The Fresh Loaf

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15% Teff Flour with Teff Flour Levain

HeiHei29er's picture

15% Teff Flour with Teff Flour Levain

My first use of teff flour came during our Gluten Free Community Bake.  Comments made here intrigued me, and I finally got around to experimenting.

To get a good taste of the teff flour, I kept the recipe simple.  I created a teff flour starter over a 3-day period by using my white flour starter and then doing a 1:4:4 refresh every 8 hours.  From there, I used my standard sourdough loaf approach but used a 100% teff flour levain for the 15% prefermented flour.

As Gina mentioned in her comment, the teff flour goes through a range of aromas as it ferments.  It is actually quite sweet smelling after maybe 5-6 hours and then gets noticeably tangy sour after 8+ hours.  Even though it was 100% teff flour in the levain, it had no trouble with wheat flour and leavened the dough right on target with a 15% PFF taking about 4 hours to reach 75-80% volume increase at 76 deg F.

As expected with 15% gluten free flour, the crumb is even/closed, but is not at all dense.  It is moist but not gummy.  The teff almost has a shortening effect.  The taste of the loaf is excellent!  Whole grain, nutty flavors/aromas.

67.5g    Teff flour
64.1g    Water
9g         Teff starter
Combine and ferment at 70 deg F for 12 hours

Final Dough
225g    All Purpose Flour
157.5g Bread Flour
228.4g Water
9g        Salt

1)   Excluding salt, combine final dough ingredients with levain until just wet
2)   Fermentolyse 20 minutes
3)   Fold in salt and any bassinage water (if needed).  Use Pinch and Squeeze to fully mix.  Bowl knead until dough comes back together.  Rest 10 minutes.
4)   Three sets of bowl kneading with 10 minute rests
5)   Bulk ferment at 76 deg F.  Folds every 30-45 minutes until "puffy".  Preshape at 75-80% rise
6)   Preshape at rest 20 minutes
7)   Final proof at 76 deg F
8)   Preheat oven to 465 deg F with oven setup for steam
9)   Bake with steam at 465 deg F (2 minutes); 400 deg F (18 minutes); vent oven; 435 deg F (15-20 minutes); bake until hollow thump


HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er's picture

Abe's picture

If teff goes through a range of aromas/tastes the longer it ferments and you wish to keep the natural sweetness, more apparent at firs,t then perhaps try the same recipe but this time putting it in the final dough using a relatively short bulk ferment by increasing the levain amount. Other things to try would be to toast the teff flour and/or make a tangzhong out of it. You could also use milk to make the teff tangzhong. So many things to try. 

Looks lovely as always! 

HeiHei29er's picture

Thanks Abe and all of those options sound great!  Lots of experimenting to do.  Not sure where I’ll go with it yet, but I do like how it acts as a sourdough.  It will be interesting to see how it recovers coming out of the refrigerator.  My guess is it will be just fine but you never know…

Benito's picture

Excellent baking Troy, everything about his bake is awesome.


HeiHei29er's picture

Thanks Benny!

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

HeiHei, that's a good looking bread. Nice light crumb. Awesome color. Even the starter is pretty with those tiny dark specks. Nice job! How did the dough handle?

HeiHei29er's picture

Thanks AG!

Dough handled typical for what you’d expect with 15% GF flour.  This dough was in the 66-67% hydration range after bassinage, and it was very supple at that hydration.  It was not sticky at all.  It held structure well but I think the dough would start to tear if you pushed fermentation too far.  Fortunately, the teff flour levain brought plenty of fermentation and flavor to the dough so a prolonged fermentation wasn’t needed.  It responded well to bowl stretch and folds and tightened up nicely at the 45 and 90 minute folds.

Isand66's picture

Beautiful looking loaf and great crumb.  I’ve wanted to try Teff for a while and you’ve reminded me it’s time 😁

HeiHei29er's picture

I’m sure there are other sources, but I started with the smaller bag of Bob’s Red Mill flour from my local grocery store.

If you want to give it a go, I’d really recommend taking 2g of your current starter and making a teff flour starter with 1:4:4 or 1:5:5 refreshes.  It should take approximately 8 hours to get to a sour-like aroma at 70 deg F.  However, check the various aromas along the way.  Adjust your recipe per some of Abe’s suggestions to hit the degree of fermentation you want.  The teff starter will not double, but it will rise and have a nice dome.  You may have to drop to 90-95% hydration to get the dome.  I was at 95% for the levain in this bake.

Good luck!