One the many searches that leads folks to this cranky web site is the topic of the Ethiopian sponge bread known as injera. We think we know what’s going on. People go out to dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant and come home wondering how to make the bread, leading to a fruitless search of the internets for a recipe and our old post about one of the ingredients, teff flour.
So here’s how we made injera based on Katz’s recipe:
2 cups sourdough starter (check out our post on an easy way to keep and maintain a sourdough starter)
5 cups lukewarm water
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups teff flour (an Ethiopian grain available from Bob’s Red Mill at Whole Foods)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda or baking powder (optional)
1. Mix the sourdough starter, flours and water. The result should resemble a pancake batter.
2. Ferment in a warm place for 24 hours.
3. Just before you cook add the salt.
4. Katz gives several options with the baking powder/soda. He says that if you like the sour flavor and don’t mind a less bubbly bread skip the baking soda. We like sour, but we thought the final result was too sour so we added the baking soda. Katz says that using baking powder will provide leavening but leave the dough sour. Again, we recommend adding some baking soda.
5. Stir well and let sit for a few minutes after adding baking soda or powder.
6. Heat up a pan and and lightly coat it with oil.
7. Spread the batter thinly in the pan and cook on one side only. Cover the pan and cook the injera over medium heat.
Injera works as both bread and utensil and the batch we made tasted better than what we’ve been served in restaurants.