11 November 2010

Finally Farinata...

Finally, I am getting around to posting my recipe and pictures of the farinata I've been making all year. Farinata, which means 'floured' in Italian, is made with gluten-free chick-pea flour. I grind my own beans into my own flour....but you don't have to. Just buy some finely ground chick pea flour from your grocery store, and go from there. Note that it may also be called: besan flour, ceci flour, garbanzo bean flour, or chickpea flour. If you want it gluten-free, then make sure it says gluten-free on the package...not all of the types of chickpea flour out there are gluten-free.

Okay, here we go:

The first thing you need to know is that the batter needs to rest for 2-3 hours. This resting period is necessary to let the flour ferment a little bit so that it is easier to digest.

The second thing you'll need to know is that you'll need a scale to weigh the flour. I know this sounds like a pain, but different flours have different weights. A cup of wheat flour does not equal a cup of bean flour.

Third thing: do not skimp on the amount of olive oil.

What you'll need:

-a shallow baking pan...like a jelly roll pan (it needs to have a lip around the edge at least 2 cm high)
300 grams finely ground chickpea flour
1 litre water (not hot water, cold is okay, room temperature is okay too)
2 big pinches salt
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
plus about 5 more tablespoons olive oil (or enough to coat the bottom of your baking pan)


Put the flour and salt into a big mixing bowl, and make a well in the flour like this:

Then using a whisk, whisk in the water. Whisk for about 2 minutes making sure there are no lumps. The batter will be rather thin and have lots of bubbles forming on the surface. Like this:

Cover the bowl of batter with a towel and let it rest.

After the resting period is finished, and you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 200C.

Take a spoon and skim the bubbles off the top of the batter. Then whisk the batter one more time for about 30 seconds, and then skim those bubbles off too.

Now add 4 tablespoons of oil to the batter and whisk again.

When the oven reaches 200C, pour the rest of the olive oil into your pan enough to cover the bottom. And then place the pan in the oven for about 2 minutes. Watch the pan carefully, as soon as you can smell the olive oil, take the pan out and be careful because it will be hot.

Whisk the batter one more time, then carefully pour the batter into the hot pan filling it to about 1 cm

Carefully put the pan in the middle of the oven, making sure not to spill any.

Bake for 40 minutes and it should then look like this:

It should be golden brown and crispy.

Use a spatula to remove the farinata. Cut into squares, and eat immediately drizzled with olive oil, salt, and your favourite herbs such as thyme or oregano, or with ground black pepper.


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