Friday, August 3, 2012

Injera {Ethiopia}

Injera is an Ethiopian flat bread. If you've never had it, think spongy crêpe versus hefty naan. This is an Ethiopian staple and is traditionally made with teff, a very finely milled millet flour. I used what I had which happened to be an mixture of all-purpose flour and rye flour. Ethiopians use this bread to sop up the flavors of spicy stews.


When I first set out to make it, I hadn't read the directions very carefully and didn't realize that the dough needed to ferment for 24 hours before you use the batter. So, that set me back a day. I mixed the dough, left it to ferment, and came back the following evening, ready to make some injera.

Let's just say that this was a torturous project. Only about 25% of my injera were worth eating and the boys declared it - "not your best effort, Mommy. It kinda tastes like wine...or beer." I guess I got the fermentation down. The texture et al needs some work. Oh, well.

1 T active dry yeast
5 C warm water
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C dark rye flour
1/4 t baking soda

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 C of water. Allow to proof and add the remainder of the water and the flour. Stir until smooth and then cover. Allow to stand at room temperature for 24 hours.

Stir the batter well and mix in the baking soda.


Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into the pan in a spiral pattern to cover the bottom of the pan evenly. Tilt the pan to quickly even out the batter. Cover the pan and allow to cook for about 1 minute. It is cooked only on one side. This top should be slightly moist. Remove to a platter and cool. Stack the cooked breads on a plate.

Everything I read declared: "The bread should not brown but rather rise slightly and be very easy to remove."

Mine were flat as a pancake and terribly difficult to remove from the pan. As I said - disastrous. Thankfully there are Ethiopian restaurants we can go to so that the boys will know what injera is supposed to taste like.

3 comments:

  1. Injera isn't made with wheat or rye flour. It's made with tef flour. That is where the taste not being right is from. It can be ordered on line or if you go to an Ethiopian restaurant they can tell you if it can be sourced locally. I have bought it in shops in Minneapolis and Nashville.

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  2. Teri, yes I know that it's made with teff...which I did say in my post. The taste wasn't the issue, it was the texture.

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  3. Even when its well made, I think it's an acquired taste. After two weeks in Ethiopia, I had acquired the taste and was looking for every chance to eat traditional foods. At first, though, I could only take it about once a day!

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