As part of my ‘health binge’ I am currently indulging in, I bought a bag of gram flour from the supermarket. At £1.30 for a kilo (brand: KTC, widely available at major supermarkets), it’s not as cheap as Basics flour, but it is gluten free and very versatile, or so I’m told. I used to shuffle past it in the supermarket, eyeballing it, wondering what could be done with it other than bind my bhaji, so to speak. 

And then I took the plunge. And got some. And brought it home. Yesterday I used it as the binder and coating on my new kidney bean and peanut butter burgers, for an extra smidge of protein, and just to get the bag down and open and into my consciousness. You might be seeing a lot of gram flour recipes over the next couple of weeks, but that’s a good thing – it completely goes against my cooking philosophy to ask my readers to buy one specific ingredient for one recipe and never use it in anything else again. It’s not how I cook, and it’s not how I want to encourage people to cook either.

Today I ended up here. I picked some chard from the garden (more on that later, or head over to my Instagram if you can’t wait that long…) And in my house the larger leaves of chard end up on pizzas – a compromise for the kids, you can have a pizza for dinner sure, but I’m going to cover it in greens. I usually make theirs with wholemeal bases, but today they were treated to a crisp, delicious, protein packed socca base, and I even managed to wrestle a slice for myself!!

As ever my ingredients are based on Sainsburys and the Basics range where available. I do this to keep my recipes accessible to all as I have lots of lovely local shops near me but you can’t all get to Shepherds Bush, so that’s why I do it. It’s not to ‘promote supermarkets’, it’s to keep my recipes accessible to as many people as possible.

(This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.)

For the base (which would serve 2 adults at 14p each) I used:

120g gram flour, 14p (£1.30/kg KTC brand)

250ml water

2 tbsp oil, 4p (Sunflower oil £4/3l)

A pinch of salt, 1p (Basics 25p/750g)

1 tbsp mixed dried herbs, 6p (Basics 40p/13g)

2 more tbsp oil, 2pm

First find a good non stick pan, this starts off like a pancake batter so will need to be contained somehow in order to cook!
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the gram flour, herbs and salt with the oil and water to form a very runny batter. Ill admit I was eyeing it suspiciously thinking I had done it wrong, but was working with four different socca recipes on my table and hadn’t deviated wildly from any of them, so quieted the suspicious little voice.

Leave it to one side at room temperature for half an hour at least, an hour would be better, for the mixture to settle and thicken slightly.


Heat your pan either in the oven at 180C or on the hob until it’s hot hot hot. Protect your hands and remove from the heat.

Add the other 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and pour in the batter. Cook at a high heat for a few minutes then reduce the heat to medium and cook for a further ten, either in the oven or on the hob. The hob will give a crisper base whereas the oven will cook it more evenly all the way through. Remove from the heat when the edges start to come away from the side of the pan.

Now top it! I smeared 2 tbsp tomato purée on mine, a fistful of chard from my roof, and some dollops of Basics cream cheese – but everyone’s perfect pizza is a different beast which is why I only gave the base as the recipe!

It’s so delicious, I think it might be my new favourite way to eat pizza. And it’s full of protein! This health binge is making me so happy. I hope my enthusiasm isn’t too annoying for you all!!

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Socca Frying-Pan-Pizza Base recipe by Jack Monroe

Socca Frying-Pan-Pizza Base recipe by Jack Monroe