Indian Essentials: Black Gram Powder (Raw and Roasted) | Urad Powder and Flour

Black gram powder/flour is used in a range of South Indian dishes including yummy snacks. It is easy to make and hardly needs a recipe.

If making roasted powder, roast the urad first. Take hulled whole urad and roast in a dry pan until the beans are aromatic and turning red. Watch carefully so it does not burn.

For raw and roasted powder, now grind the urad into a fine powder.

Use in recipes as instructed. Continue reading “Indian Essentials: Black Gram Powder (Raw and Roasted) | Urad Powder and Flour”

How to Make Pizza Dough

With the weather so good at the moment, it is time to make pizza.

After many years, this is still my go to recipe for Pizza Dough.

You might also like our Pizza recipes. Or you might like to browse Italian recipes. Check out our easy Early Winter recipes. And feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series.

Continue reading “How to Make Pizza Dough”

What is in your flour?

Do you ever wonder what is in the flour you buy? Read on…..


I have never thought about the ingredients flour. I have always assumed that it is the pure result of grinding a grain or lentil, with extra gluten sometimes added to wheat flour.

A few weeks ago I bought a pizza and focaccia flour from a bulk health store, and made wonderful pasta and focaccia from it. It was so good, especially the pasta. Today I went back to the shop to replenish my stock, thinking of making pasta again.

Wandering around the endless array of different flours, musing about how to incorporate some of them into my pasta recipe, I eventually came to the tub containing the Pizza and Focaccia flour. Listed on the tub were the ingredients – wheat flour and soya flour. A little surprised at this, I read on. Emulsifiers, colouring agents, flavouroids, some other chemically named ingredients that I had no idea about.

I was really surprised and it reinforced for me how complacent we are about the common ingredients that we use. I will be reading labels of flours more closely from now on.

When I checked my supermarket-purchased and well used packets of plain flour at home, the ingredient list specifies wheat only. It seems the specialist and bread flours contain the additives. Please check carefully.

Do you read labels of common ingredients?



Pane di Prato | A Tuscan Bread

A wonderful, beautiful flavoured, light textured but very crusty bread.

I so rarely buy bread now. Except for some very special bread I might come across, and of course sourdough. And more recently the Afghan shop nearby has begun making their own flatbread. It’s just that we don’t eat bread much any more. Just occasionally we love to make our own. We don’t do it every week, mind you, although there have been times in my life where I have made bread several times per week – we had a rhythm going, and it was easy a log as we kept to the rhythm. The kids were younger then, and it was a good way to feed their constantly empty stomachs.

Mind you, I am no baker. A little too conceptual and impatient for that, but nevertheless we love this bread. I hope that you enjoy it.

Are you looking for other breads? We don’t have many. Try¬† Olive Oil Bread with Parsley and Dill, No Knead Focaccia, Schiacciata and Rosemary Focaccia. And we have some Toasties – try Pan Fried Toasties with Fontina, Paneer Toasties and Potato and Pea Stuffed Toasted Sandwiches.

But we do have Italian recipes. Try Marinated Zucchini and Tomato, Roasted Pepper Salad with Mozarella and White Beans, and Puy Lentil Soup.

You might also like to explore all of our bread recipes here. Or all of our Italian recipes here. Or simply browse our beautiful Mid Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Pane di Prato | A Tuscan Bread”