It’s tiny. It’s ancient. It’s delicious. Get to know teff
Teff is a seriously tiny grain, and one that has been cultivated for centuries in Ethiopia and Eritrea. It is best known for its traditional use in the fermented flatbread known as injera (the spongy bread at the heart of those countries’ cuisines).
Teff, which is gluten-free, works well as porridge or polenta, and also can be added to vegetarian burgers, cakes and cookies. To cook, place 1 cup of teff and 3 cups of water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, says Maria Speck, author of “Simply Ancient Grains.”
Teff and Almond Tea Cakes
Start to finish: 30 minutes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup teff (uncooked)
1 cup ground almonds
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Coarse sugar, such as demerara
Jam, lemon curd or butter, to serve
Heat the oven to 375 F. Coat 18 muffin cups (1 1/2 pans) or a 12-cup pan and 2 mini loaf pans with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, teff, ground almonds, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and almond extract. While whisking, pour in the melted butter.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently fold them together just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overmix. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan cups or pans, then top with the sliced almonds and a sprinkle of coarse sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Serve with jam, lemon curd or butter.
Nutrition information per serving: 220 calories; 100 calories from fat (45 percent of total calories); 11 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 40 mg cholesterol; 220 mg sodium; 26 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 6 g protein.
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