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In Ethiopia, injera, the flatbread that appears at most meals, is made from flour of the tiny teff grain (150 teff grains equal the weight of one kernel of wheat), and measures 2 feet in diameter! It's prepared on a very large ceramic cooking pan and served both as edible plate and "utensil," to replace forks, spoons and knives and to be torn into pieces to scoop up spicy stews or other foods.
Here in the United States, the soft, pliable injera is cooked more frequently into 9-inch circles to fit the pans available, but its taste can be replicated more easily. The traditional Ethiopian version tends to have a more assertive flavor due to its fermentation time of three days, but you can let your batter sit from anywhere between 1 and 3 days before using it; we let ours sit 48 hours. We also made our injera with millet flour instead of teff flour because the former is more widely available than the latter and, since millet is a close relative of teff, the two flours are similar enough that they can be substituted for one another. Our recipe contains a small amount of cultured yeast as well, though it can be omitted. Try it both ways and see which you prefer. The first time you make one of these breads, you'll probably be reminded of a cross between a thin potato pancake and a spongy, lacy, slightly acidic crêpe.
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups warm water, 105° to 110°F
1 1/2 cups millet flour
Proof the yeast with the sugar and 1/4 cup of the warm water and set aside until small bubbles appear. Mix in the the remaining water and all the millet flour, stir well, and cover with plastic wrap.
For a delicate flavor, let the batter sit for 24 hours; for a more assertive flavor, let it sit for up to 72 hours. If you let it ferment for several days, stir the liquid that rises to the top back into the batter one or two times daily.
When you're ready to make the injera, heat a 9-inch round griddle or frying pan (which has a cover) over medium-low heat, and grease it well; if your pan is not non-stick, you'll probably want to grease the pan before starting each new bread. Pour 1/3 cup batter into the pan in a swirling motion from the outside to the inside, tipping the pan to cover the bottom with batter and adding 1 to 2 additional tablespoons batter if necessary.
Cover and cook for 3 minutes, until the top of the injera is dry to the touch and the underside is only lightly browned. (Though the injera is not supposed to have crispy edges, which interfere with the ease of rolling it, we let a few get away from us and actually liked the added crunch.)
Using a spatula, transfer the finished injera to a plate to cool. Repeat with the remaining batter. Stack the breads like pancakes, covered with a cloth if you wish, until ready to serve them, warm or cold. Then go dig into your waiting stew! This is your chance to rip, tear and use your hands with your food all at once. Yield: six 9-inch breads.
Nutrition information per serving (1 injera, 142g): 144 cal, 1.2g fat, 4g protein, 30g complex carbohydrates, 4g dietary fiber, 5mg sodium, 182mg potassium, 3mg iron, 17mg calcium, 152mg phosphorus.