Traditional Ethiopian Flatbread
During injera week at the Refugee Resettlement office, our staff and ESL students learned how to make and prepared injera from scratch. Injera is a staple flatbread that originates in Ethiopia and is served with every meal. It is a fermented spongy flatbread made from the grain teff that is packed full of iron and is gluten free. In Ethiopian food culture, injera is used as a eating utensil and as an ‘edible plate’ for meat and vegetarian stews and it is considered good manners to only eat injera with the right hand.
What you will need:
Teff Flour 5 pound bag
Self-Rise Flour 1.5 cups
Lukewarm Water Up to 4 cups
**Please note that this recipe will yield a LARGE quantity of injera, if you want a smaller amount decrease your ingredient amounts. Injera will begin to taste stale after six or seven days**
1. Place your teff and self-rise flour in the mixing bowl or container that you are using. *If you are using a clean or new container you may need to add yeast into your mixture to active the fermentation process*
2. Next you will need to slowly add water to your teff and self-rise flour mixture. You will want to combine all ingredients thoroughly for at least two minutes with either your hands or a wooden mixing spoon – the batter will begin to resemble the consistency of concrete mix. Continue to add water to keep the batter wet, and once all ingredients are mixed together you can add enough water to submerge the batter in the container.
3. Put the batter aside for up to three days at room temperature to allow it to ferment. Your injera will start to bubble and begin to develop a sour smell and flavor that it is known for. A film of mold will begin to develop on top of the water as it ferments THIS IS NORMAL! We recommend changing the water at least once during the time you set out your injera. Note: If your injera does not start to ferment you may need to add more active yeast.
4. Heat a large circular hot plate to 450 degrees. The batter should be a thin liquid at this point that you can easily pour. Once the hot plate is fully heated, begin to pour a thin layer of the batter mixture onto the surface and cook for a few minutes. Injera should be thicker than a crêpe, but not as thick as a traditional pancake. It should rise slightly when cooking.
5. Cook the batter until holes start to form on the surface of the bread. Once the injera is dry and fully cooked remove it from the hot plate. Once it has cooled you will have freshly made injera, enjoy!