Injera

Injera, traditional Ethiopian flatbreads made with teff flour, are large and thin, like spongy pancakes. The injera in this recipe are cooked more like European crêpes, on both sides rather than just one. This batter rests overnight to develop the characteristic acidic flavor, but it could rest for as long as three days, depending on how sour you prefer your bread. Make a stack of injera for dinner and roll them up around cheese and greens or charred peppers. You can forgo utensils entirely (injera is traditionally a plate, fork, and spoon), tear off bits of injera, and use them to scoop up stews or sauces.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast (about ½ package)
  • ½ cup teff flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Method

  1. Measure the yeast into a large bowl. Heat 2 cups water in a small saucepan over low heat to a temperature that is warm to the touch, about 100°F, and pour it over the yeast. Stir together to combine. Add the flours and the salt and stir again. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter overnight.
  2. The next evening, whisk the mixture until smooth.
  3. Griddling injera is just like griddling a crêpe. Heat an 8-inch cast-iron or nonstick pan over a high flame until a splash of water sizzles when it hits the pan. Rub the pan with butter. Hold the pan at an angle so that the handle is close to your body and tilted up, with the edge across from the handle tilted down toward the flame.
  4. Using a 2-ounce ladle or ¼-cup measuring cup, scoop up some batter. Pour the batter just off-center in the pan and quickly swirl it around, aiming for one circular motion that creates a thin, even spread of batter in the pan. Do not add more batter to make up for empty space.
  5. Cook the injera for about 1 minute, until the batter begins to bubble, leaving pinprick holes on the surface, and the edges begin to brown. Slide a metal spatula or spoon along the edge to loosen the injera, pinch the edge of the injera, and flip the injera over in one motion. Cook for 45 seconds longer, or until speckled brown and crisp around the edges. Remove to a plate, with the pretty side facing up. As you continue to cook the injera, you may need to adjust the heat, turning it up or down to keep results consistent.
  6. If the injera are made in advance, lay them individually on a baking sheet to toast in a 400°F oven for 5 or 6 minutes before serving, until they are warm, tender in the middle, and crisp on the edges. The injera can also be warmed individually in a pan. Injera can also be frozen, wrapped tightly in plastic, with parchment separating each one.