Recipes for Life

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Injera Bread

Rich in iron, calcium, fiber and protein, teff is the smallest cereal grain. Though the bronze or ivory colored teff is uncommon in the American diet, this gluten-free grain is a staple in Ethiopian cuisine. Traditional preparations include a flat sourdough bread called injera. This uniquely light and spongy bread is rolled up, cut into lengths and pieces are used to scoop up food in lieu of utensils. Teff can also be added to other dishes or cooked alone as a side dish or porridge.

Making injera bread starter takes a few days, but it is not hard at all. Once you get the starter going, you can make batches every one to two days thereafter.

Notes: The time to ferment may vary by temperature. When the water and flour separates and a thin layer of light brown liquid sits on top, that is time to add the next installment of flour and water. In some cases, it may take a day or less, but could take up to two if it is cold. Peak daily (without jostling the bowl) to assess.

If the batter seems to thin or too sour and the teff bread seems too moist, over-fermentation may be the cause. In this case, thicken the batter with extra flour before cooking more injera.

Prep time:

2 minutes (every time you add more to starter)

Soak time:

6 days

Cook time:

20 minutes (5 for each injera)




Step 1: Make the injera starter

Day 1
Mix together initial ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup teff flour
  • 2/3 cup water

Cover with a tea towel and leave undisturbed for 24 hours.

Day 3

Stir starter and add:

Cover with a tea towel and leave undisturbed for 24 hours.

Day 5: Part 1 (morning)

Stir starter and add:

Cover with a tea towel and leave undisturbed for eight hours.

Step 2: Make the injera batter

Day 5: Part 2 (evening)

Stir together:

Then stir in:

Cover with a tea towel and leave undisturbed for eight hours.

*About one cup of starter should remain. It can be kept in the fridge for several days or you can keep adding to it and make injera every few days.

Day 6

Step 3: Make the injera bread

To the batter, add:

To cook the injera, preheat a sturdy 12" skillet and brush lightly with oil.

Pour 3/4 cup of batter (which should be a little thicker than crepe batter, thinner than pancake batter) into the skillet.

Cook uncovered for one minute on medium heat or until bubbles appear and it starts to look dry.

Then, put on lid and steam for 3-4 minutes or until spongy and flexible, but not crispy on the bottom.

Shake or loosen with a spatula and place in a warm oven until all injera are prepared.