Erin's self-sufficiency blog

Dedicated to sharing my efforts in radical homemaking, self-sufficiency, simplicity, and general craftiness on a very, very small budget.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

When the going gets teff

So I've finally tried teff flour.

I was reluctant because teff flour is quite expensive. It's grown in the United States these days, but it still has those teensy-weensy little seeds that are very labour intensive to harvest.

I used a recipe from The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods by Bette Hagman. If you are gluten intolerant, I really recommend her books, even though the recipes don't usually turn out for me. They'll at least get you started.

Anyway, I made the Light Graham Bread on page 198, with the following adjustments:

-agar powder instead of gelatin
-nix the Egg Replacer
-one 8g package of yeast, since 1 tbsp is quite a lot of yeast for a single loaf
-2 eggs instead of 1 egg and one egg white. What's the point of using egg replacer if you're using eggs anyway? Just use two whole eggs and save yourself the trouble.
-rice vinegar instead of dough enhancer

I used the variation for nutty graham bread at the bottom of the page. The amount of almond meal was right on but you could put a little more than the two tablespoons of nuts called for in the recipe. I used a mixture of sunflower seeds and raisins. The bread ended up with a lovely walnutty flavour, even though there was nary a walnut to be found.

Teff tastes similar to rye, but it's not heavy how rye is. It also doesn't have gluten like rye does! Nutritionally, it is similar to wheat but is higher in iron and fat, so it is yummy and healthy. You should keep it in the fridge. I was quite happy with how my loaf turned out, even though I threw it in the fridge so it got stale immediately. Fortunately, it toasts really well.

So, if you can afford it, I would recommend that you try teff flour. Teff as a cereal grain doesn't sound so appealing and I think that it would probably be very porridgy and closely resemble wallpaper paste. To my knowledge, Ethiopians only ever use it as a flour, for their ingenious sourdough flatbread called injera. Really, if you've never tried Ethiopian food before, go out and find some. It's sooooooooo good.


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