RECIPE: Ethiopean Injera (Teff Flatbreads) Yeast & Yeast Free Versions

Teff is a naturally gluten free seed used widely in African cookery. Similar to quinoa and amaranth it is high in plant based protein and fibre making it a fabulous alternative flour to use. Leaving the batter to sit for a couple of days allows the development of a deliciously vinegary tang, similar to a dark German or Polish black rye bread. You can easily make a batch, portion off a serving for one day and leave the rest on the counter for the next day. Alternatively you can cook them up in one go, wrap them in baking parchment and keep them in the fridge for a couple of days.

Makes 5-6 injera

Yeasted Version:

  • 1/2 cup Teff flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon active yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Coconut oil for cooking

Yeast Free Version:

  • 1 1/2 cups teff flour
  • 2 cups pure water
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Coconut oil for cooking

 

For the yeasted version

  1. Whisk together all the ingredients in a large glass bowl. Cover with a light lid (or shower cap) and leave the batter to sit for 1-2 days.
  2. When you’re ready to make the injera, use a spoon to gently remove some of the dark water on top then give the batter a good whisk.
  3. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and melt 1/2 a teaspoon of coconut oil.
  4. Add about ¼ cup of the batter and tip the pan to spread it evenly. The batter should be pretty thin, you might need to add more flour if the batter is too thin (no holes develop when the flatbread cooks) or more water if it’s too thick (makes more of a pancake). Once spread, wait for a few bubbles to appear then cover the pan with a lid to steam the injera for a 4-5 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid and check it, if the centre is set and the edges have started to pull away it’s ready, if you can’t get a spatula underneath, recover with the lid and leave to cook a little longer.
  6. Remove from the pan and eat straight away or let cool. The edges might feel crisp when you take it off heat but will soften slightly as it cools down.

For the yeast free version

  1. Place the Teff flour in a large glass bowl, add the water and stir well. Cover with a cheesecloth or towel and place on the counter and let it sit for 1 day/24hrs. Do not agitate or stir the batter, just leave it be.
  2. After 24 hours, you’ll see that your batter is alive and fermenting.
  3. Bring a pan to medium heat and very lightly grease with coconut oil.
  4. Stir in the salt & baking powder, your batter will deflate when you stir it but this is fine.
  5. Now pour enough batter into the pan to fill entire surface and cover with a lid, or use a flat baking tray if you done have a lid. It’s important to keep a lot of moisture in the pan or the Injera will crack. You don’t flip Injera, and you aren’t supposed to brown it’s underside too much, but I like the taste of it that way so I tend to overcook it a tad. It should take about 5-7 minutes to cook, you’ll see the top start to bubble like pancakes and then it will start to dry out.
  6. When the edges begin to curl upwards use a spatula to remove the Injera from the pan and serve.

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These are delicious plain as an accompaniment to a main dish or can be adorned with your favourite sweet or savoury toppings. In the picture I have opted for organic peanut butter and banana but am just as likely to go for a houmous and cucumber combo. 

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