To make injera, cooks ferment ground teff at room temperature, much like cooks producing sourdough in other parts of the world.
The fermentation collects natural yeasts, which provide some loft for the bread and impart a classically sour flavour. It is possible to over ferment the teff, potentially creating a borderline alcoholic dough or simply a sour, distasteful dough which will not be pleasant to eat.
Variations on the flatbread can be made with different types of teff flour, or with flour blends. Once the dough is fermented, it is lightly salted and then fried, either on a griddle or in a large pan. Since teff has no gluten, the bread will not rise, but it will acquire a dense, spongy texture.
In Ethiopia, injera often lines serving dishes and pans, with diners tearing small pieces off to scoop up food as needed. In regions where teff is expensive or unavailable, other grains may be used as substitutes, sometimes to the great detriment of general flavour.
Injera is made with teff, a tiny, round grain that flourishes in the highlands of Ethiopia. While teff is very nutritious, it contains practically no gluten. This makes teff ill-suited for making raised bread, however injera still takes advantage of the special properties of yeast. A short period of fermentation gives it an airy, bubbly texture, and also a slightly sour taste. Also if there is no enough teff, it is possible to substitute teff with buckwheat, wheat, self-rising flour, all purpose flour and others