Bryanna's Injera (Ethiopian Flatbread)

Recipe by: Bryanna Clark Grogan

Makes 24 /10" injera; serves about 6

Injera are similar to crepes and always served with Ethiopian meals. They are made out of many different types of flour, but these are made with teff flour, a very small, nutritious grain that is preferred for these breads in Ethiopia. I found teff flour in a box in my health food store. If you can't find it, substitute millet flour (which can be made by grinding millet in a DRY blender) or stoneground cornmeal. Traditionally, injera are made with a fermented dough that stands for several days-- this is a faster version.

Injera are traditionally made on a very large griddle, but I found them easier to handle when made on a 10" cast iron skillet or 12" griddle. Injera can be made well before the meal is served, as they are served at room temperature.

4 and 1/2 c. warm water
2 tsp. regular baking yeast
1 tsp. sugar
3 and 1/2 c. teff flour, millet flour or stoneground cornmeal
1 c. whole wheat flour
1T. vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water and let stand 10 minutes. When bubbly, stir in the teff or millet flour, or cornmeal. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 4 hours. Add the flour, vinegar, salt and baking soda. It should be like a crepe batter.

Heat a 10" cast iron skillet or 12" round heavy griddle over medium-high heat (or use a large electric griddle or frying pan) until drops of water bounce on it. Keep a paper towel wadded up and handy to grease the pan between breads. Lightly oil the pan with the towel. Stir the batter each time before you measure it out. Pour about 1/4 c. of batter into the pan and tilt the pan (using potholders) in all directions to cover the bottom evenly with the batter, about 10" across. Cover the bread with a large pot lid and cook 1 minute, until the injera is dry but not crisp on the bottom (if it's crisp, turn the heat down a little), and full of tiny holes on the top. Remove carefully from the pan with a large pancake-turner and lie topside-down on a platter. (Do not turn it over and cook the other side.) Repeat, stacking each injera on the last one. When finished, keep some injera flat to line each diner's plate with before adding the food, and roll up the rest fairly tightly. Cut the rolls in half. These are served with the meal to scoop up stews, etc.. Cover with plastic wrap until serving time.

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