Teff Injera: naturally fermented sourdough bread

It’s hard to describe the flavour of Injera. It is sour, but that wouldn’t begin to describe the unique complexity of this, one of the world’s great breads.

Made from Teff, a non-gluten, high-protein grain native to Ethiopia  and Eritrea traditional Injera ferments for 3-5 days and nights, to become a probiotic wonder bursting with goodness as well as flavour. Sounds long winded? Just remember you’ve delegated the task of creating sourdough to lactic-acid bacteria while you get on with other things.

And if you can’t get hold of Teff I’ve eaten great “njera” made from buckwheat and millet, both also gluten-free.  You can  even use wheat! A step too far? Not at all. Officially you’d be eating another bread popular to the region, lahoh. But what’s in a name?

You can take a shortcuts using yeast and even citirc acid and bicarb. The taste is reasonable, but skipping the fermentation will definitiely not create a probiotic sourdough. It’s up to you.


Injera is served with any number of toppings. We’ve already covered three traditionally vegan dishes. You’ll find lots more on-line. Or ask an Ethiopian friend to share some of their family recipes with you.

making injera

Traditional Teff Injera

JOSÉ MANUEL
This is a sourdough flat-bread native to Ethiopia. Though traditionally make with teff flour, you can substiture this with virtually any grain. Millet, buckwheat and barley alone or in combination give very good results.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course bread, Main Course
Cuisine African, ethiopian

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 kg teff or other flour
  • 1/2 tsp dry or fresh yeast or a ladleful of batter from the previous batch
  • water
  • salt (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Injera is a 3 step process: prepare and ferment the batter, create and add a porridge (afsit) and after some more fermentation cook individual injera on a dry skillet
  • start by either dissolving the yeast in a little luke-warm water or use a ladleful of your previous injera batter as a started culture
    yeast for injera
  • add the flour and enough water to form a firm batter or wet dough the consistency of mud. The batter needs to be worked for at least 5 minutes, either by hand or using a blender
    mixing injera batter
  • transfer the batter to a large container with a tight fitting lid.
    ready made injera batter
  • clean off the mixing bowl with some water and pour this over the batter to totally cover it. This will ensure the resultant bread is not too sour and also helps prevent mould formation
    avoiding mould formation in injera
  • put on the lid and let stand to ferment at room temperature for 3 days in the summer and four in winter
    injera batter fermenting
  • every evening remove the lid and change the surface water, carefully pouring away just the stained surface of the old water while leaving the batter intact. Add the fresh water carefully, running it along the sides to clean them and so it sits on top of the batter with minimal mixing
    injera batter ready for fermenting
  • after 2 days you're ready for the next step: you'll make a simple porridge called AFSIT. You can skip this step, but the resulting injera will be smoother and softer if you follow it.
  • bring a cup of water to boil in a medium pan. In a seperate bowl mix a ladleful of the hot water with a the same amount of injera batter. Add this back into the pan, cook gently until it thickens into a creamy consistency. When cool enough no to burn your finger add the afsit to the rest of the batter and mix well.
  • leave to ferment for one final night. The final mixture should the consistency of single cream: slightly thicker than crepe batter, but thinner than pancake. Add water if needed to achieve this consistency
  • IMPORTANT: injera is cooked dry WITHOUT OIL and is COOKED ON ONE SIDE ONLY
  • the only equipment you need is a good non-stick pan with a lid plus a wooden or synthetic spatula. We invested in an electric crepe-maker. I don't go for too many gadgets as I then have to store them,  but this one: what a joy! If you're going to make crepes that don't use oil (like South Indian Dosa) this is a must
    electric crepe-maker
  • start with a cool pan. Using a ladle pour on the batter in a circle spiralling in from the edge towards the centre. Turn up the heat to medium high (200oC if using the crepe maker). Now, wait untill the surface is peppered in little holes and around 80% of it is cooked. Put on a lid and allow to steam for 45 seconds. When the sides of the injera curl and you can easily slide your spatula under it the injera is ready. Transfer onto a plate and move on to the next one
  • If you're using a pan run the underside under a cold tap for a couple of seconds to cool it. If using a crepe-maker splash on some cold water and let it evaporate. Proceed to the next infera

Notes

Serve with Swis chard Gomen Wot, red lentil Misir Wot, and potato and carrot Alicha - see the previous three posts.
Or choose any number of your favourite stews and casseroles to accompany this delightfully nutritious bread. A refreshing salad goes down really well as an accompaniment.
You can also create any filling you like and roll the injera as you would a crepe. And if you have a filling why not make a sauce to cover your dish?
NEXT: instant injera. Not probiotic, but nice

 

 

4 Replies to “Teff Injera: naturally fermented sourdough bread”

    1. Hello Ayefa, firstly, yes, you can absolutely use millet flour. I’ve tried this myself and got delicious results. Secondly I’m phasing out this blog for technical reasons: there was a problem during migrating locations and I now can’t edit and worse add new posts. I’mm working my way to transfering the posts and adding new ones onto a new bilimgual Spanish and English blog:
      https://spanishyogaretreat.com/vegetarian-yoga-blog/
      Meanwhile the old blog will remain up for reference until ALL the posts have been transferred. Thanks for getting un touch

  1. 5 stars
    It’s sounds really good, since I have been gluten free a year, I hope I can have my garlic salt and nice garden of herbs to my new bread and satisfy my desire for piece of nice sourdough , and I am in preparation to make it ! I will let you know when I am process of eating!!! Thank you very much for you recipe and amazing advice!
    I would like to know more about your yoga retreat, please! Sincerely Mila

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