Teff Times

The Whole Grains Council has listed teff as one of the grains for November. As today is the last day of the month, I would like to highlight this grain.

Teff is nutritious. It contains minerals (calcium, iron), fibre and a full complement of amino acids (especially lysine, often low in plant-based proteins). It is also gluten-free and helps manage blood sugar. Teff is a tiny grain so is always available in its whole form rather than a refined version. The grains can be cooked like other grains or ground into a flour for use in baked goods.

Tip: Replace one-third of the flour in any cookie/cake/muffin/bread recipe with teff flour.

To cook, use a 3:1 ratio of liquid (water, stock, dairy/non-dairy milk) to teff grains. For a happening oatmeal dish, add some teff grains to steel-cut and whole grain oats and cook as you normally would prepare porridge. Whether grain or flour, teff can be used in sweet and savoury dishes.

Teff originated in Ethiopia thousands of years ago and is also eaten in Eritrea, a neighbouring country. It has a nutty taste and the cereal grain is actually the seed of a grass called lovegrass (eragrostis). Teff is a staple food in Ethiopia, much like wheat in Canada or rice in certain parts of Asia. The most popular food using teff is injera, a spongy sourdough pancake found in Ethiopian cuisine.

How I use teff…in breakfast oatmeal, in baked goods, pilaf, in sauces and veggie burgers

For a more detailed description and some recipes, see the following link from the Whole Grains Council:

https://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/grain-month-calendar/teff-and-millet-–-november-grains-month

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Around the World in 80 Bites – Bite 25

Bite 25 – Bread

Man cannot live on bread alone but Kimberley can. I love bread! No matter where I go in the world nor what type of cuisine I encounter there is always some sort of bread. It’s the one thing that every culture has in culinary common.

quick, yeasted, un/leavened, flat, loaf, buns, rustic, sourdough, enriched, artisan, plain 

And the bread beat goes on…

Bread is the one food I have been eating my whole life and have never tired of it. I have now earned my artisan bread baking certificate and continue to put it to good and regular use. Occasionally I am without my daily bread but too long without and all is not right in my world. Bread is the staff of my life.

Laissez les croissants rouler!

It’s Mardi Gras! Eat all the things! The period of fasting begins tomorrow for those who observe Lent.

In the spirit of the indulgence and gluttony that leads up to this period I decided to make croissants with the organic New Zealand butter sitting in my fridge. Having made croissants before in my artisan bread making course, I was familiar with the labour intensive process and obscene amount of butter used. Should you take on the task of making homemade croissants, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Not all butter is created equal. A higher water content makes for a lighter and flakier croissant. European butter, particularly that in France, often comes in a variety of water content.
  • Start the process at least one day in advance of baking your croissants. It is a laminated dough which means it must get folded several times to build the layers of flakiness.
  • Use disposable parchment paper for baking. The high amount of butter will leave silicon baking sheets very greasy. To avoid an intense clean-up, use throw away parchment paper.
  • Size matters. Though you can find monster croissants in the stores, it is healthier to make small ones. There’s a lot of butter in this crescent-shaped bread.

Did you know…? Croissants are said to have originated in Austria. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/croissant-really-french-180955130/