Monday, 20 April 2009

The Bread Baking Babes make Authentic Ethiopian Injera!

And now for something completely different...
This month's Bread Baking Babes challenge is not a loaf at all, but a savoury Ethiopian sourdough crepe that serves as a vehicle for all sorts of wonderful foods.
The host Babe this month is Breadchick Mary and she was excited to introduce us to Injera, the flatbread/crepe, as well as a host of Ethiopian flavours and dishes to go with it.
I have included the Injera recipe here, but Mary has an awesome step-by-step pictorial on her site. To find out more about cooking up the Injera and earning a Bread Baking Buddy badge, please give Mary a visit.

Authentic Ethiopian Injera
Adapted by Breadchick Mary from Burakeyae "Blessings" (a blog by a missionary in Ethiopia) and Ethiopian Restaurant.Com

This takes five days. If you want to have some starter left over to keep to make Injera again, wait seven days.
3/4 cup water, room temp. (70 degrees)
1/2 cup teff flour
A pinch active yeast (about 1/8 tsp)

Day 1: Combine ingredients in a 4 cup container with a lid. Loosely cover the starter with the lid and let ferment for two days on the counter or someplace that is about 70 degrees. You should see some rising in about four hours.

Let alone for 2 days.

Day 3: Stir starter, you should notice a grassy yeasty smell and small bubbles should rise to the top.

Feed the starter 1/3 cup teff flour and 1/2 cup water and loosely cover with the lid.

Let alone for 2 days.

Day 5: Starter should have separated into distinct layers.

Stir starter, it should be slightly fizzy and have a very strong grassy aroma.

Note: If you go to Day 7, follow Day 3 instructions for Day 5. You will have left over starter to make Injera again in the future this way.

You will need a blender or food processor for this step. This is to get rid of the gritty feel of the teff flour in the starter.
2 cups Teff starter
2 cups Self Rising Flour
Room Temp Water (70 degrees F), as needed to make batter right consistency

Stir the starter to combine in all the liquid and any "starter sludge" at the bottom. Rub a bit between three fingers. It will be very gritty. Place the Teff starter, one cup at at time in a blender or food processor and whiz starter until it doesn't feel gritty when you rub it between your fingers. Place whizzed starter in a large bowl and repeat with the other cup of starter.
Stir in self rising flour and add any water as necessary to get a medium thick batter.

Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a lid and set in a warm, draft free place to rise for about 4 - 6 hours.

You will need a 8" pan and two large plates: one to cool the cooked Injera and the other to place the cooled Injera on. You will also need wax paper to place between each piece of cooled Injera.

Stir dough mixture. If it is too thick, add more water until the right consistency. You should have about 4 cups of batter

Heat on stove on medium heat, a 8" pan. Non-stick works best but if you don't have non-stick, have some peanut or neutral tasting oil in a small bowl and basting brush to brush oil on the hot pan when you cook the Injera.
Using between 1/8 - 1/4 cup of batter, pour into heated pan and swirl around as if making a crepe. Allow Injera to cook until entire top of bread is full of pockmarks.

Do not turn over. Remove when batter is fixed and all the bubbles have popped.

Using your fingers remove Injera from pan, set aside on a plate and allow to cool.

Injera will be stiff when removed from the pan but will get spongy as it cools. Like most crepes, etc the first few may or may not be the greatest.

Place cooled Injera on other plate and place a piece of wax paper between each Injera or they will stick to each other.Repeat until all the batter is gone. You should get about 20 Injera from the batch. This is enough for 4 Injera to go on the serving platter and under the curries/stews and to serve 4 people during the meal.

Self Rising Flour Recipe
2 cups AP flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
Whisk ingredients together. Store in an airtight container until ready to use

You will be able to find some Ethiopian dishes to go with your Injera on Breadchick Mary's site and also at these sources Burakeyae "Blessings" (a blog by a missionary in Ethiopia) and Ethiopian Restaurant.Com.

I used the Niter-Kebbeh - a flavoured butter, Berbere - traditional spice, Doro Wot - Ethiopian chicken curry, and the Eggplant salad. With these dishes that Mary so lovingly provided I also made a wild rice dish (middle).

This is a fun, delicious, and interactive meal. My daughter loved it! (Black sleeves, below)

The Bread Baking Babes