Ragi (Finger millet/African millet/Nachni) Flour
Recipe Marathon: Day 4.
We’ve been experimenting with various flours recently. Ragi (Eleusine coracana) is a close cousin of teff – the ancient grain grown in the Ethiopian Highlands. The reddish grains and pink flour of both are similar in appearance and in their sweet, nutty flavour.
Finger millet is originally native to the Ethiopian Highlands and was introduced into India approximately 4000 years ago. It is very adaptable to higher elevations and is grown in the Himalaya up to 2,300 metres in elevation. (Link)
It’s a great plant-based source of calcium, as well as the amino acid methionine, more commonly found in animal protein. Ragi grains are easily available at the Indian grocer, as is the flour. Else, use teff, available HERE.
We’ve listed two ways to make the sourdough rolls – with and without sourdough starter.
RAGI-SWEET POTATO SOURDOUGH ROLLS
(8 rolls or a 2-pound loaf)
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
half cup water
3 tbsp whole wheat or rye sourdough starter
**if you don’t have sourdough starter, add 1/4 tsp active dry yeast and reduce the wheat flour and water by 1 tbsp each.
Cover and let it sit overnight or upto 12 hours at room temperature.
1 cup ragi flour
**or teff flour or whole wheat or dark rye flour
1 tbsp vital gluten (optional. see note below)
1.5 cups bread flour or all purpose flour
1.5 tsps salt
2.5 tsps active dry yeast for rolls, 2 tsps for a loaf
1 cup sweet potato puree (see note below)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger or 1/2 tsp dry powdered ginger
1/3 tsp each cardamom and cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsps extra-virgin coconut oil or vegetable oil
1 tbsp maple syrup or jaggery/brown sugar
**if you don’t have gluten, reduce the ragi flour to 1/2 cup and replace that amount with all purpose flour.
** boil, peel and cube a sweet potato and mash/puree it with two tablespoons water until it is smooth.
To brush the rolls
1.5 tablespoons oil or coconut milk (or beaten egg or butter)
1. Heat 1/4 cup water to lukewarm and add the yeast.
2. Let it dissolve and and sit for five minutes. It should foam up. If it doesn’t, your water was too hot or your yeast is old. Discard the batch and try again.
3. Mix all the ingredients including the starter together (except those for brushing) and knead for 4-5 minutes to form a smooth ball. Add flour or water if necessary, 1 tbsp at a time.
4. Let it rise covered in a warm place for an hour or until double in volume.
5. Punch down, knead a bit more, and divide it into eight equal parts. Form each part into a long strand (about 10 inches), thick in the middle and thin on the ends. Coil it around and pull one end through to make a knot. Place on a baking sheet layered with parchment or silicone. Tuck one loose end under.
Or form into regular round rolls. Or form into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan.
6. Cover with a towel and leave them to rise for another 25-30 minutes for rolls, 45 minutes for a loaf.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (or 360 F at convection setting).
7. Brush the rolls with coconut milk/oil on the top and sides. If it’s a loaf, slash the top for the steam to escape.
8. Bake for about 15 minutes (check at 13) until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack.
This one’s for Sandy’s Bake Your Own Bread At The Baker’s Bench.
And for Susan @ Wild Yeast for YeastSpotting.