Teff Brownies

by Jul 21, 2010


The whole grain flours widely available today pack a powerful health punch and add delicious flavors to baked goods.  Many of them, like teff, are gluten free, so they won’t “work” the same as wheat flour in many recipes, but that’s why brownies like this make such satisfying playgrounds.  First of all, there is very little flour in this recipe.  Second, brownies are supposed to be dense and fudgy, not light and airy like a cake, so it really doesn’t matter what kind of flour you use — nut meals, teff, oat have all produced yummy brownies for me.  Of course, this is The Best Brownie Recipe Ever, thanks to Alice Medrich and her wonderful book, Bittersweet, so it is hard to go wrong.  All I did was swap the teff flour for the wheat flour.  Give it a try.  Before you know it, you might be making Teff “Polenta” like Heidi Swanson (Super Natural Cooking).

Teff Brownies 

makes one 8×8 inch square pan of brownies; 64 “girlie” 1 inch squares 
10 tablespoons unsalted, organic butter
1 1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Scharffen Berger)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup teff flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line an 8 inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang on two opposite sides.
2.  Place butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a stainless steel bowl and set in a large frying pan of barely simmering water.  Stir occassionally until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.  Remove the bowl from the frying pan and set aside until the mixture is warm, no longer hot.
3.  Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon then add the eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.  Add the flour and stir until it is mixed in, then beat vigorously for about a minute.  Spread evenly in the foil-lined pan.  
4.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, about 20 – 25 minutes.  Let cool completely on a rack.  Lift up the edges of the foil/parchment liner and transfer the big brownie square to a cutting board.  Cut into approximate 1 inch squares.
Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips
  • You can use either a natural or Dutch-process cocoa powder in this recipe.  Dutch-process cocoa has been treated with alkali and produces a darker colored brownie.  Taste the difference, some people prefer the flavor of one to the other.  (Be careful substituting in other recipes that have baking powder or baking soda as ingredients, as these leavenings react with the acidity of the cocoa and you can get an unintended result.)
  • For chocolate substitutions, please refer to an expert like Alice Medrich and her book, Bittersweet.
  • Teff flour is milled from a gluten-free grain indigenous to Ethiopia.

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