About the Recipe
In Ethiopia, steamed bread is known as 'Hibist Dabo,' derived from the Amharic word 'Dabo,' meaning 'bread.' Dabo encompasses various types of leavened bread, excluding injera. Unlike other breads baked in ovens or on a mitad (traditional Ethiopian stove), Hibist Dabo is cooked using steam, resulting in a soft and moist texture.
Traditionally, Hibist Dabo is made in a circular baking pan and covered with koba or enset leaves, which infuse the bread with a unique flavour. This bread holds cultural significance in Ethiopia, often served during ceremonial occasions, weddings, and as a gift among in-laws and relatives during holidays. It pairs perfectly with Ethiopian spiced tea, honey, awaze (a spicy dipping sauce), or yogurt. Additionally, it is a popular accompaniment to Ethiopian coffee, offering a delightful snack.
I have recreated this traditional recipe using a combination of teff flour, wheat flour, and buckwheat flour and steamed the bread on a stove top. The steaming process imbues the bread with moisture and a slightly spongy texture, making it ideal for savouring the rich flavours of Ethiopian sauces and stews. Let me know if you make it by tagging me @ethiopianfoodie on instagram.
1 cup teff flour
3/4 cup wheat flour*
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
2 tbsp flax meal
1 tbsp black cumin seeds
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp dry yeast
1 tsp fenugreek powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
1 and 1/2 cups warm water
In a clean, dry bowl, mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly and create a well in the center.
Pour the oil and water into the well, and mix well until the ingredients form a smooth and fully incorporated dough.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for one hour.
Prepare a large pot with a rack at the bottom for steaming the bread. Ensure the rack is stable and a few centimeters above the pot's bottom.
Grease the baking dish, ensuring all corners are coated with oil.
Transfer the dough to the greased baking dish and cover it with foil or plastic wrap, ensuring it doesn't stick to the dough's surface.
Place the pot on the stove over medium heat and fill it with boiling water, reaching just past the rack.
Carefully place the baking dish on the rack, cover the pot with a lid, and steam the bread for 45 to 60 minutes. Adjust the heat to low-medium halfway through and maintain a rolling boil by adding boiling water if necessary.
Once done, remove the baking dish from the pot and let the bread cool completely on a dry surface.
Serve and enjoy with a berbere and olive oil dip or alongside nut butter and jam for a delightful breakfast.
For a gluten-free variation, use only buckwheat and teff flour or a similar flour of your choice.
To maintain freshness, store the bread in the refrigerator and toast slightly before serving.