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Making Ethiopia Injera Bread...

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guerrillafood's picture
guerrillafood

Making Ethiopia Injera Bread...

Hey,

I've been trying to make Injera bread. I bought Teff flour from Bob's Red Mill. I followed the instructions on the Bob's Red Mill site, which are...

Ingredients:
1 cup Teff (Tef, T'ef) Flour 
1-1/2 cups Warm Water 

1- Mix above ingredients together in a large bowl.

2- Cover with paper towel for 24 to 48 hours at 75° to 80°.

3- Pour off liquid that will rise to top.

4- Add 1/2 tsp. Bob’s Red Mill sea salt and stir.

5- Pour 1/2 cup batter onto a medium hot skillet and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes. 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.

 

Well, I tried this, and the first round I tried stuck to the skillet incredibly and turned into scrambled teff-mass when I tried to remove it. So, knowing what I know about caramelization etc. I just tried again, this time leaving the "pancake" alone completely until the top was completely dry like in the above instructions. Then I shook the pan until the bread loosed itself. When I removed it from the pan it was cooked fine on the bottom, but when you tear it open it was porridge inside. So I reduced the heat from medium to medium low and tried again. Again I waited until the top was bubbly and completly dry. The edges began to split and curl slightly upwards, and the color was very uneven, i.e. on top the edges were a much darker brownish gray. The center was still light gray even though it was dry. When I removed it from the pan, it was so fragile and gluten-less that it's own weight caused ti to rip apart in my hands. I can't imagine using it to pick up food to eat. 

 

I have looked around the net and found no better recipes or anywhere that addresses these particular issues. Are there any Ethiopian Injera makers on this site that can shead some light on this subject for me?

 

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

I am such a fan of this moist and wonderful flatbread. I've searched for information and recipes myself but you are two steps ahead of me by actually getting the teff and trying a couple of batches. My favorite place to eat injera is The Horn of Africa in Portland OR. Their bread has an extra tangy sourdough flavor. I'll eagerly follow your progress. Please share!

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

I've never made it myself, but this link, http://burakaeyae.blogspot.com/search?q=bread has detailed instructions, including videos. Perhaps it can help. (I warn you, the process is a lot more complicated than the one you describe)

spsq's picture
spsq

I've followed this, and it's exactly like the injera at our local african restaurant.   I guess they're a little lazy compared to the link above!   Different technique than you described:

 3 c flour

1/2 c. ww flour  (note, I use about 2 c ww, 1 1/2 c white, but that's just me)

1/2 c cormeal or masa harina

1 T active dry yeast

3 1/2c warm water

 Let set in a large bowl, covered, an hour or longer, until batter rises and becomes stretchy.  It can sit as long as 3-6 hrs.  When ready, stir batter if liquid has settled on bottom.  Then whip in blender, 2 c. of batter at a time, thinning it with 1/2-3/4c water.  Batter will be thin.

Cook in nonstick frypan without oil over med or med-high heat.  use 1/2c batter per injera for 12 in pan, 1/3 c. batter for 10 inch pan.  pour batter in heated pan and quickly swirl pan to spread batter as thin as possible.  Do not turn.  Injera does not easily stick or burn.  It is cooked through when bubbles appear all over top.  Lay each on a clean towel for a minute or two, then stack in covered dish to keep warm.

 I just noticed the side note that says "Authentic injera is made with teff, and the batter is fermented two to three days.  This is a close imitation develped by ethiopians living in NA.  For a more authentic injera, add 1/2 c feff flour and reduce flour to 2 1/2 c."

sitzhaki's picture
sitzhaki

Hi,

 We have a very large Ethiopean community in Israel, so recipes are easy to get, only they are written in Hebrew.

Here is a translation of one from a local authentic restaurant:

Ingredients:

1kg Teff flour

water

Put flour in a bowl and add water grdually till you get a unified mixture, not too hard or too soft.

Cover with wet towel for the night.

The next day the dough should rise a little and taste a little sour.

Add cold water and mix again.

Add 3/4 liter boiling water and mix to a pancake like mixture without any lumps.

Cover for 6 hours untill white foam appears on the mixture.

 

Heat a thick pan (Teflon is peferable) and oil it a little.

Pour the mixture to the pan (same as for pancake) and wait till bubbly.

Cover pan with lid for a minute and remove from the pan.

 

Good Luck.

Shai 

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Does someone have a picture of this you could post? It sounds like a big thin crumpet.

Eric

spsq's picture
spsq

Looks more like a giant, slightly carmel coloured, slightly thick crepe.

Pitabread's picture
Pitabread

I LEARN TO MAKE INJERA BECAUSE I LIKE IT, I'M NOT FROM ETHIOPIA OR ETHIOPIAN BUT I'M PART OF THE ETHIOPIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, AND THERE I LEARN TO EAT IT.

MY WAY OF MAKING INJERA......

I Kg OF SELF RAISING FLOUR

PINCH OF SALT

WARM WATER

METHOD:

PUT FLOUR IN PAN MIX WITH THE WARM WATER UNTIL A SOFT ALMOST RUNNY CONSISTANCE (NOT SO RUNNY)

COVER AND LEFT IN A WARM PLACE OVER NIGHT

STIR THE MIXTURE ADD A LITTLE SALT AND LITTLE WATER (IF THE MIXTURE LOOKS THICK), HEAT THE PAN (A THICK ONE) POUR THE MIXTURE IN TO THE PAN THE QUANTITY YOU WILL POUR FOR A THIN PANCAKE AND MAKE SURE IT COVERS AL THE BOTTOM OF THE PAN, WAIT UNTIL THE COLOR CHANGES TO A LIGHT GREY,WAIT UNTIL  BUBBLY AND COVER WITH A CLEAR GLASS COVER IS BETTER (SO THAT YOU CAN SEE THE BUBBLES) OR A CARD BOARD TEAR FROM A CEREAL BOX AND WAIT 1 MINUTE MAX AND TAKE OUT VERY CAREFULLY FROM THE BOTTOM WITH A PIECE OF CARD BOARD AND PLACE ON TOP OF A CLEAN DISH CLOTTE ON THE KITCHEN SURFACE AND LET IT COOL.

INJERA IS READY!!

GBTK's picture
GBTK

Hi,

 

Did this really work for you? did you have to add or change anything? 

Heidela123's picture
Heidela123

Except I use club soda instead of warm water, I think I will try the warm waterM
I learned it from the Ethiopian interpreters at my work
They thought my quest for teft was " silly if you have something as good as self rising flour " direct quote on several occasions, where I could find it?

More than ironic with more processed foods =increased diabetes and heart disease with this generation

I still love injera so much more with food. Alone I like the teft. But for e it is the white rice brown rice thing. With food always white, alone in a bowl brown. Personal taste not to be confused with good advice

GBTK's picture
GBTK

Hi,

 

I've attempted to make Teff Injera a number of times; what I'm ending up with does not even come off the skillet unless I soak it in water.

The shame of the matter is that I'm an Ethiopian women myself and have never made it in all my life.

The other problem I have is that I'm on a Gluten Free diet and can not add/ or use any other flours...

 

I haven't had Injera for a very long time and I’m dying for it.  Please share if you have managed to make a successful Injera.

 

Thank You! 

Lise's picture
Lise

I made teff injera last weekend (just the teff and water recipe) and initially had the same problems described in the first post - it stuck, couldn't get it out of the pan in one piece, then when I finally did it didn't seem like the right texture and fell apart easily... I kept trying, and adjusting the temperature and amount of oil I used in the pan, and I eventually ended up with about 8 pretty decent injera (after half a dozen failed ones!).

Here's how I finally got it to work: I heated a heavy 10 inch cast iron skillet over med to med-high gas heat, wiped with a light coating of vegetable oil before pouring each injera, added about 1/3 cup batter to the pan and swirled the pan so it spread to about 1/8" thick. Cooked it briefly (I'd say not more than a minute although I didn't really time it) until lots of holes appeared in the middle and the edges just started to lift - then I used a large flexible spatula to loosen the injera all the way around the edges, and gently slid it out of the pan onto a towel. It initially looks like it's too sticky and falls apart if you try to pick it up, but if you let it cool completely it firms up, and you end up with a nice soft spongy bread.

I'm on a gluten-free diet, and these make great wrap sandwiches. I froze a few of them with plastic wrap between them to keep them from sticking together, and they freeze very well and defrost easily with about 15 seconds in the microwave.

Hope this helps!!

mrsmambo's picture
mrsmambo


My partner is Eritrean and I have been wanting to make authentic injera for some time now. I finally learned from his mom and sister who live in Europe how to do it. Today I finally got it right! You will need:


7 cups all purpose white flour


1 cup of teff flour (you don't need the teff .. his mother uses a combination of all purpose and bread flour .. I like the taste of the teff)


1 x 25 gram of fresh lieveto di birra (I'm not sure if this is different than fresh bakers yeast because it translates as brewers yeast - I got this from an Italian bakery)


Directions:


Sift flour into large plastic pail. Mix flours together. Add cube of yeast and gradually add tepid (110 degrees) water to the mixture. The trick is to knead the dough so that the gluten forms and you get the spongy texture to the injera. Don't add too much water but don't knead a really hard ball either. You will see because even when the mixture is liquidy it will still be stringy from the formation of gluten.


Keep kneading adding more water until it resembles a thick pancake batter. Make sure to squeeze all of the lumps out with your fingers. You can mix in a blender if you want (I don't).


Let sit in a warm area for 3 days. Pour off the liquid hooch that forms on top of the batter. Boil some water in a kettle and add it to the batter until the batter is like a thicker crepe batter. Stir mixture. This process of gelatinization helps the injera's cohesiveness. Let sit for about an hour. You will notice that the batter will have bubbles in it. This is great.


The best method for cooking injera is with an electric grill or "mitad" or "mogogo". Now this was the step that I kept messing up on and until I got it right, my injera was a disaster. Make sure the electric griddle or mogogo is at about 475 to 500 degrees. I thought at first this was too hot so I was cooking mine at 195 degrees. This was my big mistake as the high heat reacts with the batter and is what creates the "eyeing" in the injera. Cook covered with the lid for about 2 minutes until steam comes out. Remove injera and place on a clean cloth. Once cool, stack the injera. Enjoy!


Hope this helps. I was so frustrated trying to make this .. as I said, my main problem was the temperature of the pan!


Linda

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

http://breadchick.blogspot.com/2009/04/bread-baking-babes-dont-always-knead.html


Looks like it was successful and she has good pictures and a video.  BUT, it's a FIVE DAY process!

Urchina's picture
Urchina

Here's the simplified recipe that we use. The steaming is critical to the texture of the bread, and to making sure it's done properly. I have no trouble with sticking to the pan when using this recipe. 


 


Injera (makes 8-10 8" Injera)


2 cups teff flour (we use Bob's Red Mill; can substitute buckwheat flour if desired)


2 cups water


1/2 cup 100% hydration sourdough starter


1/2 tsp sea salt


 


Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and set at room temperature 12-24 hours (it can go longer, up to three days, with increasing levels of sourness the longer you leave it). I mix my batter the night before making Injera, then make them at around 4 the next day for dinner that night. Ambient temperatures around here are usually 65 - 75 degrees. 


 


Preheat a nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat (I use a 10" cast iron pan). Lightly grease or oil the pan (a quick shot of Pam will do it). Have the lid to the skillet standing by. 


 


Uncover the batter. It will have separated into two layers during fermentation and will be very thin, like crepe batter. Stir the batter well so it's uniform throughout. 


 


Pour batter into the skillet in a spiral, making a 1/4" thick crepe in the skillet. Tilt the skillet to evenly distribute the batter, and cook until bubbles rise to the surface (as if making pancakes), about 1-2 minutes. DO NOT FLIP the Injera at this point. Instead, cover pan with lid and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until top of Injera is set and firm. Remove from pan and stack on cloth towel. 


 


Repeat with remaining batter until Injera is done. Wrapped, these store well at room temperature for a couple of days. 


 


If you don't have the sourdough starter, I suspect that just mixing the teff and water together and leaving for an additional day will do the trick, since that's how it's done in Ethiopia. 


Good luck!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

The simplified recipe looks to be the easiest one but can a teff starter be grown? I'm not familiar with the characteristics of teff but looking at the recipes, it seems that it could grow into a starter that could be on hand so it wouldn't take 2-4 days to develop the dough.

Urchina's picture
Urchina

I personally haven't made a teff starter, but I would just try a 1/2 cup teff flour mixed with 1/2 cup water and let it stand, covered, at room temperature for a few days, stirring occasionally, until you get some bubbling and sourdough smell. I use my wheat-based sourdough culture because it's always ready in the fridge and I don't care to maintain two cultures. 


 


Good luck!

EvaB's picture
EvaB

I started making this last summer, and its great, I just used my regular cast pan, the teff, water and let sit, pour some of the batter in the pan, and let it cook until very bubbly, mine are small more like pancakes than large flat breads, but they are deluxe, to eat. I didn't have any problems with sticking, or falling apart with the smaller size, so maybe start out with smaller cakes and then go on from there.

boomerang's picture
boomerang

I just made Injera for the first time using the simplified recipe from Urchina.  This was easy and I used a lefsa griddle to cook it -- no lid so used a1/2 sheet cake pan to serve for steam purposes.  These turned out perfect the first time.  Taste is amazing:  get hit with SOUR and then taste the nutty flavor of the teff.  But it sure is sour -- is it supposed to be this sour?  Anyway I am happy that it turned out and I got 9 good size Injera from one recipe worth.  I have an Ethiopian dinner on Saturday (14 guests) so will probably triple the recipe to ensure we have enough.  Thanks everyone for the posts, they definitely helped.

loydb's picture
loydb

All injera that I've been served at various restaurants has been sour, so it sounds like you nailed it :) I need to try making this!

 

Cob's picture
Cob

Bumping this post.

I'm fascinated and confused. There are many recipes here, are injeera yeasted? I have the description in C.Roden's Middle Eastern Cookery that they are very spongey, huge, flatbreads (sometimes the size of a table) made from a mix of teff flour and water, left to sour. Are these very sour? I will not have any access to teff, would nay other flour come close? She says the grrain is s a type of millet. Now I've millet, but not millet flour.

How are these eaten? I'm absolutely new to Ethiopian food.

Also, these sound similar to another spongey flour and water pancake, Lahuh (made with soured mix of wheat/corn flour and water.). I'm not sure about their origin, she does not specifiy.