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Ersho Recipe

Use this recipe to make teff sourdough starter, the fermented building block of any injera dish. It stores great, so you’ll have plenty to keep on hand.

| May 2019

Getty Images/mtcurado

Apparently, teff is the only grain to have a symbiotic relationship with yeast, which makes sense since, traditionally, teff starter is made with only teff flour and water. However, I’ve found this starter works best with when I add active yeast. I’ve read that symbiotic yeast only flourishes on freshly ground teff flour, and that may be why the addition of active yeast is a necessary boost.

Makes 1-1/4 cups


  • 1-1/2 cups teff flour, any variety
  • 1-1/4 cups filtered water, plus more if needed
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

Per 1-1/4 cups: 678 calories, 24 g protein, 6 g fat (0 g sat), 132 g carbohydrates, 30 mg sodium, 300 mg calcium, 24 g fiber


Day 1. Combine 1 cup of the flour, 1 cup of the water, and the yeast in a large nonreactive bowl and whisk until smooth and well combined. Cover with a plate or clean, dry tea towel and put the bowl on a rimmed baking tray to catch any overflow (the mixture will bubble, rise, and fall). Let it rest undisturbed in a warm, draft-free place for 24 hours. In cooler months, you can put it in an unheated oven or on top of the fridge.

Day 2. If any liquid has accumulated on the surface, carefully pour it off (it’s okay if it’s dark). Gently stir the bubbly mixture, incorporating any batter clinging to the sides of the bowl or plate. If you used a tea towel and it gets wet at any point, replace it with a dry one. Mix in 1/4 cup of the flour and stir gently until smooth and well blended. Cover the bowl again and let it rest undisturbed in a warm, draft-free place for another 24 hours.



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