A nutritional powerhouse full of warm, earthy flavor, teff flour is your new gluten-free BFF for all kinds of baking deliciousness. Alanna Taylor-Tobin helps us get familiar with the dynamic alternative flour and shares teff flour-focused recipes for fluffy pancakes, springy banana cake, and sweet potato pie with a flaky, flavorful crust.

Photography Alanna Taylor-Tobin

Teff Flour Overview:
With the comforting scent of warm earth and malted chocolate milk, teff hails from Ethiopia, where its flour is most commonly used in the fermented flatbread injera (teff itself is gluten-free, but most injera in the US includes wheat flour and teff.) Though injera works well with savory curries, teff flour has a sweet flavor perfectly pitched for dessert, pairing beautifully with chocolate, nuts, vanilla, caramel, and fall and winter fruits.

Teff is the smallest grain in the world; the word “teff” means “lost grain” in Amharic, which nods to its ability to disappear when dropped. But this tiny ingredient is big on nutrients and packed with iron, calcium, vitamin C, and protein, the latter of which lends hearty texture and cohesive structure to cakes and pastries. Teff flour is available in interchangeable brown and ivory varieties.

Flavor:
Teff flour has earthy, warm, sweet, malty, with notes of milk chocolate and brown sugar.

Feel:
Teff flour has a fairly soft and starchy with a bit of graininess.

Nutrition:
Teff flour is very high in iron (nine times more than wheat), calcium (five times more than other cereal grains), vitamin C (rare in grains), and protein (a 2-ounce serving of teff has the same amount of protein as an extra-large egg).

Availability:
Stocked with alternative flours at health food stores and well-stocked grocers or online

Storage:
Store teff flour in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to 6 months.

Want to try some amazing gluten-free teff-centric recipes? Try any or all of these!

Banana Teff Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Recipe

Teff Buttermilk Pancakes with Cranberry-Apple Compote
Gluten-Free Recipe

Sweet Potato Pie Gluten-Free Recipe

Find more gluten-free recipes in Alanna’s book Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours, available here!