Brown Teff Flour and Puree Scones

This dough forms with a literal splash of water. Avoid the temptation to add more.

Hmm? You thought I was done with teff, Dear Reader? Not until he bag ends, I just did exactly what I said I would. I took away the oil, I rationed the water to the bare minimum and used our friend Flaxseed to help with the stability. These are a rework of another recipe, linked below in the photo caption, that had all the properties I needed to make a test of my theory. Not to be insufferable, but I was right. I put a lot of thought into what I say here so I’m often right by dint of hard work, research and smart silence.

This works best with dry hands unlike the original.

So, these don’t take all that much work to come together, when I started to stir in the apple and egg mixture I was tempted to add more water, but I knew that’d cause issues when working the dough, now perhaps you could get away with it, but I saw no real benefit, the greatest strength of teff is that it is inherently a moist feeling flour, it seems to need very little added moisture to feel moist, I was going to say mouth moist, but thankfully resisted, when baked. The slow bake helps here and they do bake fast, but make sure they are fully baked before removing them, they can be hard to gauge as they harden quickly.

Low heat preserves the flavour of the flour.

I left these to cool as they were harder than their buckwheat counterparts. They cut without much crumbling, they they seem brittle at first they held just fine as you can see. They have a very crispy, crunchy exterior and a slightly chew, springy interior, thank the apple for that, I really loved the contrast and the flavour of the teff survives and isn’t overpowered by the sugar as there isn’t much used here, it can be omitted completely too. You need something like butter or a non-dairy fatty spread to really highlight the teff’s sweet, indistinctly nutty flavour. Teff seems to be best suited to savoury pairing, it doesn’t really work by itself and it certainly isn’t that suitable for desserts. Not to say you couldn’t, but I’m not going to try further on that line.

Lack of oil helps too.

So, I’m getting near the end of the bag of teff flour. I’m not getting a second as I have a press full of buckwheat, some bags of brown rice flour and a little quinoa still. I never like to waste anything and the dates on these will run out if I keep playing around with other flours. I’m glad I took the chance while I had it, I always say that we should all take any opportunity to learn about different preparations and ingredients. Oh, I was poking around in my freezer and realised I have way too many pounds of raspberries and didn’t want jelly again so I instead juiced them, the compost gets the pulp, have no fear, Dear Reader, no waste here, added grated garlic, salt, butter and diced apple and cooked it all down into a thick sauce for dinner. Tart, pungent and just slightly sweet. I forgot to take a photo…twice actually. I have a lot to eat in my freezer from last year’s garden and I’m already starting to get some seeds in. That’s another post though, I’ll be back with a few more teff recipes as the bag finishes, until then take care, Dear Reader.


Ingredients

170g Brown Teff Flour
125g Green Apple, Peeled and Cut into Chunks
1 Medium Egg (55-65g in Shell)
30g Ground Brown Flaxseed
15g Sugar
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
Water As Needed

Can be frozen.

Method

1. Add Brown Teff Flour, Sugar and Baking Powder to a bowl and set aside.

2. Blend Apple and Egg in a food processor or blender it becomes pale and foamy.

4. Add the Apple mixture to the dry ingredients and mix using a fork. A soft, thick, slightly sticky Batter will form. If needed add a little Water, but don’t add any more than necessary to make the dough form. Rest for 5 minutes.

5. Pre-heat the oven to 200c (Fan) and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper. Scoop up a dessert spoon of the dough, it will be soft, slightly brittle and somewhat sticky, form into a ball, place onto the tray and press down gently. Repeat until dough is used up. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until Golden Brown, firm to the touch and hollow sounding when bottom is tapped. Transfer to a wire-rack and cool for 10 minutes.

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Tough Teffy

Dear Reader, I tell you quite truthfully I am sitting here not wanting to type this, to not have to seem like the jaded and bitter person I may come across, I am at times both those things, but right now I’m an educator, not that I ever wanted to be such a thing, but as I so rarely see anyone speak like I am about to my sense of responsibility urges me on, it’s like a less useful Spider Sense, I might have to be responsible, but I will rarely be completely serious.

I’m running down a flour, you might wonder why that pains me so much. I’m not a negative person, I’m too nice on the whole, but having to complain doesn’t suit me and the idea that I might hurt someone utilising this flour is…well, silly, but I am silly. But it’d be worse to post a half-baked, terribly serious blogging here, recipe that would do nothing to inform, but do everything to make me look, at least marginally, better. It’s: This Is My Teff Pancake Recipe Vs…this post. So, what did teff do?

Teff in my last three recipes has failed in two regards: One when used with a fast, high heat, a microwave and frying pan both, it developed a slightly bitter taste, secondly when used with oil it tended to absorb water, but not the oil leaving an oily residue in the mouth. Now, both my Teff Bread and Waffle recipes fix or avoid these issues, see, this is where I could choose to say nothing and look better, but then you’d learn nothing. As to why, the fact these recipes work is due to the slow, low heat of the bread and the minimal oil, with again, a slower heat. (I have used both olive and rapeseed oil FYI.) A waffle iron takes longer than a hot pan, the pancakes, though edible, took only a minute a side and were even more unpleasant hot. The Tortillas I tried made dough that was too oily and unstable. Teff seems to absorb water and become jelly-like, but can’t be handled. The mug cake pointed out the issue teff has with sweetness: It doesn’t work with it, the sugar tastes way from the natural sweetness of the teff and the fast microwave left it dense and almost inedible.

These recipes have worked well over time and various flours, to varying degrees of course, and the reason I used them was to discover these flaws. Now I could fix them, but I don’t need to, but by giving you this advice if you find you can’t tolerate the flours I use more regularly, due to their better points, you can. Or you can take the recipes that do work and stick to those. Ultimately, I’m here to make recipes, but that’s a byproduct of my diet, lifestyle and weight-loss journey. I know a lot, as I say I could fix these recipes, but the work that would take, the toll of having to eat and test everything, not forgetting the cost of further bags of flour, wouldn’t make sense. I also know that none of my Dear Readers would ever ask me to go that far. I’m sure there are recipes out there using teff in the manner I have tried, but like most things I’d have to try it to be certain, not saying there are those who would pretend a recipe is better than it is, oh, yes I am.

It’s what happened to me so often I stopped looking up recipes and started doing the work myself. Why I document so extensively. There are flours that work so well you need no others, buckwheat is the best, quinoa a close second, rice flour for it’s cheap price point is the third and final necessary flour in my pantry (Cupboard). Everything else is curiosity. You can flick through the blog and there are very few flours I haven’t tried, very few ingredients in the limited range I have that I have not tried in various combinations. Sorghum and Teff are very similar in they have a few interesting points and you can do a fair bit with them, but they can’t be pushed, they have too tightly set limits for real experimentation. So, I still have flour left and I have recipes to try, but I’ll take in what I’ve learned so far in any future recipes. Okay, that’s it for me, take care, Dear Reader.

Flaxseed and Brown Teff Flour Scones

These are really quick to prepare.

The dough, if you can call it that, has an extremely strange texture.

Now, Dear Reader, I’ve had one failure, I tried making tortillas like my buckwheat ones and found that though teff absorbs a little water and hold itself together somewhat it is extremely sticky, like amaranth or quinoa in that regard. If it were used in pastry you’d need to mix it and honestly I have enough recipes using single flours so I feel no need to go to something like teff and try and make it work. Buckwheat remains king of the free from flours in my book, but teff is hanging in there so far with quinoa, the second best, and amaranth, an okay flour, but nutritionally varied. I have a lot of recipes, Dear Reader, I’ve made ones that I marvel at myself, that’s not arrogance just the truth that we’re only scraping the surface as to what can be done with these flours. If I were a professional, if I were making money on these recipes I might be more inclined towards pushing the envelope with teff flour, but I’ve been there with buckwheat, with quinoa, with rice flour, I’ve dabbled successfully with banana flour, amaranth, sorghum and maybe I’m forgetting a few. I’ve used flaxseed, ground pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds as flours. I’ve done a lot, Dear Reader, with very little guidance, so when I say teff has uses I’m looking for the easiest to predict and the most useful. It’s not that I can’t, though I can’t work miracles, not without added gums or starches, but that I don’t need to. that isn’t to say you can’t try, Dear Reader. As for me, well, I’ll have a lot more teff recipes before I’m done, I didn’t say I was done yet after all.

You can see where the dough hadn’t quite joined itself.

Rough and ready baking at its finest.

Imagine a water-balloon filled with wobbly jelly, feel it in your hands, jiggly it in your mind, Dear Reader, that’s what teff dough feels like here. It’s so alien I had no idea what it’d bake like. It didn’t work without the egg and flaxseed and with them it still has a slight stickiness, I used golden flaxseed, so brown might make it firmer and less sticky, I’ve found gold doesn’t absorb as well as brown, but tastes better. Teff seems to have it’s own inherent moisture, this is where it varies wildly from most other free-from flours, where ones like quinoa and amaranth can absorb a lot of liquid, not necessarily for the better at times, teff only needed 25 milliliters to be almost too wet. Why it has a better texture is beyond me, how a flour can be moist is a strange thing to think about, but it does. These are quick to make and created for that sole purpose, there are times when the freezer supplies have dwindled and I want something crusty and substantial. Where the buckwheat scones tend to be hard and brittle to the extreme these were at first brittle, I had to try one out of the oven to compare, when rested for an hour it was possibly to gentle cut it into two neat pieces, it didn’t fall apart as I ate either which is surprising. It has that springy texture that seems to be a given when using teff. It makes me curious about cutting it with other flours.

Cutting hot isn’t recommended.

Even when cutting cold a gentle cut is needed.

Again, the taste is really something to enjoy. It has a slight nutty, bran like taste, still hard to describe. Strong, but not overpowering. If I am going to make a teff scone to freeze it’ll be a take on my puree scone recipe, I have many, many scone recipes, Dear Reader, but still curiosity impels me. So, so far we know teff has a great taste, a pleasant moist texture, doesn’t have much stability for delicate uses like pastry and on the whole feels like a cross between quinoa and buckwheat, is a little like sorghum, but better in my opinion. As for the future, well, microwave recipes are a given as they’re almost always successful, quick too. I’m curious about cutting it with rice flour to see if the texture can overcome the dryness of rice flour. Using it with buckwheat would be interesting. For now I use up this bag, then the remaining quinoa flour and check dates on my usual staples, I try to avoid wasting food, Dear Reader, even if it’d just end up in the compost. So, stay tuned for more teff recipes, I don’t foresee anything groundbreakingly new, but you never know. Until later, Dear Reader, take care.

Ingredients

65g Brown Teff Flour
35g Ground Flaxseed/Golden Flaxseed
1 Medium Egg (60g-65g), Beaten
15g Sugar
15ml Olive Oil
1 Tsp Baking Powder

Makes 2 Large Scones.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200c (Fan) and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.

2. Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and then stir, with a fork in the Olive Oil and Egg until the dough starts to come together, adding a splash of water as needed. Dough should be soft, wobbly and slightly sticky. Form into a ball and rest for 5 minutes.

3. After the 5 minutes are up, the dough should be slightly firmer. Split into two and roll each portion in a ball and press gently onto the prepared tray.

4. Bake for 20 minutes until scones are firm and a brown colour. Transfer to a wire-rack and let cool.

Brown Teff Flour Savoury Waffles

Ah, the delicious chocolate mousse…oh, no, sorry.

Ah, Dear Reader, we’re onto the second teff recipe, for the future Dear Readers the first was here, and it’s not the most exciting of recipes. I use waffles like these as a quick bread, they’re extremely basic, probably a far cry from your more conventional waffles, not that I’d now anything about them as I never ate them when I could, I’ve missed out on a lot, Dear Reader. Still, I have a lot yet to try, these are one of the handiest recipes I have, I usually fill them like a sandwich. Today I used chicken seasoned with my neglected Nightshade Free Taco Seasoning, I can’t remember if I’d gone off nightshades before I started on the blog, but, well, I was a fiend for chillies and anything spicy, it taught me a lot, the most important was of course that I couldn’t eat anything like that. Such is my journey, Dear Reader, but today let’s talk teff.

Now, I knew if the bread worked this would, the only times I’ve had waffles fail was with Amaranth Flour because it just creates sticky messes unless blended with another flour, the joys of free-from baking discoveries are endless, Dear Reader. The only question here was texture, sometimes you don’t get the texture you’d expect, with quinoa flour I’d hoped it’d achieve a crust like the bread, but sadly no, it cooks too fast for that. Teff here actually stands out in a special way, it still has that more moist texture, better than buckwheat and much better than rice flour in that regard, but what really shines is that nutty taste. Even with spiced meat and cheese it still stood out to my, well honestly damaged, taste-buds, have to be blunt at times, Dear Reader, there are times I can’t even taste. What exactly it reminds me of is still eluding me, it has a lightly roasted nut taste, really pleasant. I’m thinking if it’s still available when my rice flour runs out I may replace it with teff. So, you basically get a firm, spongy waffle, a subtle nutty taste and a deceptive colour and all in a matter of minutes. Teff has been intriguing so far, usually taste is the least promising and sometimes least pleasing aspect of free-from flours, amaranth and quinoa both can be bitter and earthy, buckwheat is strong tasting, though I’m used to it now and love it, but teff stands out for that. It also retains moisture well. That’s two checks in its favour, next I’ll have to use recipes that test its strength and stability. All things in time, Dear Reader, take care.

They really do resemble something made of chocolate.

Ingredients

100g Brown Teff Flour
125ml Water
1 Medium Egg, 60g-65g in Shell
15ml Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
Pinch Salt

Makes 4 Waffles.

Method

1. Turn on Waffle Iron. Beat the Egg, Olive Oil and Salt until combined, then beat in Flour and Baking Powder. Finally add water, gradually, until a stirrable, but still thick batter has formed.

3. Add enough Batter to warmed Waffle Iron to fill the plates, close and cook for 7-10 minutes until waffles are chocolate brown, dry and firm. Remove with a rubber spatula and let cool for a few minutes, Waffles will crisp up further as they cool.

Brown Teff Flour Bread

Online you can buy plant stands and free-from flours.

It has a distinct colour and smell. Sweetly something annoyingly familiar.

Half for the trial, a full loaf will be fine.

This has been on the cards for a long time, Dear Reader, I had to wait many, many years to get cheap safe gluten free teff flour, but I did and thanks to the many preparations and trials of other free-from flours I’m more than ready, but first let’s see what I’ve managed to gather about this…seed? Grain? It doesn’t seem to be clear so we’ll g with grain to avoid mis-marking the recipe grain free for now. So, I’m using brown teff, there is a white teff too, surprisingly it isn’t the unhulled version, just a darker seed, both have slightly different tastes from what I’ve read. I’ll try both in time if possible. It reminds me of raw nuts, maybe cashews because there’s a slight sweetness, chestnut maybe?, but also a hint of something more akin to buckwheat. In time I’ll nail down the taste, for now this is my first trial, ever actually, and I always have a list of what I’ll make to maximise the bag of flour, if it’s a waste then I’ve learned something at least, if it’s worthwhile then I no longer have to worry whenever I have to bake with it again. I don’t just look up recipes, I tried that and it went nowhere every other time. Instead I look at what I have and at this stage I have amble to modify, then I learn the limits and strengths and decide the best way to utilise this flour. I’ve learned vastly more than if I’d just blended it. I am the single flour baker after all, Dear Reader!

New bird: A Chaffinch.

It smells wonderful as it cooks.

It stuck slightly, though it could be the tin, but line regardless.

I’ve often talked about how free-from baking is still in its infancy, there are so many things we have yet to discover. One of the issues I know people will face that this is not the bread they’re used to, it can’t be, but it is worth eating and often people who don’t hold onto preconceptions tend to enjoy the end product a lot more than those who do. This isn’t gluten based baking, it’s its own diverse genre, the biggest difference is that these batter breads rely on baking for stabilisation rather than while mixing, or gums and starches, it means you have a different texture and little to no crust, but it also means the preparation time is cut down as is the difficulty, once someone like Jack here does the hard work. You know whatever I tell you hear I swear by absolutely, if it fails then I will find out why, I will not share an uncertain recipe, though this is the first trial I have made these kinds of breads so often I know what to look for, I won’t ever tell you to do something I won’t stand behind one hundred percent, Dear Reader, but know that different flours have completely different results, even when using raw and roasted, so if you have an issue tell me and I’ll see what I can deduce, but know that a recipe is only as good as it can be when followed exactly.

Cut out of the oven. It resembles a treacle bread in colouration.

Cut in half and then I cut the halves again later. No crumbs.

I know this post is dry, Dear Reader, but you have to take a serious methodical approach to get all the information down while it’s still fresh, in time I’ll retain what I need to keep using the flour, but the finer, early details will be lost. So, the batter first, it has a slightly glossy look and does thicken slightly, enough to be worth resting. It has a cloudy chocolate colour, more like something that was already cooked. There is a sweet aroma, but the taste is milder. I have a lot of plans so I’ll get to grips with the flavour profile in time. The batter got a nice rise as you can see and had only very slight cracking. What was interesting was the texture even in the tin, it was slightly…not rubbery, but you know what I mean, it’s as if there were a rind or skin around the inner loaf. Probably why it stuck slightly. The inner has a dense, springy, spongy feel to it that is in no way dry. It will need something to spread on it, but it lacks the choking dryness that buckwheat flour, I love it, but it is a dry flour, in this preparation has. I use flax to counter that, but it’s unnecessary here. Now it cut, without crumbs or crumbling, five minutes out of the oven. Which is great. The texture is really wonderful, similar to Quinoa Flour Bread, but with a taste more like buckwheat. Though I’d say quinoa bread has the texture that suits toasting or soaking. I don’t think this would absorb liquids all that well and if it’s like buckwheat toasting might actually be detrimental to the taste and texture. I’ve frozen part and see no reason it won’t be fine.

This, Dear Reader, at it’s heart is just a basic preparation, edible, but it would benefit from additions, what it does is it teaches the taste, texture, strength and value of the flour. You could make this over months and each time you’d learn something new, that’s what my many buckwheat breads have done for me, it’s why I can write all I write with such certainty. I don’t know if teff will ever be a staple in my kitchen, it may never need to be, but it pays to be prepared. As for future recipes, there are many, but they’ll skew the savoury, I’m unlikely to make anything very sweet with this for the time being. Not to say there won’t be some sweet recipes, but tarts and pastries would be a further bag consideration. Flatbreads or “tortillas” might be made as a test of stability for pastry though. We’ll see. All I’m making I eat so I have to keep it in balance, if I only ate teff for days it may have a negative effect on my mood, eating too much of the same can be stressful when you’re already restricted in your food choices, Dear Reader and I’m only one person, I can only do so much. It’s up to you, Dear Reader to look at what I’m doing and improve upon it. As I’ve said I’ll stick to my own recipes for the time being, that might change, but when I’m done there’ll be ample teff recipes. You can count on that or my name isn’t Jack, er, you know what I mean! Pretend Jack, signing off, take care, Dear Reader.

PS: In thinking on it I might mark this as Brown Teff Flour, when I try white it might be different so better to be sure.

Ingredients

200g Brown Teff Flour
120ml Water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Large Eggs
1/3 Tbsp Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt

Makes one small loaf.
Can be frozen.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 175c (No Fan).

2. Fully line a 6×3 inch loaf pan.

3. In a large bowl mix together the Egg, Olive Oil and Salt. Add the Teff Flour and Baking Soda and stir until combined, then gradually add the Water and stir until a thick, but stirrable Batter has been formed. Add more Water if too thick. Rest for 5 minutes.

4. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes, turning halfway if needed, until dark brown and a skewer comes out clean.

5. Cool in tin for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.