Week 29: Teff Flour

I have to admit that this week’s unusual ingredient caught my eye because it could have been named after me. Working with small children and having a long name has caused me to accumulate a myriad of nicknames from little ones who can’t quite get out all 3 syllables of Stephanie. “Teff” was one of the first things I was called when I told a toddler my name was Steph. Digression aside, I’ve always been curious about the large selection of flours at my local food co-op. Forget all-purpose – there are many more nutritious alternatives. But what the heck is teff?

Teff is an ancient grain, believed to have originated in Ethiopia between 4000-1000 BC. If you’ve ever eaten Ethiopian food, you’ve probably had teff – injera, a flat bread that is common in Ethiopian food, is traditionally made with teff. Teff is gluten-free and because the grains are very small, the bulk of it consists of the bran and germ, making it nutrient dense. It is high in fiber, protein, carbohydrates, iron, calcium and several other minerals. According to Bob’s Red Mill, you can substitute teff “for about a fourth of the all-purpose flour called for in your favorite baked goods recipe to add an appealing taste and added nutrition.”

This week is a 2-for-1: gluten-free banana bread and pancakes! I had 4 extremely ripe bananas I needed to use but I couldn’t resist trying a new pancake recipe (I love breakfast foods, especially for dinner).

Despite being both gluten-free and dairy-free, this banana bread is moist and delicious. I only mashed the bananas lightly, so there are some small, extra moist pieces in the bread, and the added chocolate chips make the bread even better.

The teff pancakes are not like your typical fluffy pancake made with all purpose flour. I added chocolate chips to mine (I was out of my usual favorite pancake ingredient, blueberries) and they ended up looking a lot like giant chocolate chip cookies. They can become slightly dry, especially around the edges, and taste a bit “healthy” (nutty and somewhat like whole wheat flour) but the chocolate chips add a nice sweetness and decadence to them. If I had to omit gluten from my diet, these would be added into my brunch and brinner (breakfast for dinner) repertoire.

Gluten- & Dairy-free Banana Bread

  • 1 C teff flour
  • 1 C gluten-free flour blend (if you don’t need gluten free, you can use AP flour or 1/2 AP and 1/2 whole wheat flours instead)
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C applesauce
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C nuts, raisins or chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a bread pan or line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and make a well in the center. Add eggs, banana, sugar, and oil to the center and combine them before folding into the rest of the dry ingredients. Fold in nuts, raisins or chocolate chips if using. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Allow bread to cool for a few minutes before removing from pan. Place on a wire rack until completely cooled.

Gluten-free Pancakes

Adapted from Bob’s Red Mill

Makes 12 pancakes

  • 2 C teff flour
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 2 C water
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C berries or chocolate chips (optional)

Heat a griddle or large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Combine teff flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in water and vegetable oil. Once everything is combined, fold in berries or chocolate chips if using.

Ladle around 1/4 C of batter for each pancake onto preheated pan, a couple of inches apart. Cook until the edges seem dry, then flip over and cook until done.

The batter may thicken as it stands – add a tablespoon or 2 of water if needed.

13 Comments on Week 29: Teff Flour

  1. Carol Egbert
    July 21, 2010 at 5:45 am (12 years ago)

    I admire your inventiveness and creativity in working around gluten.

    • Stephanie
      July 30, 2010 at 11:37 am (12 years ago)

      Thanks Carol! It was coincidental – I was going to use teff flour as an unusual ingredient, then found out it was gluten free during my research. It was easy after that!

  2. Adelina
    July 21, 2010 at 10:31 am (12 years ago)

    Thank you for your post. I have never heard of teff, or ever thought to create a gluten free banana bread. I am saving this to my recipe collection!

    • Stephanie
      July 30, 2010 at 11:37 am (12 years ago)

      Thanks Adelina! Hope you enjoy it.

  3. amy
    July 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm (12 years ago)

    I hadn’t heard of teff flour before but will now add it to the repertoire. The bread was amazing.

    • Stephanie
      July 30, 2010 at 11:38 am (12 years ago)

      Thanks Amy – so glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Andrea
    July 28, 2010 at 4:44 pm (12 years ago)

    This bread looks amazing! I never tried teff flour, however I have been experiementing with soy flour and like it so far. I also like how you combined applesauce and oil to make it more low-fat!

    • Stephanie
      July 30, 2010 at 11:38 am (12 years ago)

      Thanks Andrea!

  5. Sophia
    August 30, 2010 at 1:23 pm (11 years ago)

    Delicious! I love banana bread. Looks like you did a great job. I haven’t baked banana bread in a while. Usually, it’s just Beer Bread. Keep up the great work here! I’ll check back soon!

  6. Lulu
    May 8, 2015 at 5:43 pm (7 years ago)

    Enjoyed the info on the Ancient grains. I am trying to gradually migrate into the healthier diet. So much info is biased towards ones preference. This is not. Just good info with suggestions for use. All I need. I learned about teff and farro. Thanks for your posts and research. I’ll be visiting.
    Lulu recently posted Slow Cooker Monday: Easy Teriyaki Pulled Pork

  7. Anonymous
    June 11, 2018 at 8:13 pm (4 years ago)

    I have been reading out many of your posts and i must say clever stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your website.


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