Gleanings of Wheat: A Blog dedicated to cooking, kids, and Christ

Friday, July 10, 2009

Injera

I'm going to make this tomorrow. I'm working on finding more ethnic recipes to go along with it.

Injera is not only a kind of bread—it’s also an eating utensil.

In Ethiopia and Eritrea, this spongy, sour flatbread is used to scoop up meat and vegetable stews. Injera also lines the tray on which the stews are served, soaking up their juices as the meal progresses. When this edible tablecloth is eaten, the meal is officially over.

Injera is made with teff, a tiny, round grain that flourishes in the highlands of Ethiopia. While teff is very nutritious, it contains practically no gluten. This makes teff ill-suited for making raised bread, however injera still takes advantage of the special properties of yeast. A short period of fermentation gives it an airy, bubbly texture, and also a slightly sour taste.



1/4 cup teff flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
a pinch of salt
peanut or vegetable oil



1. Put the teff flour in the bottom of a mixing bowl, and sift in the all-purpose flour.

2. Slowly add the water, stirring to avoid lumps.

3. Stir in the salt.

4. Heat a nonstick pan or lightly oiled cast-iron skillet until a water
drop dances on the surface. Make sure the surface of the pan is smooth: Otherwise, your injera might fall apart when you try to remove it.

5. Coat the pan with a thin layer of batter. Injera should be thicker than a crêpe, but not as thick as a traditional pancake. It will rise slightly when it heats.

6. Cook until holes appear on the surface of the bread. Once the surface is dry, remove the bread from the pan and let it cool.

In case you can't find teff flour here is an alternative recipe:

½ c Flour, Whole Wheat
1 ½ c Flour, All Purpose
1T Baking Powder
½ t Salt
2 ½ c Club Soda
2 ea Lemons juice only

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over a medium-low flame. Wipe with a paper towel soaked in a little oil. Mix all dry ingredients together well. Stir in club soda and mix to a smooth batter. Should have the thin consistency of a pancake batter. Pour about 1/2 cup of the batter at a time into the skillet and spread with a spatula to make as large a crepe as possible. Let bake in the skillet till all bubbles on the top burst and begin to dry out, about 2-3 minutes.

Carefully turn the injera and bake on second side another minute or two. Try not to brown the injera.

Remove the injera to a warm platter and repeat with the rest of the batter, wiping the skillet clean with the paper towel each time.

After the batter is used up, brush each injera all over with the lemon juice. Serve immediately, or hold covered in a warm oven.

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