Injera (Ethiopian Flatbread)
Injera is a soft, thin pancake-like flatbread made from fermented teff batter. A staple food in Ethiopia, the bread is typically used for scooping stews, meat, and vegetables like Doro Wat, Gomen, and Kik Alicha (all three of which are featured on our blog this week!). Our weekly sale from April 7th – 13th celebrates the cuisine of Ethiopia and you’ll find Bob’s Red Mill teff flour featured in the sale, which is all you’ll need to make this traditional flatbread. Much like sourdough bread, injera is a product of fermentation, so while the steps and ingredients are simple, you’ll need to plan ahead by starting the fermentation of the batter 4 days before you’d like to prepare the injera. The resulting bread is naturally gluten-free and the fermentation process improves the digestibility and bioavailability of the nutrients present in the teff flour.
4 to 5 days before you’d like to make injera, combine teff flour and water in a large non-reactive bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or Bee’s Wrap and let the mixture sit undisturbed at room temperature for 4-5 days (the longer it ferments, the deeper the flavor). The mixture will be fizzy, the color will be very dark, and, depending on the humidity, a layer of aerobic yeast will have formed on the top (aerobic yeast is a normal result of fermentation). Pour off the aerobic yeast and as much of the liquid as possible. A clay-like batter will remain. Give it a good stir. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Stir in 1/2 cup of the injera batter, whisking constantly until it is thickened. This will happen pretty quickly. Then stir the cooked/thickened batter back into the original fermented batter. Add some water to the batter to thin it out to the consistency of crepe batter. The batter will have a sweet-soured nutty smell. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Depending on how good your non-stick pan is, you may need to very lightly spray it with some oil. Spread the bottom of the skillet with the injera batter – not as thin as crepes but not as thick as traditional pancakes. Allow the injera to bubble and let the bubbles pop. Once the bubbles have popped, place a lid on top of the pan and turn off the heat. Let the injera steam cook for a couple or so more minutes until cooked through. Be careful not to overcook the injera or they will become gummy and soggy. Remove the injera with a spatula and repeat.