The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Making Ethiopia Injera Bread...

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.

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.