The Babes do Ethiopia! Authentic Injera

The Bread Baking Babes took pity on poor little me this month and made a bread that didn’t require an oven.

It did require Teff flour, which I didn’t have and couldn’t find.

It did require indoor rising temperatures of 70F (21C) which I didn’t have and couldn’t conjure.

But, hey…

I’m a Babe and I’ve got the panties to prove it!  I’m not going to let a few little things like that stop me.

Of course, it might have been better if I’d read the ENTIRE recipe before I started, but, like I said:
I’m a Babe; hear me roar!

To start I made a starter.BBB logo April 2009

In order to do this, one of the Beauteous Babes, Lien, of Notitie van Lien, was an angel and sent me some Teff flour.  Teff is an annual grass, native to Ethiopia, and is an important food grain for that country.  It’s used to make Injera, which is a flatbread used as a bread and/or scoop for stews.

I made the starter; pretty simple, teff flour, water and a pinch of yeast.

I read the next line that said to leave it at room temperature for five days.

I can do that!

Then I read that, apparently, in the opinion of the author, room temperature is 70F.

Not in my house!

It might get close to that (65F) at night, with the stove lit, but during the day, when I was off visiting mon mari in hospital, it was more, shall we say, outdoor temperature… Which varied for those 5 days from 45 – 65.

I told the starter it was just going to have to suck it up and adjust.  This was MY room, MY temperature and it was going to have to live with it!

It did.

I sat it next to me to warm up in front of the stove at night; sat it on the counter to look out the window while I was gone.  I tried getting the girl dogs to keep it warm during the day but they wanted nothing to do with the bubbling mess.

Whatever, it thrived.

I stirred it and fed it.

It bubbled.

We were happy.

My s-i-l came to visit her brother (a side trip from a holiday in Spain) so I decided to make it for us for dinner.

I had read the next line of the recipe: Four hours before making Injera stir in….

So….I did.

About three hours later I read the next line:  Make dough and let rise for four hours.


You can see my problem.

I had allocated 4 hours.

I needed 8 hours.

I took my difficulties to the source and had another heart to heart with the dough.

I explained the new rules:  It had an hour to get up to speed… Snap to it.

Once again it came through in style.


It bubbled and doubled.

I gave it a bit more time, but it was ‘the little dough that could’.

We were ready to start.

The next instructions were a little vague.  “add water to make batter”.

How much?

Like making cement: just enough,


The first one was not a success.

It was a bit too much like cement.


Sticky cement.

A bit more water; a few more tries….

Injera, good

Finally got it right…. I think.  Never having eaten it I couldn’t be sure.

But it was supposed to get puffy and light after sitting and cooling.

Injera, torn

Looked good to me!

More importantly, it tasted good to me – kind of a grassy, yeasty, slightly sour taste…

My s-i-l and I declared it bread!

I had planned to make some authentic Ethiopian stews to go with it… You’ll find some wonderful recipes on the other Babe’s blogs:

Bake My Day, I Like to Cook, Living on Bread and Water, Lucullian Delights,  My Kitchen in Half Cups, Grain Doe, Notitie van Lien, The Sour Dough, Cookie Baker Lynn,  Canela and Comino,   Living In the Kitchen With Puppies

For us, I made:

Lentil and Bean Stew, Sausages optional


Lentil and Bean Stew

1/2 cup lentils  I used Lentils du Puy
1 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
8oz (250gr) white beans, drained and rinsed
8oz (250gr) red beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion
1 red pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 tbs oil
1 tbs paprika, smoky or sweet
15oz (450gr) whole tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine
3 bay (laurel) leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme

Pick over lentils in case they missed the odd stone. Put lentils and stock in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until lentils are done. They should absorb most of the stock. Don’t let them dry out. Drain any remaining stock when done.
Chop onion, pepper. Mince garlic. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add paprika and sauté 1 minute. Add onion and pepper, sauté briefly. Then add garlic, sauté a few minutes longer. Open and drain tomatoes, reserving juices. Roughly chop tomatoes. Add red and white beans, tomatoes, reserved juices, herbs and wine to skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.


8oz (250gr) sausages I used fat Toulouse sausages

Brown sausages well on all sides.  Slice into 1″ (2.5cm) lengths and add to stew to simmer.

For the Injera recipe, go to this month’s host kitchen, The Sour Dough.

Now, go check out the other Babe’s to see the real thing.  I won’t mind… really!

I’m just glad I got to play then this month….

It’s good to be a Babe again!

(And, no, I won’t show you the panties…. I can’t believe you had the nerve to ask!  Harrumph!)

14 thoughts on “The Babes do Ethiopia! Authentic Injera”

  1. Can you hear me singing hallelujah!!!
    And babe let me tell you from that close up, you got Injera!!!
    Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
    And the lentil and bean stew is totally spot on!
    Too cool for words, just talk to the dough.

  2. Yay for obedient dough!
    Looks great! So glad it all worked out in the end.
    We have a cute little Italian/Canadian tv cook who always says “How much? Quanto basta, as much as you need.”

  3. The little starter that could! I love that! As much as I love your heart to heart with the dough, can I borrow you for some quality time with my kids?
    I had the exact same problem with the hours, apparently the “skip important recipe notes ability” comes with the Babes panties.. Great job Katie!

  4. Welcome back Katie!! Glad the starter listened to you and then the dough too. See, all those words your learned talking to French Telcom come in handy for bread too!

  5. You look good in your panties dear! Glad you had some family over to eat it, so much more fun with lots of people this ethiopian style dishes. Your injera looks perfect!!

  6. You ARE a babe!! I can’t believe that your dough listened to you! I’ve never tried that technique – perhaps I should. Thank you for sharing that story. I think I’m ready to launch into some more baking – when it cools off a little.

  7. Lovely job Katie! Glad you were able to enjoy it. I am back in town and ready to tackle my injera now.

  8. Katie, it looks perfect to me!! 🙂
    I’m without oven sice Easter, it broke just after I made my Easter bunnies and cake… lucky me (!)
    Landlord promised to get a new one for Thursday, so it is not so bad…
    Enjoy your evening, Margot

  9. Tanna, and it was such fun!
    Natashya, I can be very intimidating…
    Baking Soda, yeah, that read the whole thing first usually escapes me.
    breadchick, always a silver lining…
    Thanks, Sara
    Lien, and thank you for making it possible ‘-))
    Toni, that was the good part – no oven required.
    Gretchen, You’ll love it.
    Margot, it sucks being without an oven…

  10. So interested in trying out those other Ethiopian dishes as well. I remember liking the sourness of injera.

  11. I love the vision of you giving your starter a stern talking-to!! Suck it up, yeast boy!
    And what perfect injera! I saw the pics before I read the post and thought hmm, that looks strangely like injera… Well done!

  12. Very very impressive!! As much as I’d like to try this, (well, actually, I’m terrified of failure on this one – our kitchen is still ridiculously cold as well) I’m afraid I am going to chicken out. No teff flour. Not to mention that I have the wrong panties; mine are the big giant ugly white ones that are ultra ultra conservative… (no I won’t show them either).

  13. Jude, the other Babes made some really yummy stuff!
    Jeanne, I’m so excited you recognized it!!!!
    Elizabeth, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours….

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