BAKE TALK: Baking with teff flour

Teff is an ancient grain native to Ethiopia and is also known as ‘lovegrass’ – what a delightful name ♥ 

Teff flour is naturally gluten-free, has a high fibre content, a low glycaemic index (GI) and is packed with protein, calcium and iron.

Teff flour is available in two common varieties – white and brown…although the white teff flour is slightly brown/grey in appearance, not white at all! White teff is sometimes referred to as ivory teff, which actually makes more sense.

It is quite expensive in comparison to some of the gluten-free single flours available in the UK but it has a lot to offer and can be well worth the extra expense in some gluten-free baking recipes.

One of the most common uses for teff flour is in making inerja – a fermented flatbread that is a staple of the Ethiopian diet and a nutritional powerhouse.

I have started to experiment with teff flour in some of my gluten-free baking, particularly gluten-free breads where I am trying to develop more of a wholegrain profile.

I have found that a really great way of getting to know a new gluten-free flour and how it tastes is to whip up a batch of pancakes.  They’re so quick and easy and you can make a very small batch so you won’t waste a lot of time, energy, money and ingredients if things go a bit pear-shaped or you simply don’t like the taste!   All you need is milk, an egg, the flour of your choice and a frying pan and off you go!

The slight sweetness of teff flour means that it lends itself well to sweet pancake toppings – like berry fruit compote with a dollop of creme fraiche.  That said, the slightly nutty flavour makes for great savoury teff pancakes – one of my favourites is onions and bacon in a tomato sauce with a sprinkling of cheese.  Yum 🙂

And if you like the sound of teff pancakes, why not check out the recipe for teff pancake wraps with houmous, carrot and rocket.