Socca frying-pan-pizza base (Gluten free), 14p

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.

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!!

You can follow me and my health binge (on a budget!) and my guinea pig on Instagram & Twitter @MsJackMonroe


  1. Gram flour is great for tempura too – wild garlic is still in season – try it on the flowers

  2. Just to add, I bought 2kg KTC Gram Flour for £1 in Morrissons yesterday, its on offer until mid August there. Bargain! Thanks for the recipe. Newly diagnosed Coeliac so all GF recipes gratefully received!!

      • Tesco have got the same offer on now. I added minced garlic to the base, really makes the difference. My first recipie of yours I made, and i was dubious as hell when i mixed the batter – and when i used the cream cheese…but it really tasted great!

  3. Gram flour is great stuff and it keeps for ages (I once bought a 2kg bag which took about 6 years to use up – don’t tell the H&S people but I was fine). Dead easy curry accompaniment: mix some basics lowfat plain yoghurt half and half with water, then stir in gram flour and a little salt until it’s like thick pancake mix. Whisk or beat to remove lumps, leave for 15 mins then dollop big spoonfuls into a hot oiled pan to make mini pancake-type things, a bit like drop scones. Optionally add finely chopped green chlli and/or some cumin seeds to the mix.

  4. I love Gram Flour, started using it when somebody left it in a box in a hostel in New Zealand, with a note attached saying it was yummy for coating roasted veg – which it definitely is – and since then I use it for so much, great for fish too.

    • Helen, do you use the dry flour to coat the vegetables, or do you make a tempura-like batter to coat them?


      • I just lightly brush or spray the veg with Rapeseed oil or Coconut oil, then sprinkle the dry flour on, or shake it in a bag with the flour and a little seasoning to coat it, no need for loads, but if there is more it makes a lovely crispy edge.

    • I think it depends how good your blender is. I never manage to get it as fine as the commercial stuff, and there’s not much difference in cost or taste either way as far as I can tell.

  5. I want to try this one soon! I need to redeem this gram flour, I mixed it with eggs, but I produced a horrible dish in which eggs killed the chickpeas and chickpeas killed the eggs… I may well try with this pizza version!

  6. ive just bought gram flour! but only used it to thicken a curry and add to your lovely banana and peanut butter muffins so far,next thing to try is your kidney bean/peanut butter burgers.thanks for all your inspiration,Jack!,pam.xx

    • Luca, if you go with Jack’s base and then add tomato paste and then scrambled eggs on top, you might enjoy it more. Also if you have fresh tomatoes, do base, scrambled eggs, and then chopped(and drained) tomatoes on top of that.


  7. I love gram flour, it’s so versatile. I mix it with lemon juice and spices, add an egg and use it to make fritters with sweet potato and guacamole or as a light batter for any sad looking veg in the bottom drawer. It also makes insanely good onion bhajis and naan bread.

  8. Did you cook it anymore once you had put the topping on Jack ie to melt the cheese, wilt the chard ?…will look out for gram flour , cant say Ive ever noticed it before but sounds interesting.

  9. You’ll find that most gluten free baking starts off looking too wet, sloppy and yuck but amazingly it eventually sorts itself out

  10. This looks really tasty. I’ve never heard of socca before, so am going to investigate further. And the bean and peanut burgers sound very good too – loads of great ideas, thank you!

  11. Why are you making the completely unnecessary association of “gluten free” and “healthy”? This kind of fad diet isn’t doing anyone any good, and trivialises coeliac disease.

    • Because some of my readers have asked me to write gluten free recipes because they ARE coeliacs. And it is a healthy recipe. I wasn’t trying to trivialise anything nor promote a ‘fad diet’, in fact fad diets are the complete opposite of what I do.

      • Apologies if I came across as unduly critical, and I’m certainly not saying this recipe is unhealthy, but the words “As part of my ‘health binge’ I am currently indulging in, I bought a bag of gram flour […] it’s not as cheap as Basics flour, but it is gluten free and very versatile” to my mind imply an association between “healthy” and “gluten free”, which is incorrect. Perhaps I’m overly sensitive 🙂

        (And I certainly think it’s great you’re doing gluten-free recipes if coeliacs have been asking for them, and this recipe looks great!)

  12. Made this today for kids lunch. It’s lovely & a much better texture than other GF pizza bases I’ve made 🙂

  13. Yeah forget all the gluten free none sense that stuff didn’t exist until someone “suggested it “

    • No, it didn’t exist for me – I just thought it was normal to spend hours groaning in agony or on the loo after pizza or pasta. The same happened to other members of my family, so for me it was normal. Alternative cheap staples weren’t available in concept or in practice, so we all just suffered and didn’t think to question it. I’m not coeliac, but it’s so nice to have alternatives discussed and available.

      • Yep and my OH thought everyone would end up on oxygen at 40 until he realised that gluten was killing him.(He now cycles to work every day).

  14. Hi Jack. This looks lovely! Would I be be able to use just normal flour for this if I don’t have gram flour? I thought I would check just in case I embark on a cooking disaster 🙂

  15. Thank you! I’ll definitely be trying this. Louise I’m coeliac so grateful for any help and thankful someone did ‘suggest it’ so I’m no longer suffering and at risk from serious affects of eating gluten. How great it must be not to have coeliac disease, please note though, it doesn’t mean you have to be a twat, that’s optional.

  16. It is lovely to read along as you nurture yourself with with great food and share the recipes – yum! Long may it continue.

  17. Thank you so much for this. As the mother of a 2 year old with Coeliac I am so grateful. We had this for dinner last night and everyone loved it, even the very reluctant GF members of my family (i.e. Me!). Looking forward to more GF delights that suit our budget. Thanks again.

  18. Another thing I love about this recipe is that it’s spoonie-friendly – no kneading!

  19. Looks beautiful and delicious. You might also enjoy making a traditional Indian flatbread(dhokla or dosai) that is 4 parts rice and 1 part gram plus water. It’s fermented for 4-8 hours and then cooked like a crepe. if you have chlorinated water and can let the chlorine off-gas for a while or filter it the fermentation process may go better. Traditionally the flatbreads are made very plain which I like since the rest of Indian food has so much spice. I also like to add a bit of salt after the fermenting and sometimes various other spices so the bread is flavourful all by itself.

    Some other traditional gram flour recipes are discussed here:


  20. Further thoughts on your GF kick – have you tried making your own GF baking powder? Really easy – just 2 parts cream of tartar to one part cornflour and one part bicarbonate of soda.

  21. I’m eating this now for lunch and it is lovely. I topped mine with a 40p tin of sardines in tomato sauce, 2tbs of tomato puree and some leftover cheap Lidl black olives. I don’t have to eat gluten free but I do like to eat healthily and I have to eat cheaply, so this will be the way I take my pizza from now on. Very pleased.

    I am going to eat it all so I will see if the kids like it next time!

  22. Delighted with this! Made it last night and my husband and I loved it! Filling, easy and tasty. I half expected it would glue itself to my pan, but it didn’t, hooray! I have a massive bag of gram flour lurking at the back of the cupboard and hate to waste food, really pleased to have some lovely ways to use it up – and get more good protein in my diet which as a veggie is always a good thing! Thanks Jack!

  23. Think your Sainsbury’s is ripping you off on the oil, they sell it online for £3 for 3 litres! I have noticed Sainsbury’s are quite bad in the “local” smaller branches for hiking the price up on some things.

  24. Don’t know what went wrong but i followed the instructions exactly and mine turned out a disgusting gluey mess, never had problems cooking with gram flour before 🙁

  25. This week I’m going to economise on meals. This mainly means getting back to actually cooking instead of going for the easy option. This pizza base sounds interesting 🙂

  26. Ok I’ve tried it three times now and I’m still getting doughey pancakes, I’m giving up! Are you sure it’s not supposed to have any leavening at all? I’m gutted

  27. A question about cooking in the pan – Do you need to flip it (just because you say the texture is like pancake batter)? And if not, do you add the toppings on directly and eat, or add toppings and place in oven? Thanks!

  28. I made this last night, with a few tweeks to the topping, it went down really well with all of us. I did cock up the first pancake but then I always do. The socca base seems to be a useful gluten free substitute for any wrap type meal, really easy to put together and a bonus for any one with a coeliac sufferer in the family. Any gluten free label seems to triple the price, the fat, and the sugar content for some reason, and I often have to resort to cooking one dish for my coeliac daughter and another for the rest of us, so thank you for a recipe that we can all enjoy and afford.

  29. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m not full blown coeliac, but gluten intolerant nonetheless. I also food combine (which can find harder than observing GF), am on disability pension & live in the country (with well stocked pantry but no refrigeration, oven etc [minimal solar – happy also for a doable stovetop pizza]). Averaging fortnightly town trips, ran out of fresh veges y’day. Rapt to learn that the neglected-but-fine besan flour is the same & together with non/less perishables, would make a satisfying dinner. Added chilli flakes with herbs to base. Topped also with tomato paste then well cooked onions, black garlic (on special), pan roasted artichokes, Kalamata olives & sundried tomatoes (last three cheap & surprisingly long shelf life in >kg jars). Would do handful of garden greens, when happening.

    Excited to have found you & your recipes Jack, from all the way Down Under 😀

  30. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Not a full blown coeliac, I’m still gluten intolerant, which many are (only part of the issue with grains story). So kudos for catering for a growing statistic on the health front as well as have/have nots divide. On disability pension, I live in the country one hour one way to nearest supermarket (with well stocked pantry but no refrigeration, oven, use of appliances etc – i.e. minimal solar -) happy over a doable stove top pizza. Averaging fortnightly town trips, ran out of fresh veges y’day. Rapt to learn that the neglected-but-fine besan flour is the same ingredient & together with other non/less perishables, would make a satisfying dinner. Added chilli flakes with herbs to base. Topped also with tomato paste then well cooked onions, black garlic (on heavily discounted sale), pan roasted artichokes, Kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes (last three cheap & surprisingly long shelf life in >kg jars, for times like now). Would do handful of garden greens, when happening.

    Excited to have found you and your recipes Jack, from all the way Down Under: hits the right notes with the trifecta of tasty, affordable and healthy. 😀

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