Gluten Free Italian Farinata Flatbread

In my attempts to find grain free alternatives that my entire family would eat, I started searching for recipes that used bean flours. I was already making black bean brownies, so I knew that beans could be used in all sorts of applications with stunning results.

The more I researched beans, the more I realized that we Americans are totally missing out!

Just about any dried bean can be ground into a flour. However, garbanzo bean flour (aka chickpea flour) stands out because of it’s mild flavor and versatility. Not only is this protein rich flour a staple in Indian cooking, it’s a primary staple in much of the world (where wheat is not easily grown).

“But Beans Give Me Gas”

Beans, often thought to be gas inducing, with a little preparation, can be made more digestible. Soaking is particularly important as it begins to break down the starches which are not easily broken down by enzymes in the intestines. Also, discarding any foam that rises to the top helps beans to mellow out and “de-gas.”

My quest to find a completely grain free “bread” brought me to Farinata, “a thin chickpea cake typically cooked in a wood-burning oven. In Liguria, Italy bakeshops put signs in their windows announcing the time that the farinata will be ready, and customers line up to buy it. It’s a perfect snack when eaten like a piece of pizza on waxed butcher paper.”

Try making this delicious and savory treat at home. It’s perfect for a crisp fall day, when gathering in the warm and cozy kitchen, talking and eating together can’t be beat!

Gluten Free Italian Farinata Flatbread

2 cups warm water

1.5 cups garbanzo bean flour (aka chickpea flour)- link to flour I use

1/2 Tbs kosher salt (link to salt I recommend)

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/4 cup, plus 2 Tbs high heat oil such as expeller pressed coconut oil (here’s the coconut oil I use) or lard (learn how to render your own here)

Freshly ground pepper

  1. Pour the water into a bowl. Whisk in garbanzo bean flour until smooth. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

  2. Place a 10-12″ cast iron skillet* into oven and preheat to 500°.

  3. Skim off any foam sitting on top of batter and discard. Stir in the salt, rosemary, and 1/4 cup oil.

  4. Carefully add 2 Tbs oil to pan. Swirl to coat pan.

  5. Carefully (yes, I said “carefully twice, but it’s hot oil and the batter can make it sputter) add HALF the batter to skillet.

  6. Cook until edges pull away from sides of pan, and it is crisp and slightly browned on top. Between 20-25 minutes.

  7. Quickly remove from pan, cut into wedges, and sprinkle with pepper. Serve immediately.

  8. Repeat with other half of the batter, of if you have two skillets, cook at the same time.

*If you do not own a cast iron skillet you may use a stainless steel (NOT non-stick) pizza pan for this. You should not preheat the pizza pan. Just add 2 Tbs oil to pan and heat in oven for about 5 minutes and then add batter.

Adapted from

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