Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Ok, here's the injera I promised yesterday. It sat overnight and fermented (although it could have used another day I think) and I made the crepes this morning. For those of you wondering what the heck it is, it's basically a form of bread/crepe made in Ethiopia and parts of Africa. It is made with teff, a grain that is naturally gluten free. It can be found in Ethiopian restaurants and has a wonderful taste and texture.
If anyone is going to attempt this, I suggest heading over to Youtube and watching a few demonstrations. It's just like making a crepe-thin batter, spread it out, let it cook, slide it out-except for two very important differences. 1) do not flip the crepe, once it is done you simply slide it out of the pan. 2) once you pour the batter into the pan and spread it around, cover it for about 30 seconds. I figured it wasn't that important and did not cover it for one of the crepes and it promptly cracked and looked awful. So cover, Dear Chef.
Here is the recipe I used, which was modified from what I found online in a few places. In order to make these gluten free, it was important to use the teff flour only. In many restaurants, the teff is mixed with self-rising flour to make the injera more fluffly. Be careful if you're ordering it. Unfortunately, my favorite Ethiopian restaurant adds flour and I can't eat it there-I bring my own corn tortillas normally-but now I can bring my own injera! For my purposes and to make it lighter, I added a little sweet rice flour I had on hand. If you don't have that, don't worry.
1 cup teff flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1 tsp salt
2 cups water
1. Mix flour and water together. Cover with a tea towel and let sit for 24 hours or more. The mixture will ferment and should have bubbles in it. Mine didn't have too many, but that wasn't a problem.
2. When you're read to cook, add the salt and mix the batter with a whisk.
3. Heat a non-stick skillet. For each crepe, spray a small amount of non-stick olive oil spray on the pan.
4. Take about 2/3 cup of the batter and pour into the pan, tilting pan to spread it around into a circle. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need a little more or less batter.
5. Immediately cover the pan and let it sit over medium heat for about 25 seconds.
6. Lift the lid and check the crepe. The edges should be just starting to curl. Take a think spatula and ease the crepe away from the pan and shake the pan to make sure it's loose.
7. Let the crepe cook for about 40-50 more seconds until all the edges are curled.
8. Slide the crepe onto a towel and let it dry completely. Don't stack or they will all stick together.
Viola! Not that hard, is it? Roll them up when they are cool and you're good to go! The bread is usually used to scoop up food that is placed on top of it. I've rolled them for ease but you could put your food right on top. I thought it would be more difficult. The injera has a wonderful nutty whole-wheat flavor, thanks to the teff, somewhat like a heartier crepe. As you can see in the photo, it has lots of bubbles like a pancake. Daughter had fun cooking them and we had a geography lesson as well as a cooking lesson.
Have fun and let me know how it goes if you try it.