The Secret to Making Bread with Teff

One of our favorite grains is teff, a staple food common in Ethiopia and Eritrea. 

Teff is very high in protein, fiber and iron and calcium. It's also delicious. 

Teff is used primarily to make a naturally leavened, highly fermented bread called injera

The cooking of injera is similar to the making of crepes. The dough is a batter, and it's ladled onto a large, flat clay plate called a mogogo, then covered partly through the cooking process. 

It makes sense that a teff bread would be made with a batter rather than a dough. Teff is so stick and unruly as a dough flour that it wants to turn any dough you try to make into a blob, even at low hydration levels. The reason is that when it first comes in contact with moisture, it absorbs it rapidly, but then releases some of the moisture slowly. That's why it's so difficult to use teff to make more conventional-styled bread loaves.

A blog called Farine reveals the secret to using teff with wheat bread: Cook the teff first before adding it to your dough. You do this by pouring boiling water on the teff to make a thick paste, which you later add to the dough after it has stabilized. 

Modern wheat is not on the Spartan Diet, so we recommend combining teff with emmer wheat, which is another sticky, unruly flour. One solution is to make teff and emmer rolls in cast iron muffin pans. 

Bread made with teff and wheat.