My biscuits are a favorite here at Black Mesa. Unlike my momma’s that were made with bleached white flour and Crisco, mine are made with spelt AND teff, butter and/or coconut oil..
I love teff. It’s truly a miracle grain. It is the smallest grain in the world, the size of a poppy seed. It’s also the hardiest. It has sustained cultures in very harsh conditions. According to the Whole Grain Council, WholeGrainCouncil.org, “This tiny size, in fact, makes teff ideally suited to semi-nomadic life in areas of Ethiopia and Eritrea where it has long thrived. A handful of teff is enough to sow a typical field, and it cooks quickly, using less fuel than other foods. Teff also thrives in both waterlogged soils and during droughts, making it a dependable staple wherever it’s grown. No matter what the weather, teff crops will likely survive, as they are also relatively free of plant diseases compared to other cereal crops.
“Teff can grow where many other crops won’t thrive, and in fact can be produced from sea level to as high as 3000 meters of altitude, with maximum yield at about 1800-2100m high. This versatility could explain why teff is now being cultivated in areas as diverse as dry and mountainous Idaho and the low and wet Netherlands. Teff is also being grown in India, Australia and Canada. In Kansas, the Kansas Black Farmers Association is experimenting with teff – intrigued by both its connection to Africa and its market potential.
Teff flour gives an almost chocolate flavor to baked goods. I’ve used the flour in pancakes, coffee cakes, and muffins. I’ve used the grain in these biscuits and it gives a wonderful nuttiness to them. Trust me, they’re delicious.
Teff flour and grain is available from a lot of grain companies now. One of my favorites is teffco.com. You can get a sample pack of a pound each of ivory grain and flour and a pound each of the brown grain and flour for $20.00. It’s a great deal and a great way to sample teff.
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1/2 cup teff (the grain)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil or combination, melted
- 1 to 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 to 1 cup flour for rolling out
- Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and pour in butter/oil and as much of the buttermilk as you need to make a WET dough.
- Stir to blend.
- Sprinkle rolling surface with about 1/2 cup of the additional flour.
- Scrape dough onto flour.
- Sprinkle dough with a little more flour.
- Knead dough a few times (do not over knead), turning on floured surface until dough is just dry enough to roll out and cut with biscuit cutter. (you start with a wetter dough so the teff grain absorbs some moisture . Then the dough gets dryer as you add flour as you knead.)
- Bake biscuits in a 425 degree oven for about 18 minutes, until biscuits are a golden brown.