Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Injera 1

Adventures in the kitchen don’t always turn out as you expect or hope. Such was the case with my first attempt at injera, the tangy fermented Ethiopian flatbread.

Wild yeast from the air took up residence in my batter as it was supposed to.

Bubbles formed, the batter poofed up, and it smelled tangy and fermented as it was supposed to.

It held together and cooked on the skillet till bubbles appeared all over its surface as they were supposed to.

But it ended up oddly stretchy and doughy. Almost—but not quite—edible. Too much sweet rice flour. Alas! I go back to the recipe, tweak here tuck there, and try again. Next time will be better.

This is how beautiful recipes are born: through trial, error, and the washing of dishes and ovens. It’s why I love the kitchen. Every recipe is a new map to follow and you never know quite where it’ll lead you. Injera took me back to the Yeasted Bread Road. I’ve made two batches of sourdough English muffins in the last two days. One nearly worked. And my sourdough starter makes divine sourdough pancakes. My best discovery in the last week is that sourdough pancakes, when made without sugar, fried in olive oil, and dusted in sea salt, become a convincing quick skillet focaccia bread.

Who would have thought that focaccia could be a 15 minute process?

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