Monday, January 20, 2014

Injera (እንጀራ) Recipe

No baking soda/powder,  No self-rising flour!

I found out that the secret to getting good fermented injera is to make a starter (እርሾ/irsho) first.
This is important because we don't get enough amount of yeast because our temperatures are regulated with ACs and for many other reasons.

I am going to write what I exactly did.

Starter (እርሾ/irsho)

1. Mix 1/3 cup of teff  flour with warm water.  Cover and keep on your counter top for 3  days and nights or until ready. On the second day, you will see some fermentation going on.  If it smells like grain, it is not yet ready.  Usually on the third day, it smells like something fermented (kind of stinks).  Depending on the temperature, this may not happen after the third day, so keep until this happens (watch out for molds though).  At this time, you will also see the water separately on the top layer. Pour out as much  water as you can carefully and move on to the next step.  

injera batter (ሊጥ/leet)

2.  Now mix 1/3 cup of barely flour with 2 cups of teff flour in a bowl with approximately 10 oz of warm water (until you get a consistency not too thick for a blender ).  Pour into your blender and blend for at least 20 seconds.  Mix the batter with your starter using a spatula and keep in a container  with a tight lid. Leave on the counter top. ( I usually keep it in the same container where the starter was  and leave it around where my stove is )

Note: Here you can also add a pinch of salt if you like it that way.

ማቅጠን (thinning out ?? )
3.  After about 17 hours (you will see some foams forming),  stir the batter with a clean spatula. Then add warm/lukewarm water stirring until you get a consistency that is ready to be baked. ( This is the last  time you add water. Don't thin out too much or you won't see any injera eyes :)  This will have a consistency of crepe batter.)  Cover and leave on the counter top.
 
Bake!
4. After about 7 hours, you  may not see much fermentation activity but there will be a few tiny bubbles and also some water on the top layer,  don't freakout just mix stir with your spatula .

Heat a nonstick skillet  (usually this : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00029OQ7W?ie=UTF8&tag=owlhaven-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00029OQ7W)
but any nonstick with tight lid would do. 
Keep the temperature between 400-500 F.  Rub the skillet with a tiny bit of oil using a paper towel (do this after baking each injera).  Bake the injera as you know how to :) usually in a circular motion. You can also pour the batter in the middle and distribute (I haven't tried this).  Cover the skillet with its lid after half of the eyes formed for steaming and the spongy injera texture. 

Tip: First make a tiny injera to see if it works and also your result depends on the temperature of the skillet. 


Notes:
1. If your teff/barely flour is coarse, you need to sift.
2. I bought the barely flour from Wholefoods market.
3. After you are done making injera, keep the rinse out for making the next starter, in this case, the starter will take only one day and one night to be ready.
4. After you make a starter, if you change your mind and don't want make injera now, keep  in the fridge and feed the starter with a 1/3 cup of teff flour 12 hours before use.
5. My apartment temperature is on average around 70 F
6. While baking, keep on switching the temperature of the skillet between 350-500 F to get a nice looking back.

Result :



Happy injera baking! 

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