Bread: East Africa
While domestication of grains for easy harvesting may have originated in Anatolia and Caucasus, about 10,000 years ago, the Horn of Africa was certainly not far behind. Grinding of grains into flour with sliding stones, and the baking of flat breads, is far older. Today, the main breads of East Africa are still made under very primitive conditions. in a manner possibly in place before the dawn of history. Photo by Lelaw Wondimu distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike v4.0 International.
More on Bread
- [Injera (Amharic); (Bidenaa (Oromo)]
This is the bread of Ethiopia and Eritrea, usually made from Teff. It was traditionally, and is often still today, made very large, to fit the table for which it would be the tablecloth. Scoops of stews and other recipes are placed directly on it. Diners tear off pieces of the "tablecloth" and use them to pick up the food. Today, especially in restaurants it is often made smaller and served on an Indian thali, or a very large plate. Photo by PhoTom distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike v4.0 International.
This is a sour dough bread, made with a leavened batter similar to
thin pancake batter. The batter is baked on a large clay or metal tray,
over moderate heat, and on one side only. Bubbles on the top side burst,
giving the bread a spongy texture, almost like honeycomb tripe, which
is very good at holding sauces. Temperature is regulated so it sets
through, but does not brown on the bottom (see the rolled examples in
the photo at the top of the page). It can be made using white or brown
Teff, or a mix. Farmers say the white Teff is preferred to the brown by
most of their customers.
- [Anjeero, Lahooh]
This is the bread of Somalia and Djibouti, a sour dough bread similar
to Injera, but usually made of Sorghum flour and/or White Corn flour
(fine corn meal). In Somalia it is often eaten for breakfast with honey
and ghee, and at lunch with curry or stew.
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