Breads and Leavened Breads

Beer Buns with Teff – an ancient grain

beer buns

Not too much of a story here today. Yesterday it was Sunday, and I just felt like experimenting. It started with the idea of making Beer Buns with cheese and it ended up as Beer Buns with Teff.

Remember my last post, where I was trying to convince myself not to buy unknown ingredients for a little while, rrrriiight! That worked out well.

Teff is the smallest grain known, the little seed is about the size of a poppy seed, possibly smaller. Can be white, red or brown. One of the ancient grain, and it is originally from Ethiopia and Eritrea, a staple in their food for thousands of years. On the package I read that can be used in stews, I understand pretty much like rice (will try tonight) or added to baked goods, and this is what I have done in this recipe. Teff has also a high nutritive value and is gluten-free.

One quick note to this recipe: I am using all purpose flour, not bread flour. The reason for this choice is because of the type or proofing. I have decided to use a little more yeast and finish in a few hours rather than going overnight. Possibly by using a bread-flour, the end result would not have been a fluffy and soft bread like the one I got here, but instead one with a much chewier texture.

Beer Buns with Teff
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A very soft and fluffy bread. Beginning to end a few hours. Very tasty and quite nice still the following day.
Serves: 8
  • 1 T / 12 g dry yeast
  • ½ C / 125 ml water
  • 1 T / 25 g honey
  • ½ t / 5 g marmite (optional)
  • 340 ml beer room temperature (your choice, go wild)
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • ½ C Teff
  • 1 C / 250 ml water
  • 4 C / 600 g all purpose flour
  • 2 t fine salt
  • ¼ C / 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
for the brushing
  • 2 T / 30 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T water
  • ½ T coarse salt
  • assorted seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, sesame ...)
  1. Mix together all the ingredients for the starter and set aside for 1 to 2 hours (depends on the temperature of the kitchen and of the water that you are using and of the beer) you a looking for big big bubbles to form (the size of a whole walnut at last)
  2. When ready, start adding the other ingredients. Very important do not add all the flour at the same time, you might not use it all. The consistency of the dough is very soft and quite sticky. If using a stand mixer start by using the paddle just until the ingredients are combined 2 to 5 minutes. Do not add the salt and the oil yet. When the ingredients are combined switch to the hook attachment.
  3. When the dough is all wrapped up around the hook, stop the machine and scrape the dough back into the bowl. Repeat 2 times.
  4. Once the dough wraps up around the hook again add the salt. Keep kneading. Scrap the dough back into the bowl and keep kneading.
  5. When the dough is back again all around the hook and the salt is al incorporated, add the oil and knead till absorbed.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and rest for 10 minutes
  7. After 10 minutes lightly dust a surface with flour and pour the dough on it. If too sticky to handle, just wet your hands. Shape it to a rough rectangle and fold it in three, as you would with a business letter, repeat the folding in the other direction as well. Flip the dough in the palm of your hand and dump it back into the bowl. Cover with the plastic wrap and put it to rise in a warm place.
  8. After 1 hour, repeat the folding
  9. Another hour later, repeat the folding
  10. Finally, one more hour later, repeat the folding, weight your dough and divide it into 8 pieces.
  11. Shape the individual pieces into tight balls and lay them into a rectangular pan (9 x 13 in - 23 x 33 cm), at equal distance and let rise covered for an extra 45 minutes
  12. turn on the oven at 450 F / 230 C
  13. Brush the top of the buns with the mix of oil, water, and salt
  14. Sprinkle each bun with the seeds of your choice
  15. Cook 10 minutes at 450 F / 230C the lower the temperature to 390 F / 200 C for 20/25 minutes
  16. Let cool, enjoy
I freeze the leftovers and they keep very well.
This bread stays moist and nice for days even on the counter in a plastic bag


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