The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Teff flour

AnnieT's picture

Teff flour

I was recently given a bag of kamut flour, grown and ground here on Whidbey Island, and I added it to my regular sourdough recipe with good results. My daughter-in-law brought me a four pound bag of teff flour from Oregon, and I added 1/4c to the same recipe. Oh dear! The dough became "slimy" and even after many stretch and folds it was still slack, so I was surprised to get good oven spring. When I started a loaf today I added some gluten and so far, so good. I should explain that the 1/4c of teff was added to 2 1/4c of Morbread flour. Has anyone worked with teff? Was the odd texture typical? A four pound bag has a lot of 1/4cups! I Googled teff and found a pie crust recipe which I gave to my DIL along with the 2 cups of teff called for, but it hardly made a dent in the total amount, A.


Yerffej's picture

Teff has found its way into the gluten free world and is generally mixed with other gluten free substances to make a sort of baking mix.  On its own it is used primarily to make injera.  Inasmuch as it is gluten free, it is going to impact any dough to which it is you have discovered.  Use it  in small quantities for the character that it can bring to a dough and I believe that you will like it.  Better yet learn to make injera.  A few years ago there was a vendor at the Bellingham farmers market selling an Ethiopian chicken dish with injera, it was delicious.

Happy Baking,    Jeff

sharonk's picture

It's interesting to me that mixing teff into wheat makes it slimy. I used to be a rye sourdough baker but now I'm a gluten-free sourdough baker due to health problems. Teff has been one of my most successful flours because of it's natural sponginess.  I have combined teff with other flours as well as made 100% teff breads. If I have a soupy batter that won't thicken up I'll put 1/4 cup of teff flour into it to bind it and  help with the rise.  I am grateful that I found Teff! I also eat whole teff grain cooked as a porridge for breakfast!  

AnnieT's picture

Hi Jeff, my son and his wife have a favorite Ethiopian restaurant in Seattle and I had thought of trying to make injera ( after looking for recipes on line.) Thinking about it was as far as I got - how difficult is it to make? I have a big very well seasoned cast iron skillet and wonder if I could use that although the sides might be too high. Thanks for confirming that the teff does affect the dough. I used a little less water with today's batch but it was still very slack after bulk proofing, so I will see how it bakes in the morning, A.

wassisname's picture

Thanks for sharing, Annie.  I've had a little bag of teff flour in the freezer for ages but haven't gotten around to using it yet.  Now I know - proceed with caution!


breadsong's picture

Hello Annie,
How good to know there is kamut grown on Whidbey Island - do you know who the grower is? I might search this flour out if I have an opportunity to visit Whidbey Island :^)

Re: teff flour, I came across an interesting article on baking with it, in Pastry and Baking North America magazine;
the article was written by Frank Sally, a (very talented!) instructor at the San Francisco Baking Institute:
Frank explains on page 27, when writing about the Teff Starter, about pre-cooking the teff as once pre-cooked it "performs much better".
Please note, if you make this bread, the baker's percentages for teff flour and liquid starter for the Levain are reversed
(the Kilogram weights shown, however, are correct).

*edited to add: the direct link to the article might not have to create a login account to access.
The article is 2010 Issue 1, starting on page 26.

Re: injera, thanks for mentioning this flatbread. You prompted me to do a search, and up came this thread showing various ways to make injera - thank you - I look forward to giving this a try!

:^) breadsong

AnnieT's picture

Hello Breadsong, unfortunately I had thrown out the bag from the kamut flour so I Googled "Kamut flour on Whidbey Island" and found the grower, Georgina Silbey of biodynamic boutique.  I'm pretty sure this is the right person because the bags shown are just like the one I tossed. Evidently her grains and flours are also available at Rosehip Farm Shop in Coupeville.

I just took the latest sourdough with teff flour out of the oven, and although it spread when I turned it out of the banneton it recovered with good oven spring. The crust is very shiny and darker than my usual sourdough and I'm hoping the crumb will be as good as the last one. I'm taking it to share with a quilting group and I don't suppose they will be too critical, A.

(I tried to include her email but got a lot of gobbleydegook if you can't find it PM me.)

breadsong's picture

Thanks for your help Annie; I found the farmer's blog page here:
Next time I go to Whidbey Island this flour will be something I try to find.
Hope everyone loved your teff bread - I'm sure your quilters will appreciate your hand-crafted loaf very much,
being hand-crafters themselves!
:^) breadsong

clazar123's picture

If you want a "flat" to cook on, just turn the iron pan upside down over the burner. It is a little harder to heat since it isn't in contact but should work.

You may notice that the kamut also has some interesting characteristics. It is quite delicious and has a goodly amount of very stretchy glutem I have found that adding it as a  percentage works better than using 100%kamut in a loaf.  Because it is so stretchy, I find a high percentage kamut dough works better as a panned bread to support the shape or as a flat bread (like pizza dough) rather than a freeform loaf- otherwise it just flattens right out. It also tends to go from proofed to overproofed very easily so keep an eye on it as it proofs. I tend to try for 3/4 proofed with kamut.

Delicious taste and wonderful color to the kamut flour. Have fun. I know nothing about teff so I am interested in the comments here.

rileyworks's picture

I have been using teff flour for the past several years. I substitute 12% of the wheat flour for the teff. At that percentage, the rise and crumb are not affected. The real trick is to use the teff as a soaker. Just take the weight of the teff you are going to use and add the same weight of water, place in a bowl, and soak covered overnight. Fold the teff mixture into the dough the next day and enjoy. The teff adds an almost chocolatey smell and flavor. Makes great toast. You can add more teff but the crumb and rise begin to suffer. The flavor is still great, but I like less dense breads.