Are you tired of using the same old wheat flour in your baking recipes? Have you ever considered grinding your own flour from alternative grains like teff?
While it may seem daunting at first, grinding your own teff flour can offer a variety of benefits, from enhanced flavor and nutrition to cost savings and experimentation with new grains.
In this article, we’ll explore the process of grinding teff grain into flour and how to use it in your favorite recipes. So, let’s dive in and discover the world of homemade teff flour!
Do I Grind Teff Grain To Make Flour?
Yes, you can grind teff grain to make flour! Teff is a tiny grain that is commonly used in Ethiopian cuisine to make injera, a traditional sourdough flatbread. However, teff flour can also be used in a variety of baked goods, from breads and muffins to pastries and cakes.
Grinding your own teff flour offers a range of benefits, including enhanced flavor and nutrition. Freshly ground flour is lighter, more moist, and has a fresh nutty flavor that commercially milled flours lack. Additionally, commercially milled flours often have the germ removed to extend their shelf life, which removes all the nutritious oils, vitamins (B and E), and minerals. When you grind your own fresh teff flour, you use the germ and bran and can reap all the taste and health benefits that they offer.
What Is Teff Grain?
Teff is an ancient grain that is native to Ethiopia and is the country’s most important crop. It is a tiny grain that is cooked up into porridge and used in savory dishes, but it is most commonly used to make injera, a sour fermented flatbread that is widely used in Ethiopian cuisine. Teff is so important to Ethiopia that the export of the grain itself is prohibited, and only teff products and finely milled flours are allowed to leave the country.
Teff is naturally gluten-free, making it a popular choice for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. It is also incredibly nutritious, containing high levels of protein, fiber, iron, and calcium. Teff has sustained populations since before the common era and is considered a superfood due to its many health benefits.
Although teff grain may be difficult to find at the average supermarket, it is becoming more popular as interest in superfoods grows. Teff flour, on the other hand, is more readily available and can be used in a variety of baked goods. While it may be more expensive than wheat flour, grinding your own teff flour at home can save you money in the long run and allow you to enjoy all the taste and health benefits that this ancient grain has to offer.
Benefits Of Grinding Your Own Flour
Grinding your own flour offers a variety of benefits that make it a worthwhile investment. First and foremost, freshly ground flour has a much richer flavor than commercially milled flours. The nutty, sweet taste of freshly ground wheat is unparalleled and can make a significant difference in the taste of your baked goods.
In addition to flavor, grinding your own flour also offers a wider variety of grains to choose from. While commercial flours tend to stick to the basics like wheat and all-purpose flour, grinding your own flour allows you to experiment with alternative whole grains like spelt, triticale, and even teff. This opens up a whole new world of flavors and textures for you to explore.
Another significant benefit of grinding your own flour is cost savings. Whole grains are much less expensive than pre-milled flours and can last up to 30 years in storage. By buying grains in bulk and grinding them as you need them, you can save money on specialty grains and always have fresh flour on hand.
Finally, grinding your own flour is much healthier than using commercially milled flours. When you grind your own flour, you use the entire grain, including the germ and bran that are removed in commercial milling. This means that you get all the nutritious oils, vitamins (B and E), and minerals that are essential for good health.
Equipment Needed For Grinding Teff Grain
To grind teff grain at home, you will need a few pieces of equipment. The most important tool is a grain mill, which can be either manual or electric. A manual grain mill requires more effort to operate, but it is also less expensive and does not require electricity. An electric grain mill is more convenient and efficient, but it can be more expensive.
When choosing a grain mill, it is important to look for one that has adjustable settings for the fineness of the flour. This will allow you to grind teff grain into a fine flour suitable for baking.
Another option for grinding teff grain is a seed grinder. Seed grinders are able to grind very small grains and seeds that may otherwise be impossible to grind using other methods. However, seed grinders are generally less powerful than grain mills and may not be suitable for grinding large quantities of teff grain.
In addition to a grain mill or seed grinder, you will also need a few other pieces of equipment. A large bowl or container will be needed to catch the ground teff flour. A sieve or sifter can also be helpful for removing any larger pieces of grain that may not have been ground completely.
How To Grind Teff Grain Into Flour
Grinding teff grain into flour can be a bit challenging due to the tiny size of the seeds. However, it is possible with the right equipment and technique. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Start by measuring the amount of teff grain you need for your recipe. Keep in mind that teff flour is denser than wheat flour, so you may need to adjust your recipe accordingly.
2. If you have a grain mill, use the small grains attachment or pour the teff in slowly to prevent overloading the motor. You can also use a high-powered blender or a coffee grinder, but keep in mind that these may not produce as fine a flour as a grain mill.
3. Grind the teff until it is a fine powder, similar to wheat flour. This may take several minutes, depending on your equipment.
4. Sift the teff flour through a fine mesh strainer to remove any larger pieces of grain that didn’t get ground up. You can also use a flour sifter if you have one.
5. Store your freshly ground teff flour in an airtight container in a cool, dry place until ready to use.
By following these steps, you can easily grind your own teff flour at home and enjoy all the benefits of fresh, nutritious, and flavorful flour in your baking.
Storing And Using Teff Flour
Teff flour should be stored in a cool, dry place, just like any other flour or grain in your pantry. It can last up to one year if stored properly. To ensure that your teff flour stays fresh for as long as possible, it’s best to store it in an airtight container or a resealable bag.
When using teff flour in your baking recipes, keep in mind that it can have a slightly grainy consistency. However, this can be mitigated by using it in chocolate recipes where the chocolate smoothes out the graininess somewhat. You can also use it alongside ground nuts to help mask the graininess. Teff flour is not a gelatinous flour and cannot mimic the qualities of gluten, so it’s best to pair it with a more “sticky” flour like sweet rice flour or tapioca starch when using it as the sole flour in recipes.
While teff flour can be difficult to find in stores, you can easily grind your own at home using a grain mill or a high-powered blender. Keep in mind that teff grains are tiny and may take longer to grind than larger grains like wheat or spelt. If you’re unsure about grinding your own teff flour at home, you can always purchase pre-ground teff flour online or at specialty health food stores.
Recipes To Try With Teff Flour
If you’re looking to incorporate teff flour into your cooking and baking, here are a few recipes to try:
1. Pecan Sweet Potato Teff Flour Muffins: These muffins are a delicious and healthy breakfast or snack option. They’re made with teff flour, sweet potato puree, and chopped pecans for added texture and flavor.
2. Savory Southwest Teff and Steel-Cut Oats: This hearty dish is perfect for a filling breakfast or a satisfying dinner. It’s made with teff flour, steel-cut oats, black beans, and spices like cumin and chili powder for a flavorful twist.
3. Teff Flour Pancakes: Teff flour makes a great substitute for wheat flour in pancakes. Simply mix teff flour with milk, eggs, and a bit of baking powder for a fluffy and tender pancake that’s naturally sweet.
4. Teff Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies: Who doesn’t love a good chocolate chip cookie? These cookies are made with teff flour, almond butter, and dark chocolate chips for a healthier twist on a classic treat.
5. Teff Flour Pizza Crust: Yes, you can even use teff flour to make pizza crust! Combine teff flour with yeast, water, and olive oil to create a flavorful and crispy crust that’s perfect for topping with your favorite pizza toppings.
These recipes are just the beginning – there are countless ways to use teff flour in your cooking and baking. Experiment with different recipes and see how this versatile grain can enhance your meals!