Injera - Ethiopian bread

This is part of my attempt to make wat, the national dish of Ethiopia. Injera is not only the bread, but all of the food is served on it, so it's a plate, and you rip off pieces of it to eat the wat, so it's also a utensil.

This is also scary stuff because it involves leaving things out at room temperature to gather natural yeast and ferment.

This is a half recipe, but you might want to double it because it was only enough for two 8 to 10 inch diameter injera.

2.5 oz. teff flour (1/2 cup)
4 oz. water
salt

Teff is the smallest grain in the world and is made into flour. It's commonly used in Ethiopia, and basically nowhere else. Bob's Red Mill sells teff flour, so you can probably get it from specialty grocery stores and health food stores, however.

Combine the flour and water in a bowl.

injera1.jpg
Cover with a towel and let sit at room temperature for up to three days. It should begin to bubble and ferment. The longer you let it sit the more sour the bread will be.

This is what it looked like after 46 hours. What's that discoloration? I hope that isn't mold...

injera2.jpg
There is no yeast, baking powder, baking soda, etc. in the bread - it relies on the wild yeasts in the air, which is why you can't enclose it in an airtight container or refrigerate it.

The first time I made it, it smelled so bad I had to throw it out. The second time I made it, it only smelled a little bad, and I think that's what it's supposed to do. I hope.

When you're ready to make the bread, add salt and stir. This step released some pungent odors, which alarmed me a bit, but I haven't died. Yet.

injera3.jpg
Heat a 10" non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Add a little spray oil and add 1/3 cup of the batter to the pan and roll the pan from side to side to get it to spread out. Wait for it to bubble, then flip over. Like making a pancake or crêpe.

I think it's actually supposed to be thicker than what I made, so maybe more batter is in order. Also, apparently in Ethiopia is somehow they make these things 20" in diameter which is quite a feat.

injera4.jpg
This recipe is based on this recipe and this recipe.