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What Is Chickpea Flour?
Chickpea flour is a type of pulse flour made from dried chickpeas, a member of the legume family. Depending on the chickpea variety used to make the flour, it is also known as garbanzo bean flour, besan flour, or gram flour. The chickpea flour sold in grocery stores is stone-ground to a fine powder, but you can make your own by pulsing dried chickpeas in a food processor or spice grinder.
5 Dishes to Make Using Chickpea Flour
Chickpea flour is a popular flour in gluten-free baking, where bakers use it to make treats like chocolate chip cookies, flatbreads, and biscuits. You can also use the flour alternative in the following dishes:
- Crêpes: Along the Ligurian Sea, locals use chickpea flour to make a thin pancake or crêpe. In Nice, France, this is known as socca, while in Italy, it’s known by many names: cecina, torta de ceci, farinata, or fainâ.
- Falafel and hummus: Chickpea flour is the secret behind a crumbly, moist crumb for deep-fried falafel or an extra-velvety hummus dip.
- Laddu: Gram flour (made from gram chickpeas) is used in various sweets across the Indian subcontinent, like laddu, a combination of flour with ghee and sugar that occasionally features nuts and dried fruit.
- Pakora: Chickpea flour lends a light-yet-hearty consistency to the batter for Indian pakoras (spiced fritters).
- Pizza: Chickpea flour is a great option for a healthy spin on traditional pizza. The gluten-free flour creates a dense pizza crust and can be prepared in under an hour. Make a Mediterranean-style pizza with toppings like artichoke hearts, feta cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes, and a hummus dipping sauce for the chickpea crust.
What Are the Differences Between Chickpea Flour and Wheat Flour?
There are a few differences between chickpea flour and wheat flour. Chickpea flour is higher in protein, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber than whole-wheat flours like all-purpose flour.
Unlike wheat flour, chickpea flour is gluten-free and naturally dense, making it an ideal alternative flour for pizza dough because it produces less stretchy air bubbles and more crunchy surfaces.
Chickpea Flour Crust Pizza Recipe
Makes1 12-inch skillet pizza
Prep Time25 min
Total Time35 min
Cook Time10 min
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ cups water
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano or rosemary, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup pizza sauce of choice, like tomato sauce or pesto sauce
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella, shredded, torn into bite-size pieces, or sliced into rounds
- 1 cup veggies, like thinly sliced zucchini, caramelized red onion, and roasted corn kernels
- ½ cup arugula
- Juice of half a lemon
- Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chickpea flour, salt, and garlic powder. Slowly whisk in the water until a thick batter forms. Add the herbs, and set the mixture aside to thicken for at least 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to the broiler setting.
- Heat the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Pour in the batter, tilting to ensure even distribution, and cook until the bottom is golden brown and crispy, and the top is set but still soft, about 4–5 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from heat and spread evenly with sauce and toppings.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook for another 4–5 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the toppings are crisp and tender.
- Slice the pizza into 6 pieces, then top it with the arugula. Drizzle some lemon juice and olive oil over the top of it, then season with flaky salt and a few turns of pepper.
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