Rye on time
Teff was meant to be one of the new food trends of 2014, but it never quite took off the way that quinoa did. I’m not surprised, since teff’s not easy to get hold of in the UK and is fairly expensive for a gluten free flour. You’ve all heard the story that quinoa is such a profitable export that the Peruvians can no longer afford to buy their own crop. Could the same happen to Teff in its native Ethiopia? Thankfully some farmers have thought ahead and Teff (as well as quinoa and other grains), are now being grown across the world. Interestingly the teff I bought was cultivated in the Netherlands.
You may be familiar with teff if you’ve ever eaten at an Ethiopian or Eritrean restaurant – this is where I first tasted it. It is what the huge pancake injera is made from (Londoners head to The Blue Nile in Woolwich – where the cuisine is outstanding). I cooked with teff flour during my Natural Chef training. The flour is dark and it made the most wonderful flatbread.
I made the gluten free flatbread found in Flavours of Health at home for the first time last week. I wondered if I could modify the bread into a richer tasting imitation rye-like flatbread. Rye itself is a gluten containing grain (though wheat free), but is the sort of bread that was born to be smothered in creamy smashed avocado or used as an open sandwich in Scandinavian Cuisine – called Smørrebrød.
Later this year I’m going to be cooking for Scandoir Yoga Retreats, so I’ve been excitedly getting in the spirit and trying out some recipes.
I’ve cooked a gluten free imitation rye loaf before – the typical flavor cheats are a touch of cocoa for darkness, molasses for richness and caraway seeds for flavor. Taking my pen and paper, I amalgamated the recipes and a trial recipe for the gluten free imitation rye flatbread was born. Unlike the loaf, the flatbread doesn’t contain any yeast or eggs, so is incredibly simple and quick to make.
To top my imitation rye I didn’t want to settle for avocado, and instead found a delicious way of incorporating purslane – a fairly unknown omega 3 rich green which is generally found at farmers markets this time of year – into a pea purée/spread. I added dill and a touch of mustard for a Scandi flavor profile, and topped it off with some flaked Norwegian salmon.
UK people, if you’re looking for teff flour, I recommend Infinity Foods. A 500g bag won’t break the bank much more than buckwheat and other wholegrain GF flours.
- 75g brown teff flour
- 75g buckwheat flour
- 75g sorghum flour
- 40g ground flaxseed
- 1 Tbs cocoa powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- To top: flaked salt and ½ tsp caraway seeds
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs molasses
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 150-250mls water
- 175g frozen peas
- 1 clove garlic
- 40g fresh purslane
- 2 Tbs chopped dill
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- ½ Tbs lemon juice
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp honey
- Flaked cooked salmon, goat cheese, and a side salad of rocket and beetroot.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil, molasses, and vinegar. Pour in half of the water and stir well to bring the dough together into a large ball. It will be quite sticky. Add more water if necessary to help bring it together, but the dough should be sticky, not wet.
- Divide the dough in four pieces, wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 180 C
- Cut some baking parchment to the size of the baking tray. Place the parchment on a flat surface, carefully unwrap a dough ball and place it on the parchment. Place the clingfilm on top of the dough ball and either using your hands or a rolling pin flatten out the dough ball to an oblong ‘pitta’ shape – a size around 15cm x 12cm is perfect. It should be ½ cm thick.
- Repeat the process with the remaining dough balls. At this point, the wrapped dough can be frozen or stored in the fridge for two or three days.
- Sprinkle some salt flakes and caraway seeds on top and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes then add toppings.
- Boil or steam the peas until cooked, approximately 4-5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool water.
- Blitz the garlic clove in the processor, then add the peas, purslane and the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until a smooth purée has formed. Taste and adjust seasoning / acid if necessary.
- Transfer to a small container and place in the fridge until ready to eat.
- Spread some purée over the flatbread, top with simple cooked flaked salmon, and goats cheese.