that.

 

My result was inedible.   I left it in a 375 oven for 3 times the required time and while the edges and bottom turned a lovely crisp brown, the center was  yuk.  An unfortunate waste of good cheese, but you live and learn.  It was a wonderful holiday exercise and the only recipe out of the 8 I tried out of that issue to not have a good result.

 

Can you suggest a reliable conversion table when following European cooking mags in US. kitchens?  Making the conversion isn't the issue, im just not sure some times how many conversions to make.   for example,   Am I converting from uk metrics to uk cups to us cups? I usually get a good sense of the recipe, but as with most things, the devil is in the details.

 

Thanks to all and happy new year.

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Don't convert dry weight measure to cups, use a scale. An added bonus is that most electronic scales, even the $20 at the drug store, weigh in both metric and US customary so, you can just follow metric recipes as written. While this item appears to be fairly difficult to make, trying to use measuring cups for dry ingredients may have thrown off your measurements enough to ruin the end result. Most recipes have some 'tolerance' built in into them, so cooks can make errors. But, since using volumetric measure (cups) for dry ingredients can cause the measurement to be 25% too light or 25% too heavy there simply aren't many recipes out that which can withstand such wild swings in ingredient amounts.

 

Try reading eGullet's Kitchen Scale Manifesto. And, remember that there's no regulatory agency in the US checking on the accuracy of measuring cups sold to the public for non-commercial use. So, cups from different manufacturers can hold differing amounts of liquid, meaning that a cup isn't always a cup, or a cup at my house is different from a cup at your house.

 

On day one of my pastry courses, I have students measure a cup of flour however they like and weigh it. Then I have them do it again. No two students in the room get the same number on the scale, and, no student gets the same number twice.

 

And, yes, chickpea flour is VERY different from wheat flour. It does not contain gluten, which is a binder in bread products, so, it needs to be handled differently than, say, AP flour.

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Farinata  and Socca are the same thing, it’s just in Nice they call farinata socca. The more oil used, the crispier outside and creamier inside.

Non stick pans are good or the dull silver metal ones in commercial kitchens. Always serve farinata hot as it goes elastic as it cools.

The longer you leave the batter sit the better your farinata will be (in Italy it’s often made the day before cooking)

 The traditional batter for 3 x28cmxround farinatas = 1+1/2 litre of water, 500 g chickpea flour, 200 ml extra virgin olive oil + a splash for the pans, salt and pepper. I like a bit of color and use a hot oven and hot oil in the pan, I colour the batter botton on top of the stove then finish cooking and colour the top in the oven. 

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Sounds incredibly similar to Moroccan Kalinte. I've done the recipe from Paula Woolfert's wonderful The Food of Morocco a couple of times. This calls for an egg, 6 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 litre lukewarm water and 350g chickpea flour.

 

The egg and most of the oil are whisked in a blender followed by the salt and half of the water followed by the remaining flour and enough water to make a smooth mix. This goes through a seive and the remaining water is stirred in. The mixture then stands for at least half a day or up to two days in the fridge.

 

The first time I did this it was so wet I was convinced the water quantity was way out - should have trusted Paula.

The baking is quite unusual. Put a pizza stone in the oven turned up to 250C well in advanced. Oil a 35cm deep pizza pan, stir the mixture and pour it in. Bake for 30 minutes. Brush the surface of the bread with olive oil, partially cover with a baking sheet, turn off the oven, put the bread back in the oven for about 20 minutes. It being Moroccan, the bread is then sprinkled with cumin or harissa.

 

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The bread section in the book is quite interesting (not to mention the food to go with it!)

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Mick Hartley

The PArtisan Baker

bethesdabakers

"I can give you more pep than that store bought yeast" - Evolution Mama (don't you make a monkey out of me)

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