CECINA — pronounced “chay-CHEE-na” — is a Tuscan flatbread composed entirely of garbanzo bean flour, water, and seasonings. It’s absolutely delicious. It’s naturally gluten-free. And it’s so easy to make you can wear a blindfold.
About garbanzo bean (“chickpea”) flour. This nutritious, high-fiber product tastes nothing like wheat flour. It has a mild, “beany” flavor. It’s available at better supermarkets (read: not mine) and most health food stores. Failing either, you can order it from online sources. I purchased a 22-ounce bag (above) from my not-so-local health food store for $3.39.
Folks, this is the easiest bread “dough” I’ve ever made.
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F., with the rack at the lower-middle position.
Next, give the batter a quick stir. And then, if you wish, amend it with a generous teaspoon of herbs or other flavorings.
Feeling hot and spicy? Add red pepper flakes or cayenne powder.
Does garlic rev your engine? Dice it up finely, and drop it in the batter.
And you wondered why we used so much olive oil.
And are you thinking what I’m thinking?
Cecina could make a terrific gluten-free pizza crust. Just top it with tomato sauce, additional herbs, and cheese, and briefly heat it under the broiler. Easy-Easy-Easy.
And that’s all the geometry I can manage today.
As promised, here’s the copy-and-paste version of the above:
Cecina (GF Tuscan Flatbread)
Kevin Lee Jacobs/A Garden for the House (dot) com
Ingredients for about 35 two-inch squares
2 1/2 cups garbanzo bean flour
3 1/2 cups cold water
1 generous teaspoon kosher salt, and grinds of black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Optional flavorings: a generous teaspoon of dried herbs (triple the amount for fresh) — I used an “Italian Seasoning” blend;
Optional topping: 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Special Equipment – a baking sheet, approximately 17″-12″.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, water, salt and pepper. (Don’t worry about lumps — these will dissolve during the resting period.) Cover with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature for 3 hours, or overnight in the fridge.
Set the oven rack at the lower-third position; preheat oven to 350°F.
Pour the olive oil onto the baking sheet, and spread it out with a pastry brush.
Give the batter a quick stir; stir in the optional herbs.
Pour the batter onto the baking sheet, and bake until set and barely golden — about 30 minutes.
Serve as is, or top with the optional Parmesan cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese melts — 3-5 minutes (watch carefully to avoid burning).
To serve, cut the bread into 2-inch squares. If desired, cut the squares into triangles.
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