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Wheat & Egg Free Pizza Pancakes

These pizza pancake bases are made with gram flour. Gram flour, also known as Channa dal, besan, or simply chickpea flour, is a pulse flour made from a variety of ground channa dal known as Bengal gram. It is a staple ingredient in the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent. It is naturally gluten free and also high in protein, iron and fibre. All it is, is ground up chickpeas that are either raw or roasted. No preservatives and no additives – or hidden sugars in this homemade base!

There are any number of toppings you can add, and the bases alone can be made in advance and frozen, handy for a quick nutritious meal when you are time pressed and only have to add the topping and put in the oven. A simple tomato puree base and some thinly sliced veggies, or cold meats, fish or cheese, or whatever you have at hand.

I have made a tomato sauce for this recipe which can also be frozen if you don’t need it all. Makes approx. 8 bases (serves 4) depending on the size frying pan you are using.

Ingredients:

For the base –
  • 250g gram flour
  • 1tbsp chopped fresh rosemary/thyme or 1tsp dried
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
For the tomato sauce –
  • 3 garlic cloves (optional), finely sliced
  • 1 large handful of basil, stems finely chopped and leaves torn
  • Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • A little oil for cooking, or butter or ghee according to preference
For the topping –
  • 400g broccoli florets, sliced
  • 1 large handful of halved black olives
  • A few capers or chopped anchovies
  • 180g sliced goat cheese log
  • Parmesan shavings to scatter (optional)
  • Olive oil to drizzle

Method:

  • Whisk the flour with 400ml water, the rosemary or thyme, the fennel seeds and some salt and pepper. Leave to stand for 30 minutes, while you prepare everything else.
  • Gently fry the garlic if using, or skip this step and empty the can of chopped tomatoes into a saucepan, add some oil, basil stems, tomato puree and salt and pepper, stir well. Pop the lid on and leave it to simmer for about 10 minutes, take the lid off and cook uncovered for another 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Stir through the torn basil leaves.
  • Heat the oven to 220C /200C fan/ gas mark 7.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of butter or ghee to coat a medium frying pan, then pour out any excess and put aside for the next batch of pizza pancakes.
  • Add about 4 tablespoons of the batter to the greased pan. Swirl it around to make the base about 12cm wide and about 2-3cm thick, and fry for a few minutes until golden, then flip over. Fry the other side for a few minutes until golden. Lift out and repeat with the remaining batter.
  • Place the bases on a wire rack and spoon over the thickened tomato sauce. Top each base with a few slices of broccoli floret, some olives, capers or anchovies, and some sliced goat log.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then grill for 2-3 minutes for the goat log slices to bubble.
  • Scatter parmesan shavings over if using, and follow with a drizzle of olive oil.