Trying a New Ingredient

For our breads and rolls class, it is time for our mid-term project.Our assignment was to research any type of native bread that we were not going to make in class.The class is only half over and already we have made 60 different types of bread!So, finding a unique bread to research was a little difficult.

I came up with the idea of making Injera, an Ethiopian flat bread that has a sourdough taste.A few years back, my aunt took me to an Ethiopians restaurant for the first time and I tried injera.I love the texture and taste, and the unique way that they use this bread as a dish to serve food.

I thought that this would be an easy paper to write, seeing how injera is fairly unheard of still.But, when I started reading up on it I learned that injera hasn’t changed much in the past several hundred years.So instead of just talking about the history I decided to try to make it traditionally in my own home.

You Want Teeth Flour?!
A traditional injera recipe is made with teff flour, which is a type of grass native to the northeastern part of Africa.Surprisingly, Whole Foods had a very small batch of teff flour.Unfortunately, it was almost $25 per pound!When I went into the store, I asked an associate about if they had it or not.The fairly old woman responded in a think Mediterranean accent, “you want teeth flour?!”Looking at me like I was a crazy person.I finally just walked up and down the flour isle about 5 times before I found it, on the bottom shelf, and only two bags left!

Teff Flour 1 lb.10 oz.
Water 3 lbs.5 oz.
Yeast 3/4 oz.

The method of preparation is fairly easy.Just mix all the ingredients until a smooth texture, and let ferment!The formula I would online is a very traditional recipe, and called for the mix to be fermented for a week in a calf-stomach.Ew!So, I put mine is a metal bowl and only fermented it for a day.

The next day, the mix has a very strong smell.Sort of a Everclear and moldy-bread smell, and had an oddly gray-beige color.The next step is to siphon off the muddy water that had separated from the top.Carefully trying not to spill any of the toxic smelling liquid on me.

Next, stir up the mixture again and prepare a large skillet for baking.Placing about 6 ounces, or about 3/4 cup of the batter in a hot skillet, wait until the top of the bread looks dry and spongy.Just slide it off the pan and eat!

During the cooking process, the horrible smell went away and was replaced with an amazing aroma of baking sourdough.I made up the rest of my batter and shared it with my friends.The injera tasted so good and it is such an easy thing to make!I definitely suggest making it sometime.If teft is too expensive for you, just substitute it for potato flour.This is also a great bread for people who cannot have gluten but still want to enjoy bread!

Happy Baking!

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges