The Last Frontier

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Matzo Recipes: Regular and Gluten-Free

Making Matzo

Here are a few recipes for delicious Matzo, including two recipes for gluten free Matzo. I know it’s a little late, but there are still several days remaining for Passover. I intended to post this earlier, but I have been plagued by a sinus infection. More on the wonders of Activated Charcoal and Spruce Pitch in a future post.

The first recipe is for wheat matzo that I found on a Jewish website several years ago. I did not write down the web address, so I cannot give proper credit. This Matzo is so delicious that I serve it to family and company throughout the year. Friends often ask for the recipe, and tell me that it’s so delicious that they even serve it to their guests. Rather than viewing matzo as a “bread of affliction”, we have always looked forward to a week of this wonderful unleavened bread.

Wheat Matzo
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. olive oil
6 Tbsp. water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour and salt. Add oil and water; stir to mix. Check the time to make sure that no more than 18 minutes lapses between the time you add liquid to the flour and the time it goes into the oven. After the ingredients are combined, knead it a little. For a light, crisp cracker, the dough should be fairly stiff and a bit dry, although not at all crumbly. If necessary, add a little water, 1 Tbsp. at a time. If you want the matzo to be harder, add a little more oil and water.

Divide dough in half. Keep one half covered with plastic wrap or wax paper while working with the other half. Using a floured rolling pin, roll each half very thin and place on lightly greased cookie sheets. It is easier to use pans without sides, and then roll the dough directly on the pans. Even when I roll the dough on the table, I rarely have to use any extra flour. When the dough has been rolled and is on the pans, prick with a fork. Using a knife, score dough into squares, rectangles or other shapes. Try not to cut all the way through dough. If you prefer to break your matzo after it bakes, omit this step. Sprinkle with salt or other seasonings if desired. Bake at about 350 degrees until lightly browned, turning pans if necessary. Remove from oven and cool on rack. When cool enough to handle, break apart at score lines.

NOTE: During Passover, I only make one batch (2 pans) at a time to keep the process under 18 minutes. At other times of the year, I often triple the recipe. I have found that covering the dough with plastic wrap for about 20 minutes prior to dividing and rolling helps it roll out easier. In addition, I usually keep Passover matzo simple; however, when I make this at other times of the year, I often add minced, dehydrated onions, minced garlic, or other seasonings to the dough or sprinkle on top.

Gluten-Free Matzo

One of our sons has Celiac Disease, and the other has a gluten intolerance. In the past, I’ve always made gluten-free matzo for them whenever I made regular matzo for everyone else. I have recently learned that I can’t handle gluten either. My husband isn’t a picky eater, so now we’re all gluten-free, which has made a world of difference! I miss the delicious, light, crisp wheat matzo, above, but here are two pretty good gluten-free substitutes.

I adapted the following two recipes from one I found on this site. Ellen’s matzo recipe uses a Breads from Anna gluten, soy, and rice free bread mix. Depending on the traditions you follow, these recipes may not be acceptable to you for Passover. If you go to Ellen’s site, be sure to read her comments. I don’t buy bread mixes, so after reading the list of ingredients in the bread mix and looking up a few other gluten-free matzo recipes, I experimented with ingredients I had on hand. Since I live in the bush, it is often difficult for me to get all of the gluten free flours I want, so I did the best I could with what I had. I’m still learning about gluten-free baking. For these recipes, I made up my own recipes, based on the mix that was used in the original recipe and what I had in the pantry, and then I followed the instructions Ellen gave in her video (I've posted the video below. Just scroll down a bit). This is a great video, and making matzo is very quick!

Gluten-Free Matzo #1

This is the favorite of my sons and my husband. It’s quite hard and crunchy. Since both of these recipes go from not cooked to burned in the blink of an eye, I only make one pan at a time. The recipes are for only one pan, but I usually mix up enough of the dry ingredients all at once to make about 10 batches, and then store it in a covered bowl until needed. To use, scoop out ¾ cup plus 1 tsp. of the mixture, add the liquid and go from there.

3 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 Tbsp. tapioca flour
2 ½ Tbsp. powdered milk
1 ½ Tbsp. white bean flour
2 Tbsp. sorghum flour
½ tsp. xanthan gum
½ tsp. salt
Scant 4 Tbsp. cold water


For dusting the board, dough, rolling pin and hands, have on hand a bowl with a half and half mixture of white rice flour and tapioca starch. Use this generously!

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Combine dry ingredients. Mix water into the flour mixture. Add a little more of the flour mixture if it’s too wet; add a little extra water if it is too dry and won’t come together.

Generously dust your work surface with the rice flour/tapioca starch mixture. Spoon dough onto floured surface. Knead a few times, flatten with hands, adding more of the dusting flours as needed. Roll out as thin as possible with a floured rolling pin. Roll the dough around the rolling pin as shown in the video, and transfer to a cookie sheet. If using a cookie sheet without sides, you can roll the dough directly on the pan.

Once the dough is on the pan, prick with a fork. If desired, score into shapes as described in the previous recipe. Bake in preheated oven about 5 minutes. Watch it very closely because it burns quickly. It is helpful to turn the matzo over with a spatula about halfway through the baking. Remove from oven and transfer immediately to cooling rack.


Gluten-Free Matzo #2

This one is similar to Gluten-Free Matzo #1 above, except that it has a slightly lighter, crisp texture, and is not so hard and crunchy. Like the previous recipe, I mix multiple batches of the dry ingredients, store in a covered bowl, and then measure just over ¾ cup of the flour mixture, add the liquid and go from there.

6 ½ Tbsp. white bean flour
3 Tbsp. sorghum flour
2 ½ Tbsp. milk powder
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
3 Tbsp. cold water
Scant 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, if desired, or omit and use all water instead.

For dusting the board, dough, rolling pin and hands, have on hand a bowl with a half and half mixture of white rice flour and tapioca starch. Use this generously!

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Combine the dry ingredients. Stir in the water and vinegar. Add a little more of the flour mixture if it’s too wet; add a little extra water if it is too dry and won’t come together.

Generously dust your work surface with the rice flour/tapioca starch mixture. Spoon dough onto floured surface. Knead a few times, flatten with hands, adding more of the dusting flours as needed. Roll out as thin as possible with a floured rolling pin. Roll the dough around the rolling pin as shown in the video, and transfer to a cookie sheet. If using a cookie sheet without sides, you can roll the dough directly on the pan. The thinner you get this, the lighter it will turn out.

Once the dough is on the pan, prick with a fork. If desired, score into shapes as described in the first recipe. Bake in preheated oven about 5 minutes. Turn over with a spatula about halfway through the baking. Watch it very closely because it burns quickly. Remove from oven and transfer immediately to cooling rack.

I would like to find or come up with a recipe that makes even lighter matzo. A friend suggested using a combination of almond meal, potato starch and ground flax seeds. When I find some potato starch, I will try that.

Here is Ellen’s video on how to make gluten-free matzo.

4 comments:

Le Loup said...

Thank you, I will create a link, & pass this on to my good wife.
Regards.
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/

April said...

We make this often, with whole wheat flour (daughter #4 has to have high fiber). And this evening, we are making it at church for Friday nights passover dinner at church. Thank you for sharing your recipes--they are slightly different than my own-so will try them!

seejanemom said...

saw your comment about water glass for eggs at Granny Miller.

FYI: you can buy the water glass goo at LEHMAN's (Amish counrty store).

Best of luck!

The Last Frontier said...

Thank you all for visiting and posting. Each year I tell myself that I'm going to make a ton of Matzo ahead of time, but something always prevents me from following my plan. Yesterday I made a bunch. Running low on Sorghum flour, so I made several batches of wheat matzo for my husband since gluten doesn't seem to bother him (although he prefers the gluten-free because it's healthier).
seejanemom, thanks for letting me know. I will take a look there and try to find it if we get chickens this year.

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