Recipe by Kevin Ryan
"This is the staple bread of Ethiopia. It is traditionally made with teff, a very finely milled millet flour. Regular millet flour from a health food store will work fine. Use this bread to sop up the flavors of spicy stews."
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active dry yeast
warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
finely ground millet flour
Injera is a a little tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it's easy. You pan HAS to be at the perfect temperature or else ANY injera will stick. It is designed to be laid flat on a plate and piled high with a thick stew. It has a bland taste and a spongey texture, which make it perfect for soaking up rich stews. You actually use it instead of utensils.
I tried this recipe with teff flour, and was totally unimpressed. My "bread" stuck to my non-stick pan, and was impossible to remove in one piece. I greased the non-stick pan... still stuck. I added an egg to the batter to hopefully get something that would stick together (like a crepe). It was finally possible to remove, but I found the flavor bland and lifeless. Not a recipe I'd try again. (However, the teff flour made a fine addition in my focaccia bread.)
Authentic recipe & preparation. Injera is tricky to make, but practice makes perfect. Injera is a sourdough flatbread- that's why the dough sits for 24hrs, for the sourdough fermentation process. It is cooked only on one side; the uncooked side stays spongy & soft. And for 'accidentalfoodie': You are correct that teff and millet aren't the same grain. But you are incorrect in that BOTH are gluten-free. Gluten by definition is the protein in wheat. There is no gluten in either millet or teff. Teff is the world's smallest grain- technically a grass, native to east Africa. It can range widely in colors, is very high in fiber & protein, and has a sweety/nutty flavor. Teff is often assumed to be sour, as many recipes/preparations partially or fully ferment the grain (as is the case with this recipe, where it basically becomes sourdough). Millet is a name of a family of grains (also grasses) native to India and central/west Africa. They grow very well in arid regions, have a pearl-like grain, and are mild in flavor and high in protein. Toasting the grain before cooking or grinding for flour can improve the taste. Teff is sometimes considered to be a millet grain (a member of the millet family), but in the US, what is sold as "millet flour" is from a different plant than teff flour. Use real teff flour if you can find it-- it will give a more complex/robust taste than millet flour, which is usually pretty bland. But either one will work fine.
Loved this recipe. This bread is not intended to be eaten alone. Injera is used to pick up your food. Think of it as the ethiopian version of chop-stix! The spongy bread takes on the flavor of the food you are eating. Try it with Atar Allecha or Ginger veggies! I will hold onto this recipe!
This recipe is authentic. Yes, Injera does take a little while to get down correctly, but it is worth it. For those who aren't familiar with the spongey (yes, it really does feel and taste spongey) bread, it is supposed to be bland. Traditionally, the sponge bread is used in place of silverware to eat stews, curries and things like pickled cabbage. There is even etiquette for eating Ethiopian food (when eating, you have to take care to not place your fingers inside your mouth) So, yes the bread is bland, but you don't just eat the bread. Please keep in mind that if you make Injera, you will also need to make other dishes to eat with the bread.
Teff and millet are not actually the same grain: Millet, for one thing, is gluten-free, while teff has gluten. So, cooking with millet may be one reason this recipe hasn't worked out, because gluten gives dough elasticity and makes it rise better.
I followed this recipe to a tee (I had to guess that step 1 meant to mix yeast in 1/4 cup of millet, add 1/4 cup of warm water, and let sit for 10 mins). I wanted to make a couple breads that night so I took about 3 cups of the batter out and added an egg, about 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 cup of spelt flour (maybe a bit more). I cooked this batter as I would a crepe and the taste and texture was great for the stew I had with the bread. I left the rest of the batter to sit for 24 hours.
When I tried to cook the rest of it the following night, it just did not work and the taste was awful. Again I added 2 eggs and about 2 cups of spelt flour and this thickened up the batter and allowed me to cook them (it takes a while for them to cook so wait until the bottom is fully brown and flip them to brown other side). Even after all this, I still did not really like the taste, but my boyfriend did.
My advice: If you try this recipe and get the same results that I did, try adding some flour and eggs to the batter so that you don’t have to waste it. I also recommend halving the recipe, since, after adding the flour and eggs, it made at least 10 large breads.
Corrected first step.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Serving Size: 1/14 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 14
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 17
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