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Flatbread with Garbanzo and Fava Flour

Low Carb Snacks Using Garbanzo Flour

You may have noticed with some of our low carb recipe posts that we were on the 4 Hour Body diet for about two months playing around with recipes and trying to get more fit. We love the idea of low carb and cutting out wheat/gluten specifically so we started experimenting with bean flours. At the onset of our curiosity we were still living in Costa Rica where you couldn’t find bean flouers at all and I suspect if they did have them they would be cost-prohibitive (think $10 per bag of flour), but I was told you could grind your own dried garbanzo beans into a flour if you had a strong food processor or coffee grinder. I looked up a few how-tos on the Internet and just decided to go for it. Dried garbanzos are cheap in Costa Rica, so if I screwed it up it would be no big deal.

Here’s how the process went for grinding chick peas into flour:

Dried Garbanzo beans

dried garbanzo beans in the food processor

finely ground garbanzo beans

finely ground dried garbanzo beans

The decibel level of sound coming from my food processor was something I’d never heard before. I know dried chick peas are hard, but these little suckers hit the side of the food processor off the blade at a blazing speed and it took a good 5 minutes to pulverize them into a flour. I had to do them in 30 to 45 second bursts because I could feel how hot the plastic and the machine were getting during the process. Overall, if you could choose between making your own garbanzo flour and buying a bag already made, I would suggest skipping the hassle and buying the pre-ground beans. I haven’t ground the beans myself since this initial try. It was just too loud and too much work for me and my food processor.

The first recipe I used the homemade garbanzo flour for was a thick flatbread, which was more like a pancake batter than a cracker. I roughly followed this recipe from Dining and Wine section of the NYTimes. Here’s how my cheap food here version of skillet garbanzo flatbread recipe went:

Skillet Flatbread with Garbanzo Flour

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Garbanzo flour
  • 2 Cups of Water
  • 2 Tbsp plus 1 extra Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Tbsp mix dried herbs and spices (rosemary, basil, oregano, cayenne, etc)
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Pour 2 Tbsp olive oil into the pan and coat the bottom. Place into the oven while pre-heating.
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, pour garbanzo flour, baking powder, spices and salt. With a whisk, mix well.
  4. Add the additional 1 TBSP of olive oil to the dry mixture and blend in.
  5. Pour in the water and whisk until well-blended. Allow batter to sit for up to 12 hours or use immediately, whisking just before pouring into the hot skillet.
  6. Garbanzo Flatbread Batter

  7. Pour into preheated skillet and bake for 30-40 minutes until the edges are browned and pulling away from the sides of the skillet.
  8. Skillet Flatbread

  9. Cool for 10 minutes, cut and serve with butter or seasoned olive oil.
  10. Garbanzo Skillet Flatbread

A More Sophisticated Garbanzo Flatbread

After the first attempt at the flatbread we were hooked. It was a copy-cat of the delicious bready carbs we were missing, but without the carbs. Genius! So, once we moved back to the US and landed ourselves in St. Petersburg, FL and could find all kinds of bean flours, I began my next adventure. We settled on the Garbanzo and Fava bean flour made by Bob’s Red Mill in the Gluten-Free section of the grocery store. We are still learning how to properly use these bean flours and haven’t used any gums yet to help bind the flour at this point so bear with us here. The next garbanzo flatbread recipe to come out went like this (adapted from our foodie friend at Smitten Kitchen):

Garbanzo and Fava Flatbread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups garbanzo and fava bean flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1/3 Cup olive oil
  • Approx 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 Cup shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • Approx 1 Tbsp Coarse sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven with pizza stone to 450 for 30 minutes
  2. Pour the garbanzo and fava flour into a medium-sized bowl and mix with the baking powder and salt.
  3. Make a well in the center and pour in the olive oil and water.
  4. Mix with a wooden spoon until it is well-integrated and then knead onto a clean work surface 4 or 5 times. The dough should feel oily, but to keep it from sticking to the work surface, sprinkle extra garbanzo flour on the rolling pin, dough and work surface.
  5. Divide the dough into four pieces.
  6. Roll the dough out into long, irregular shapes onto parchment papaer. There’s no need to be precise here just flatten out the dough to about 1/8″ thick.
  7. Baste with extra olive oil and gently press the thyme into the dough so it sticks into it. Stab several times with a fork and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and Asiago cheese. Bake for 5 minutes or until it’s golden brown.
  8. Drizzle lightly with honey and cut into pieces.
  9. Devour.

This round of flatbread was to die for! I’m super happy with the way they came out and did devour all but the 4th batch of flatbreads we made that night, and they only lasted until the morning the following day. But don’t worry, we’ll be making more. I hope you try this recipe out and don’t be afraid of the bean flour, everything turns out okay in the end. Plus, this is an extremely low carb snack if you leave off the honey.

12 Comments »

  1. I bet that would be yummy with some melted parmesan on top!

  2. you betcha!

  3. Hi, i dont have a pizza stone,
    do u think it will be ok on a baking sheet?
    Thanks for your input!
    Gail :)

  4. Sorry for the delayed reply Gail, you should be able to use a baking sheet okay, but I would put down some flour on the pan so they don’t stick, or preheat the sheets before putting on the dough. Hope this helps!

  5. Cooking olive oil at 450 is toxic use coconut or grapeseed oil

  6. I’m going to use this recipe and make pizza, use oregano in place of the thyme, add toppings and bake another 5-6 minutes.

  7. what a great idea!! Should be delicious.

  8. Hey there! I’m having trouble figuring out when this was written, so sorry if this is a stupid question, but have you played around with the gums yet?

    I live in a southern town who thinks health foods are sins. lol! I halfway agree with them, but begrudgingly I am trying to eat better because I want to see if it really makes a difference.

    Finding healthy food in this town was impossible until two weeks ago. A new store opened that is a cross of Publix and Trader Joe’s. I’m tickled to death. I was out of town when it opened but I went by there today and I felt like a kid in a candy store. I bought something like 5 different flours and I want to try them all and see how they go.

    So! I was intrigued by the same Bob’s Red Mill flour you have here and brought it home. I Googled what to do and yours is the first page I came to and I’m so thrilled! I have no idea why the bean flour may need a binder, but I’m a little curious.

    Anyway, I’m about to browse your site and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this (it is getting made tomorrow) and ask about the gum.

  9. Hey there, I haven’t played around much with the different gum additives to gluten free flours. I tend to buy the ones with it already mixed in. I hope someone else comments here with some advice.

  10. The last time I experimented with bean flours was years ago. I don’t even remember what it was but whatever it was it turned out so badly that I have had no interest in trying anything with bean flour since…. until….. yesterday :)
    I improvised this flatbread recipe with what I had in my kitchen. Black eyed peas ground into flour, parmesan cheese, and I chose rosemary and sweet basil for herbs. It turned out so good I didn’t even use the drizzled honey on top and it was fantastic with my potluck soup, which also turned out really good, by the way :)
    Thanks for maintaining your site. I’m (obviously) back to look around a little more today

  11. I liked your recipe…but after three attempts I can finally say I’m onto something here..getting better and better each time. The trick is to use enough flour so that you can manage the bloody dough!…I also bought in bulk, garbanzo bean flour..much cheaper that way. So it takes a lot more of the flour on hands and rolling pin then I thought it would…and the cooking time..to get it to be more on the crisp side was about 15 minutes at 450*..but to be watched closely…also the flatter the better….
    I used fresh cut up rosemary and parmesan cheese..also added sunflower seeds..and sesame seeds.
    I feel this is an excellent source of fiber and protein…without gluten
    I have thyme on hand now for the next batch!

  12. I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks for the comment.

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