Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pizza Caballo

When my dad came back from South America a couple weeks ago, he told me we just haaaaaaaad to make pizza with faina. Pizza who? After looking it up and doing my 'research', I've learned that this pizza is also dubbed 'Caballo', meaning "on horseback" and its the topping of choice in Argentina and Uruguay. 

Well, I just haaaaaad to try it out. 

Faina is ground-up chickpeas (ie, chick pea flour) and the mere mention of it had me a tad curious -- especially since its healthy! I got out my blender and ground some dried chickpeas we had into a fine powder. Word of caution, its SUPER LOUD! I seriously had to cover my ears so I wouldn't lose my hearing. 

I decided to make a few batches of pizza since we were having our family over. Here's what you'll need. 

Recipe for pizza dough (I like Bobby Flay's): 


3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling (Chef's Note: Using bread flour will give you a much crisper crust. If you can't find bread flour, you can substitute it with all-purpose flour which will give you a chewier crust.)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 envelope instant dry yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons


Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.

Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.

*Faina recipe below

(As for the sauce, I sauteed a can of diced tomatoes -- discarded the juice -- and chopped an onion and some garlic). 

Started the dough

Allowed it to sit and rise

Stretched it out on the pan

Rolled another using my Anthropologie roller (thanks to my awesome sister!)

....and rolled, and rolled, and rolled, and you get the point

Faina recipe:


    • 2 1/2 cups garbanzo bean flour

    • 1 teaspoon salt

    • 7 tablespoons olive oil

    • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (optional)

    • Freshly ground black pepper

    • 2-2 1/2 cups water


    1. In a medium bowl, whisk the garbanzo bean flour together with the salt, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the Parmesan cheese, and a generous amount of ground black pepper. 

    1. Whisk in 1 3/4 cups of water until the mixture is well blanded. Set batter aside for about a half hour, to let the garbanzo flour absorb some of the water. 

    1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. When it is hot, place the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12 inch pizza pan. Heat the pan in the oven until very hot. 

    1. Gradually stir remaining water into the batter mixture until it is thin enough to pour. Remove the hot pizza pan from oven, and immediately pour the batter into the pan. The batter should make a thin (about 1/4 inch) layer. Place the pan back in the oven and bake until fainá is golden and crispy (about 8-10 minutes). 

    1. Cut the faina into pieces and serve.

Here's the Faina!
Faina, which I cut with a pizza roller

The (almost) finished product

Added it onto the pizza

A mini sandwich

We ate our caballo and rode off into the sunset.
At the end of the day, my sister and brother in law LOVED the finished product! We all loved the little 'sandwich' that was created with the faina on top. It was a treat in every bite and will have your guests talking about what an awesome slice they've just had! Not only is it unique, but also adds some protein and fills you up pretty quickly. Instead of topping a pizza with pepperoni, I encourage you to try some faina. 

I'd love to know what y'all think! 

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