In Ethiopia, teff is ground into flour and fermented to make the spongy, sourdough bread known as injera.
Injera can also be found in Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan.
Teff is fermented by a symbiotic yeast living in the soluble fiber on Teff’s surface (like the blush on grapes).
Fingers or Injera were invented before forks
As anyone knows who has eaten at an Ethiopian restaurant anywhere in the world, injera is used as an edible serving plate.
At the table, Injera is torn off and used to pick up foods with hands.
It is both bread and utensil. It also serves as the platter: miscellaneous foods are scooped into piles in the center of the injera.
The injera is torn off from around the outside and everything is eaten toward the middle.
When the injera is gone, the meal is over. And not much clean-up is required!
My kind of eating!
A number of factors can alter the quality of injera such as the temperature of the grill, the type of grill (mitad), the temperature of the dough during fermentation, length of fermentation time, quality of the flour, ways of mixing the dough.
Injera bread is thicker than a crepe but thinner than a pancake. In making Injera, teff flour is mixed with water and fermented over several days.
Here is a starting point, with only 24 hour fermentation
1 1/2 cups teff flour (Whole teff and ground or use a food processor to grind down to a flour)
2 cups clean water
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- Place Teff flour in a large glass bowl, add water and stir well.
- Cover with muslin, cheesecloth or tea towel and place on the counter and let it sit for 1 day/24 -48 hrs. Do not agitate or stir the batter
- After 24 -48 hours, the batter is alive and fermenting.
- We use a skillet pan and bring to medium heat, and very lightly, coat the pan with coconut oil.
- Stir in salt, and season with more, taste if you like, until you can barely detect the saltiness. Also stir in the baking powder. Your batter will deflate when stirring.
- Pour enough batter into the pan to fill the surface and cover with a lid. Keeping moisture in will prevent cracking. Flipping is not required for Injera. It takes about 5-7 minutes to cook Injera.
- The top will bubble like pancakes and start to dry out.
- When the top is dry, and the edges begin to curl/dry, use a spatula to remove the Injera from the pan.
- Place on a plate and repeat, layering cooked Injera with parchment paper until all the batter is used.