For seven days, starting April 14, Jews around the world will be observing Passover. Only unleavened bread is to be eaten for seven days, and at the Seder (two nights), matzo is eaten three times.
I started to panic a bit … what was I to do, as I recently have become gluten-free? Skip the beautiful, traditional holiday dinner at my brother’s home with family? Or should I refrain from all holiday treats, including matzo, gefilte fish and matzo ball soup?
Working with gluten-free flours can be tricky. But, as a blogger, recipe tester and writer, I dedicated a few days to the art of making "matzo” in my kitchen.
For a recipe to work it needs to be well written and tested. The method is as important as the ingredients.
In my test kitchen, I used carefully measured gluten-free “flours,” pulsed the ingredients in a food processor, rolled and cut the dough, then cooked each piece for a moment in a hot cast iron skillet until it slightly blackened. Finally, the matzo crackers were baked in the oven at a low temperature, just to crisp and dry them.
This Passover, I'm expecting many at the celebratory Seder to be tasting and enjoying my gluten-free offering. These matzot are just that good!
Karen's Gluten-Free Matzo
Yield: 4 — 6"x8" matzot
- 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp. gluten-free oat flour, finely ground gluten-free oats
- 1 Tbsp. gluten-free cornmeal
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
- 1/8 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 cup warm water
Rub a cast iron skillet with neutral oil, and heat on low. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add the first five ingredients to a bowl of a food processor. Measure 1/2 cup of warm water exactly.
Turn machine on, and pour the water through the feed tube. In about 10 seconds, all ingredients will be well blended.
Remove to your work surface. Pat into a round ball. Place in a small cutting board. Cut the dough into 4 even pieces.
Roll a piece of dough between 2 pieces of waxed paper — dusted with the all purpose gluten-free flour.
Roll thinly, as making crackers. Pull off top sheet, set aside. "Dock" with the tines of forks in even 1/3" rows to duplicate the look of matzo. Or, just dock all over.
Raise the heat to medium-high. When very hot, turn the dough over into the palm of your hand, remove the waxed paper, and slide into the skillet. Cook for 1 -2 minutes. Peek, invert to the other side when a little blackened all over.
Cook second side just for a moment to firm up, then place on a baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Place in the low oven just to crisp the matzot, 10 minutes. Do not let them darken.
Store in an airtight container or zip-lock bag.
Enjoy for Passover or year-round.
Optional: 1 tsp. (kosher for passover) baking powder. Add with the flours.