and finally, there’s teff


tef flour chocolate bread II, originally uploaded by shaunaforce.

Today is the darkest day of the year. Outside my window, rain splashes down in furious puddles on the Seattle streets. People walking by look harried, clutching packages and bags with fraying handles, their hands loaded down by last-minute presents. We’re all fighting the darkness with lights and action. And what am I doing to deal with the shortest day of the entire year?

I’m staying in and baking.

Actually, that’s not all. I’m working on an enormously important writing project. School’s finished for two weeks, which means I can sleep in and really dive into my writing. So I pace around the living room, looking at the Christmas tree, and humming, words thrumming through my mind. When I’m in this space, all is right with the world. The dishes may be undone, the bills are yet to be paid, the presents I’ll need under the tree in four days remain unknown —— never mind. What does any of that matter when I have the entire day to create?

And when I’m writing, doing the work I love, I suddenly feel even more of an urge to cook. Cooking is a deeply creative act, after all. When I’m stirring something in a deep pot, the smells wafting up to my nose, it feels the same as the pen drifting across the page. Deciding what to cook, then watching it emerge from underneath my hands feels like something from the deepest part of me, where it’s dependent on my awareness and entirely out of my control. Washing the dishes feels like scratching out the unnecessary words.

These days, I’m cooking less often with recipes. For months, I studied every good cookbook I could find with a fervent attention normally only reserved for the work of scholars. And then I’d try to replicate the vision I had formed in my mind on the plate. I’m glad for all that time trying to follow other people’s minds, because it led me to mine. Now, more and more, I imagine a taste, and then throw in ingredients that feel right. What happens if it all falls apart? Oh well. It couldn’t taste too terrible. Even if it does, I have a garbage disposal. But I’m finding, again and again, that trusting my foodie instincts leads me to places I never knew existed. If I needed it all to be perfect, I’d be doing something else. It’s the experimentation that I remember best.

“The only stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
–Julia Child

And so, with a what-the-hell attitude firmly in mind, I decided this morning to make some banana bread. With teff flour.

Teff (also spelled tef or t’ef) is the staple grain of Ethiopia. Packed with protein, calcium, and iron, tef is also one of the gluten-free grains, along with amaranth, buckwheat, millet, and quinoa. In fact, one cup of cooked tef contains as much iron as the USDA recommends for adults in one day. It’s nutritionally rich because most of the grain is made up of bran and germ, where the nutrients live. The whole grain is made into flour. It takes 150 teff grains to equal the weight of a single wheat grain. The name, in Amharic, means “lost,” perhaps because each individual grain of tef is so small that, if dropped on the floor, it would be lost. Perhaps this explains why it’s so soft in the mouth, almost melting away immediately.

Teff was almost lost to the world. Grown exclusively in Ethiopia for thousands of years, teff was cultivated by Coptic Christians in Ethiopia. Isolated by their geography and religion from the rest of Africa, the teff farmers did not trade their grain, which is also quite labor intensive to grow. After the death of Haile Selassie, in 1974, the socialist military government insisted that the farmers grow less labor-intensive crops, such as wheat, to export to other countries and make more money for the state. Teff farming was beginning to die out. An American from Idaho, Wayne Carlson, was working as an aid worker in Ethiopia in the 1970s. Fascinated by the growing practices he witnessed, and having fallen in love with Ethiopian food, he took some of the teff seeds back home with him when he left. From there, he started growing teff in Caldwell, Idaho, then selling it to the Ethiopian communities in US cities. Today, the Teff company has a thriving business. I can find bags of teff flour fairly easily in Seattle.

tef flour

And thank goodness for that. I adore Ethiopian food. We have a number of Ethiopian restaurants in this fair city, and I have visited most of them. My brother and sister-in-law and I have come to rely on Amy’s Cafe on 29th and Cherry, which looks ramshackle, and even boarded up, from the outside. Inside, the windows are steamed up from the cooking, and almost everyone at the tables is Ethiopian. They don’t even offer menus. You have to know what you want, or ask the kind waitress to explain in her broken English what she thinks you should eat. When I introduced a new foodie friend to his first Ethiopian meal recently, he couldn’t believe the taste. “It’s fantastic. And it doesn’t taste like anything else I’ve ever eaten. The spices are just different.” He’s right. In case you have never eaten Ethiopian food (and you must rectify that soon, if it’s true), you should know that various spiced lentils and vegetables arrive arrayed on a large platter, which is covered in injera bread. Injera, which has a slight sourdough taste, and a texture like a yoga mat, is made from teff flour. (Gluten-free readers beware: at some Ethiopian restaurants geared toward typical Americans, they might mix the teff with wheat flour. Be sure to ask.)

In order to reach the tiny little cafe (six tables, no more) at Amy’s, you have to walk through the Ethiopian grocery store. All the spices you could need to make your own veggie combo at home, plus big bags of pure teff flour for $5.99! Plus, Ethiopian dvds, should you want them. All of it enshrouded in clouds of incense smoke.

I’ve eaten so many warm, beautifully spiced Ethiopian meals that I cannot imagine my life without them. It’s a communal eating experience, because there are no forks involved. Instead, everyone tears off portions of the injera bread and pushes it into the cooked cabbage or spicy lamb. All formalities disappear. You can’t help but talk and laugh as you bump fingers over the Ethiopian cheese or chicken wat or beef kitfo. The bread satisfies, deeply. And after a few moments, it’s all gone. And you feel wonderfully sated.

You should find an Ethiopian restaurant today.

So I knew about injera bread before my celiac diagnosis. But it wasn’t until I was told I had to go gluten-free that I realized I could buy teff flour, or that I could make other foods with it. Nutty in flavor and fine in texture, teff actually makes an excellent baking flour. I’ve been eating it for months. Teff makes an excellent pie crust, when you cut it with another gluten-free flour. In fact, it might be the best pie crust you’ve ever tasted.

This morning, revved up from writing, and eager to begin cooking, I noticed some bananas growing soft on my windowsill. And somehow, I realized I had never written about teff here before. Oh, I wrote about a sweet corn quiche with a teff flour crust, based on a recipe from 101 Cookbooks. But I barely knew how to post photographs then. (The dark days of this website.) Shame. And I knew I had to rectify that situation, immediately.

I’ve grown comfortable enough with gluten-free baking that I felt safe making up my own recipe. I threw together some bananas and plain yogurt, butter and eggs. And in a separate bowl, I stirred in half gluten-free flour mix, half teff flour. Plus, unsweetened cocoa powder. And plenty of cinnamon. Other stuff too. You’ll read it in the recipe. I was just throwing in food that felt right, in the spirit of that “what the hell” quote I have stuck to my refrigerator door. Humming along, eager to see what would emerge, rather than worrying about following a recipe correctly.

Would it be terribly gauche of me to say that it turned out spectacular?

tef flour chocolate bread

Teff flour, being so soft, and slightly gelatinous when it cooks, makes a perfect ingredient for baking quick breads. This one tastes a little like a cake, in that way. A touch of cinnamon. Dark chocolate threading through. And the bananas emerging, bright, but not too much so. A good crumb, solid structure. And mostly, just a brilliant taste of something light, on the darkest day of the year.

You see what happens when you throw caution to the dark, rainy winds and just cook?

Chocolate Banana Bread with Teff Flour

In making this bread, I used a round enamelware pot, instead of a loaf pan. This lent itself to the cake-like quality of the bread, which I found I loved. If you want a more traditional quick bread texture, then try the loaf pan.

1 cup of gluten-free flour of your choice
1 cup of teff flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons high-quality, unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 overly ripe bananas
1/4 cup plain yogurt (make sure it’s gluten free)
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° degrees. Move the rack to a position in the lower half of the oven. This will prevent the crust of the bread from burning. Grease the pan you intend to use.

Stir together all the dry ingredients, making sure to tame the lumps of cocoa powder with a fork. Set aside.

With a standing mixer or hand mixer, beat the eggs lightly. Then, add the yogurt, vanilla extract, and melted butter. When this assemblage is completely mixed, then gently add in the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until they are just mixed.

Scrape the dough into your pan. Pat down the top to make a flat surface. If you wish, toss a few pecans or walnut halves onto the top. Place into the oven and bake for about forty minutes, or until the knife you insert gently into the bread comes out again clean. Let the bread sit in the pan for five to ten minutes, then turn it over onto a wire rack. Serve warm, with cream cheese, if you wish.

54 comments on “and finally, there’s teff

  1. Thulika - My pen

    so ..Whats cooking? Loved to read the blog of someone who loves to do what I love too..Cooking!..Hmm haa..Cant wait to try some recipies!

  2. Kalyn

    Shauna, for five years I was on the Board of Directors of NEA, and I used to visit D.C. 4–5 times a year. I came to love Ethiopian food. I learned something new though because I didn’t realize it was gluten free.

  3. Fran

    Shauna-thank you for this delicious looking recipe. I want to try it and send it on (along with a link to your site) to my sister. She has rheumatoid arthritis and I have read that there is a gluten connection with that condition. Thank you for all of your insights and ideas. Love your site.

    1. Avril Eastwood

      Fran: I know your message is 7 years old but I just came across this recipe and saw your comment. It’s the first time I have seen someone else say about gluten and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have RA and believe there is a link. I would be interested to know if your sister tried going gluten free and if anything changed. I also think that dairy has an effect so I am removing both from my diet.
      Shauna:
      Your recipe sounds great. Not sure whether I can get tef flour in the UK. I will check it out.

  4. beastmomma

    Thanks for sharing and I am glad to hear that your creativity on paper is spilling into the kitchen.

  5. Melissa

    Yum, teff banana bread! I love your background information on teff — I’ve cooked with it for years but never realized it was either endangered in Ethiopia or cultivated in the U.S. Can you believe that once when I was living in Germany I even tried making my own injera by fermenting teff batter for two days? Considering that it was the middle of winter, things didn’t turn out too well, but I’ll give it another try someday. Ethiopian food is just too good to live without — but unfortunately it’s as scarce in Edinburgh as it was in Germany.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Shauna. Might there be a feast soon to be bubbling in those beautiful new pots and pans of yours? :)

  6. Beth

    Very interesting, Shauna! I actually had Ethiopian food for the first time last week. It was really good! I’d never heard of teff before then and now I’ve heard about it twice in one week! :)

  7. karina

    Hi Shauna! I just came by to see what you are up to. This chocolate bread looks fabulous. I have never tried teff flour (not a flour you easily stumble upon in a small New England village), but this recipe looks yummy.

    Thanks for sharing! Have a bright GF Solstice, Christmas and Hannukah ~ Karina

  8. Anne

    the language of Ethiopia is called Amharic. You have it mispelled on your site.
    Also, there is some question as to whether teff is gluten free. There are some proteins in it that definitely have characteristics of gluten (gliadins).
    Also, keep in mind that old grains, “forgotten” grains do not necessarily mean “better” grains. Remember, the people who ate the ancient grains lived on the average 25–30 years, for variety of reasons.

    old grains = just old grains, not necessarily anything magically healthy. I am afraid many people fall for the magic.

    I am a food scientist.

    Anne P.

  9. Shauna

    Thulika:

    Thanks for stopping by. Do let me know if you try any of the recipes.

    Kalyn:

    That was quite the job you had there! I’m glad you know Ethiopian food.

    Fran:

    Thank you. I’m reading more and more about a connection between rheumatoid arthritis and gluten. Some are suggesting that ra may just be celiac in disguise. I hope that going gluten free can help her.

    Beastmomma:

    Oh, you know there’s lots of spilling in this kitchen! But writing and cooking do seem to feed each other, for me.

    Melissa:

    Thank you, my dear. I know that you love food history, the same way I do. And it’s amazing how much I learn, every day. And oh, yes, there will be feasting at Christmas, thanks to those lovely blue pans.

    Beth:

    Clearly, teff is meant to be in your life this week!

    Karina:

    No teff in New England? Bah! You’ll have to rectify that situation. You can order it online as well. Happy winter celebration to you too!

    Anne:

    Thank you for catching that typo of mine. I’ve fixed it, immediately.

    I’m interested to hear your take on this. I have to say, though, that I don’t automatically assume that old equals better. For those of us who must eat gluten-free, however, there is joy that these grains exist for us. I wouldn’t want to live on teff alone, or survive the conditions in Ethiopia you are describing. I’m just glad that I have the choice.

    I’d like to hear more about the gluten-free status of teff, if you’d like to email me. According to the latest studies I have read (and I’m always reading them), as well as the celiac centers at Stanford and Columbia, teff is gluten free. I know that I have never had a reaction to it, either, and I’m highly sensitized. But if you’d like to email me, I’d love to talk more about it with you.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Anne

    Teff is not my area of expertise, but in my studies I read that teff does contain some amount of gliadins. This is the protein molecule found in gluten. In fact, very few grains are truly gluten-free, it is really a spectrum, some have more, some have less.

    Personally I like the Ethiopian bread injera (enjera, as some spell it) but I am not sure I would like teff in any other form.

    I encourage you to look into the amounts of gluten that teff contains.
    Here is one link that confirms that teff contains “very little gluten”:

    Look under Crop Status:

    http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/cropfactsheets/teff.html#Crop%20Status

    Always tricky to suggest a grain because most of them (if not all) do contain some gluten. You find this out if you reach deep enough. I am referring to the molecular level. I find that there are organizations, stores, various institutions and consortia that agree to label things as “gluten-free” when they contain little of it. But hardly any grains ARE gluten-free.

    Cheers!

    Anne

  11. Shauna

    Anne:

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    I’m sure that on the molecular level, there are similarities among all the grains. And we’re always learning more. The article you suggested is from 1998. But more recent studies have shown (including studies from respected doctors at the University of Maryland, publishing in Gastroenterology, as well as the New England Journal of Medicine) that teff is safe for celiac patients. We’re always learning more, and that’s why we celiacs have to keep up on our information. But as of now, every respected medical center that deals with celiac suggests that we can eat teff. And they have our interests at heart.

    You say you would not like teff in any other form, but try it! You might be surprised at how good it tastes.

  12. Anne P.

    well, I may try it if someone serves it to me :)

    If teff was found some gliadins in 1998 (though I know for sure I read about it later on, around 2002), it is likely it contains these molecules in 2005/06! Classifications change but molecular structure stays the same. It may be a grain that has little enough gliadins to be safe for you but keep in mind it may not be safe for others.
    As I said, grains are very tricky because most (if not all) contain some form of gliadin. Many celiacs can tolerate rice quite well, oats as well. But some people should avoid any grains and grasses altogether because of the high probability there are some gliadins in them.

    Cheers,
    Anne

  13. Emily

    Hi Shauna! I love your blog. I’ve been reading it for a few months now, but I’ve never commented.Your banana bread looks fabulous. I’ve been eating, cooking and baking gluten (and dairy) free for about 3 years. I’ve been meaning to send you the pics of my Thanksgiving feast, but now I think I’ll just wait until after Christmas and show you pics of that too. You can check out a few of my recipes on my website http://www.holistic-nutritionist.com
    Happy Holidays!
    Emily

  14. aioseh

    thank you for sharing this teff recipe — i cannot wait to try it.

    i am a gluten free (lost it three years ago) and rice free (lost it last year) chick and am just moving into experimenting with my own baking.

    your site is quite an inspiration!

  15. sasha

    Shauna, for 2 years I have been gazing at an Ethiopian restaurant from my front porch. I guess I need to get on over there, huh?

  16. dara

    Shauna,
    I too am a passionate cook and have recently been baking up a storm, experimenting away from standard old recipes in the seacrh for healthy, nutrient-dense baked goods. even though i am not gluten-free, i adore your site and reading your lyrical writing. I was so excited to try this bread! I made it yesterday and not until I was ready to mix wet and dry together did I realize there was no sweetener beyond the bananas. I was afraid it would not be sweet enough. I followed the recipe exactly, including cooking in heavy le creuset, but added about 1/4 of a stray bittersweet bar chopped up. it was wonderful and different. i would add some sweetener, just a bit next time, and more chunks of cholcolate, and chopped walnuts strewn all over the top. my friends all adored it and found it addicting. after a light meals of farmer’s market veggies, it did not feel like an indulgence but a part of the meal’s balance of protein and energy. Yum! Thank you for your effort in sharing with us each week. I am always eager for new posts and woudl love to meet you someday. I live in Oakland and love to cook with similar passion to your own! Blessings and love in the kitchen, Dara

  17. Anonymous

    Ah, yes, teff. I am a celiac as well and have just started to use teff in my baking. It is a wonderful flour that adds wheat-like texture and much needed nutrition to the baked good. You can use teff to make a very good all-purpose gluten-free mix — better than Bette Hagman’s GF mix — that you can usually substitute vis-a-vis with wheat flour:

    1 cup teff
    1 cup brown rice
    2/3 cup potato starch
    1/3 cup tapioca starch

    Of course you may need to add a little xanthan gum (try 1/2 — 1 tsp) if you are trying to spoof a regular wheat recipe.

    As for the safety of teff for the celiac, unfortunately it may be questionable. Flat breads made with teff do not need the typical binders like xanthan gum and that could be due to a potentially toxic protein in teff. That’s why your banana bread doesn’t fall apart as it would if you used all rice flour. However, corn tortillas do not contain binders thanks to the gelatinous properties of corn meal and the protein in corn (sometimes wrongly called “corn gluten”) is not toxic to celiacs.

    I buy my teff from Bob’s Red Mill and their gluten-free flours, including teff flour, are tested for the presence of gluten. The test is very sensitive and detects gluten down to 20 ppm. It gives me some confidence that teff is actually safe.

    The same goes for quinoa, which Bob’s also sells as a gluten-free flour. I react quickly and harshly if I injest wheat-containing foods but not with quinoa and teff. Does that mean they are gluten-free? Maybe, maybe not. But since the CD diet is so restrictive I don’t want to give up these “exotic” grains if they are indeed safe for us. Unforunately I don’t have the patience for the research community to catch up.

    Oh, and about the “old/ancient flour issue”. Teff and quinoa (and amaranth) may have lost importance in agriculture because they can’t be grown everywhere (like wheat to a certain extent). You can’t expect to grow quinoa in Kansas. It needs a mountainous, arid environment.

  18. Anonymous

    I’m so glad I stumbled on your site. I have a 3 year old celiac daughter, and finding nutritious GF substitutes is a major problem, since most taste pretty bad OR are made w/over-processed “grains.” I’m going to try your recipes for her … Every once in a while it’s nice to have something the whole family will choose to eat!
    Kathryn

  19. Anonymous

    I made this, and it DEFINITELY needs some additional sweetener to be palatable (at least to my children, who spit it out!). Maybe 1/2 cup? I thought it was just okay, myself, without it — and I always reduce sugar in recipes by about 25% — so I wanted it a bit sweeter myself, and maybe a bit less cocoa powder (it was super chocolaty, too much so for my children’s tastes).
    Kathryn

  20. Greta

    I’m so excited to bake with teff. You mentioned teff being excellent for pie crust recipes– do you have one? I’m looking for the perfect pie crust! Also to note, I try to stay away from cane sugar…but any recipe will do (I tend to modify to suit my needs). Thanks!

  21. Logothete

    What other Ethiopian restaurants in Seattle have you had good luck with? I’ve had a couple bad reactions from eating out, even when I was told the injera was pure teff, so I figured I’d ask you who seems to be the local expert on such things.

  22. Luch

    Thanks for the recipe! I’m making it for a potluck tomorrow, for a friend who has celiac.
    Question…am I crazy or are you missing the directions dealing specifically with the bananas? I added them to the wet mixture as I normally would with banana bread. Maybe I missed it…anyway! I think it’ll turn out great!
    Heather

  23. kim

    I had been trying a gluten free tortilla product made of teff. I have been in bed in horrible pain for nearly a week. The only thing different is a gluten free vitamin I have been taking also. I have one tortilla left. I think I’ll trash it. Plus all the iron in it I’m sure does not help constipation which I’m sure celiacs have issues with. Just wanted people to be aware. It could cause you problems or else I have something else very seriously wrong with me :(

  24. mimi

    Teff sounds really exciting.
    I’m also allergic to casein. In your teff chocolate babana bread recipy, what can I substitute the yogourt with ?

    Thanks,
    Mimi :)

  25. Anne Uumellmahaye

    Mimi and other casein-intolerant folks: I just tried a coconut milk yogurt the other day and I LOVED IT! I have never loved soy yogurt — it always tasted like I imagine Play-Doh would taste, but the coconut milk yogurt had none of that weird taste. I found it at Whole Foods — I think the company was called So Delicious. And it was!

  26. Nate

    Thanks for this recipe Shauna. I made mine without the chocolate and added a cup of sugar. It tasted delicious, especially with the teff.

    Nate

  27. Convivially Gluten-Free

    Wow! This is a great recipe. I was wondering about the lack of sugar in the recipe. I didn’t add any but I did add a half a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips which added a little bit of sweetness. I think next time I will add a little sugar so the bread is sweet even if you don’t get a chocolate chip in every bite. My 3 year old is loving this bread right now. And I don’t have to feel guilty since it is so healthy. Thank for sharing!

  28. Kate C.

    I had great results with this last night, and I’m looking forward to making it over and over again. (For the “any flour of your choice,” I used 1/2 C sorghum, 1/2 C Bob’s all-purpose). Also, I subbed applesauce for the eggs. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

    Re: teff and gluten… If I don’t have an instant migraine, wheezing, and brain fog after eating something, it works for me. I have zero reaction to teff, so I eat it. YUM!

  29. Camilla

    This sounds great, Shauna, I love teff flour. But when do you add the bananas? It does not say in the recipe. Thank you!

  30. Ellie White-Stevens

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. Made successfully tonight. I didn’t have plain yoghurt so I subbed sour cream. It worked BEAUTIFULLY. I bought the teff flour, and it really gave this bread a better texture than some of the good mixes, like Pamela’s, that produce a more gummy rice texture–good for cake, I think, but not so much a bread. Thanks for the wisdom on this and the great recipe. My husband liked that it wasn’t too sweet. My non-gluten free guests also enjoyed it. It was easy to make, and so delicious.

  31. Geri

    Hi Shauna -

    I just put a loaf of your chocolate banana bread in the oven. I couldn’t find teff here, but discovered it is a kind of millet, so used millet flour instead of the teff.

    I mashed the bananas and added them to the wet ingredients before blending with the dry.

    I’m looking forward to eating my bread in just a little while.

    Thank you!

    Geri Winters

  32. Kendra

    I just made this recipe. Well, not “this” recipe, but the one from your book, which is pretty darn similar. It was my first attempt at gluten-free baking (today is only my 2nd gf day) and I loved it. Not only that, but my 7 year old and rather picky hubby liked it as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Knowing there are foods like this out there that I can still eat makes this new eating sort of an adventure. :-)

  33. HappyTummy

    hiya! made this bread…but noticed you didn’t include the bananas in the directions (it’s only in the ingredient list). i added them just before the dry ingredients…was that right? my bread came out a little dry, so i wasn’t sure if that was why.

  34. Dawn Lerman

    Dear Shauna,

    We just found your blog today and lately people have been asking us for some gluten-free recipes. We are going to try this recipe and make a couple swaps since we don’t have all the ingredients. I was wondering if you know if there is a conversion chart somewhere that has measurements for swapping out white flour for more interesting ones like teff, or almond flour? I will be following your blog from now one, feel free to follow mine too! I will be looking forward to continuing to swap idea’s and follow your blog!

    http://growingupwithafatdad.blogspot.com/
    http://www.magnificentmommies.com/
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1045307361&ref=ts
    http://twitter.com/DawnLerman

  35. The Garvins

    Hi, Shauna. Would love to try this recipe, but as I’m currently gluten and sugar free, bananas aren’t an option for me (with their super high glycemic index). Any suggestions as to a substitution? I was thinking maybe sweet potatoes or maybe even applesauce? Any maybe some stevia to help with taste. Would you have any idea as to the amounts of the substitutions?
    Thanks so much!

  36. MJ

    Shauna, my 5 yr. old daughter and I made this today. It came out PERFECT. The only thing I added was some bittersweet chocolate chunks (per my daughter’s request).
    Now, I didnt read all the comments, but I saw that one said it wasnt sweet. Did they not add the bananas?
    I did notice on the recipe that the bananas were not included in the cooking directions (in the ingredients yes, but not the actual directions). I think for most of us, this is not an issue as we can (and did) figure it out, but there may be that one person out there that just didn’t notice the bananas still sitting on the counter once the bread is in the oven? Who knows, just an FYI.
    Regardless, thank you so much, we love your site, your recipes, the tutorials and look forward to your book:)!!

  37. trucker

    I’m not sure why some people said this recipe wasn’t sweet enough. I made it as is with a hazelnut flour and it was the best banana bread I’ve ever had. I’ll be making it over my wheat flour recipe from now on!

  38. lee-ann

    I was very hopeful but I found the cake to be grainy. My GF flour was actually an AP mix that included brown rice flour, potato starch, rice starch, sorghum flour, baking powder, salt. I reduced the baking soda and salt accordingly. I did add the bananas — mixing them into the wet ingredients. Any ideas on the grainy-ness? Is there possibly a wet ingredient missing? The batter was very dry. Or was it something in my AP mix?

    1. Gluten free mama

      I have found that brown rice flour produces a grainy texture in quick breads. It works well in a bread machine that mixes and bakes the dough over a long period of time, which softens the rice flour.

  39. Sandra

    Wow, I absolutely loved your recipe! I’m newly experimenting with teff and find that I really love it… like buckwheat, it helps replace darker breads like rye and whole wheat now that I’m aware of my gluten intolerance.
    –My gluten-free cup of choice flour was a 50/25/25 mix of sweet white sorghum, arrowroot starch, and brown rice flour.
    –I’m not the biggest chocolate fan, so I substituted 6 Tbs of unsweetened macaroon coconut flour instead of the cocoa, and it was amazing! It probably made my bread more dense, but that’s forgivable for banana breads…
    –I’m also a bit of a nutmeg fiend, so I used 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 teaspoon nutmeg.
    –I added poppy seeds… probably on a whim?
    –Lastly, I used sour cream instead of yogurt, but that was only because I didn’t have any on hand.

    Banana bread is one of my husband’s favorite dessert breads, but he’s not usually into gluten free replacements. Can’t blame the man — I loved wheat, too! But he REALLY enjoyed your recipe. I’m going to try a pumpkin version next.

    Thanks again!

    Sandra

  40. Jacob

    Heard you on KUOW a couple of months ago. You were talking (among other things) about developing an injera recipe (something about the Seattle water makes it hard to do). How’s the recipe coming along? An success? I recently ate at Assimba on Cherry (they have gluten free injera). The injera was okay. A little crumbly compared to others I’ve had, but maybe the others I’ve had had wheat in them (I know one of my favorite Ethiopian restaurants has 3% wheat flour in their injera).

  41. Marty

    I use Teff in three products that I invented through experimentation. 1. Tough bread.
    2. Cinnimon Bread. 3. Oatmeal Craisin Cookies. While I was experimenting I found out about Wayne Carlson. On a trip to the Snake River Valley of Idaho I looked him up and bought a sack of Teff from him at his processing plant in Nampa. I’ve also purchased Teff flour from him on subsequent visits to the plant. Lately, I’ve developed some pretty serious digestive system issues and am wondering if I need to quit using Gluten grains. I’m ‘baching’ it for a few days, so I think I’ll try re-inventing my Tough Bread and see if it stops my stomach/bowel pains. I enjoyed your article about Teff/banana bread. Marty

  42. Darla

    I’ve been wanting to try something with Teff. It’s been sitting in my pantry for a few wks. Always interesting to open up a non traditional bag of grain & give it a whiff. I found it to be rather mild & pleasant, unlike the garbanzo bean flour which I don’t like the smell of.

    I used Ener-G egg replacer, coconut oil for the butter & substituted 1 Cup applesauce for the bananas since I have a kid who thinks bananas in chocolate baked items overpower the chocolate. She likes her chocolate! I’m using the Ener-G replacer because I have a friend who’s allergic to eggs & wanted to give the product a whirl.

    In about 25 minutes, I’ll find out if my substitutions were appropriate. It looked a bit on the dry side. Maybe I should’ve added another 1/2 cup of applesauce. I did throw some chocolate chips on the top. It’s hard to go overboard with chocolate in this family.

    I’ll let you know.

  43. Darla

    I had to bake the bread for 55 minutes using my loaf pan. However, all the substitutions worked wonderfully. It’s a bit more crumbly than I’d like, so I think I’ll include a touch of Xantham Gum next time.

    Great recipe!

    1. shauna

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I have a feeling that it’s the egg replacer that made it crumbly, since I haven’t had much success with it yet. Try a chia slurry or psyllium instead!

  44. Ellen

    Hi Shauna, This looks fabulous. I’m vegan too — any suggestions for how to make it vegan? I just found the gluten free teff flour at the local store.

  45. Martin

    Glad you mentioned the warning about restaurants substituting wheat flour for their Injeera. I lived in Arlington, Mass. in 2010 next to an Injeera bakery which provided the bread for most Ethiopian places. They used flour.

  46. Karen

    Just last week I started substituting 1/2 cup teff flour in my bread recipe. We are amazed at the improvement in the bread…looks, smells, and tastes like whole wheat bread. I’m going to try using it in other recipes.

  47. sarah

    i just wanted to correct you, injera is not only the national dish of ethiopia, but of eritrea too, they have a very similar cuisine and it is offensive to eritreans to state injera as being soley ethiopian, as it is not.

  48. Janay Andrews

    Thanks for the recipe– I just tried it as my first gluten free birthday cake, and it was delish! I used coconut and teff flour, with pecans on top. I has to bake mine for about 60 min, and the center was still a bit too doughy, but otherwise it was spot-on! Great for those who like cake texture without being overly sweet.

  49. Carol

    Teff is only available in my town in 2 lb bags. I just received a 25 lb bag from The Teff Co. today. Only $2.53 a pound! I love the flavor it adds to GF cooking!

  50. Ruth

    I bought my first bag of teff flour today and I am going to make this recipe. i am allergic to eggs and hope that flax and chia w/water will work for the eggs.