Wattleseed Injera (Ethiopian Flatbread) - Gluten Free
That's injera! Super nutritious and gluten free!
Ethiopia is the symbol of Injera. If you've ever gone to an Ethiopian restaurant or have been lucky enough to fly directly to Ethiopia, you're basically guaranteed a serving of this deliciously sour traditional flatbread. To describe Injera: a pourous crepe that's sour, soft, and makes eye-catching holes on its surface. You'll find it hard not to pair it with every slow cooked meal you've ever made. It really is that good. We found that through our experiments that the ultimate Ethiopian-Australian fusion is Wattleseed Injera.
It's simple, easy, and only requires 5 ingredients.
Wattleseed is the seed from any edible species of Acacia (or Wattle). It is famed for its dense nutrient content and delicious flavour. We've used this Wattleseed for our recipe. It has a toasted hazelnut/chocolate flavour with the slight acidic flavour of coffee. It's a versatile spice that can go into cooking a variety of sweet and savoury dishes so there won't be anything left over for sure! A few tips for high quality Wattleseed are: ensure the best before hasn't passed (you'd be surprised), check if it's wild-harvested or not, and verify that it's a sustainable product.
Back to the Injera... its ability to absorb moisture without breaking form has made it an incredible eating utensil. Therefore, it's no surprise that it's used as a way of serving food in Ethiopia with special dishes like misir wat (Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew). It would be a great idea to use undernear a curry to suck up all those juices that you may have missed.
Just like there are different varieties of rice, and wheat, there are also different varieties of Teff. The two most common are Ivory Teff and Brown Teff. Speaking from the perspective of flavour, the lighter coloured Teff flour is lighter, where as the darker brown colour tends to impart a richer, more earthier taste. For this recipe, I'd recommend using brown Teff as it enhances the Wattleseed flavour but the Ivory Teff is just as good!
Ethiopia is a country of 100 million people (that's more than Spain and Italy combined!). It has a rich history tracing its roots to 2000 BCE that has seen the rise of some pretty big empires from their lands. Coming from this rich heritage of history, a flourishing culture was born helping to produce some delicious and signature dishes such as Injera. With such a large population, and rich history, it's surprising that their cuisine hasn't been eaten by many people in the West.
To cook your Wattleseed Injera there are a few things you'll need. Starting off, Wattleseed will be a key ingredient or you may not achieve the correct flavour of this recipe. Additionally, the flavour may change as Teff comes from many different sources and the brown Teff we use may be different to the one you use. An additional tea spoon of baking powder before cooking can also help to boost the bubbles and make a spongey and hole-y Injera.
Now you've got some insight, let's get started!
Wattleseed Injera is practically a sourdough flatbread. We'll be using wild-yeast to help boost the fermentation of the Teff which will result in a fluffier, more nutritious bread.
250g (9oz) Brown Teff Flour - This can be found online or through speciality wholefoods/organic stores near you. A ratio of 50% organic wheat flour and 50% brown teff flour can also be used.
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 litre (1 3/4 pint) jar
What makes this recipe so delicious is the fermentation of the Teff. During the 2-3 days of fermentation, the natural occurring yeast found on the flour activates and starts converting the sugars. This enrichens the flavour and helps to improve the digestability of the grain. This same process is what goes into sourdough bread and kombucha (they both taste great right?)
Our finished Wattleseed Injera batter. Note the bubbles and foam coming from the jar
It should only take 5 minutes to prepare, and after a couple of days the process will be done.
1. Sterilize the jar. (Vinegar should do the trick)
2. Add in the Teff flour and water and mix well. You'll need to put over a cloth and secure it with an elastic band so that air can escape and nothing bad can get it. Leave it sitting at room temperature for 2 or 3 days, ensuring you stir twice daily to stimulate the yeast activity.
3. When you see it bubbling and foaming, add the baking powder and salt and let it rest for 25 minutes.
4. Heat a 25cm pan (prefererably cast iron) over medium heat. Use a tsp of oil to stop the bread from sticking and pour in enough mixture to cover the pan in a 3-5mm thick batter.
5. When you start to see the mixture bubbling over the entire surface of the Injera, cover the pan with a lid to allow the steam to build up. Let this cook for 2-5 minutes.
6. Remove your finished Inejra from the pan and place on a plate. Place a kitchen towel on top to preserve the moisture and to keep warm whilst you're finishing the remainder of the batter.
That's what it should look like on the pan after a minute or so
It's that easy! I've pretty much stopped making sourdough because of how easy, clean and simple Wattleseed Injera is. It has such an incredible flavour and is amazing with curry.