There’s something about the challenge of making Passover matzoh within the 18 minute rule. Last year I made a simple round gluten-free matzoh . This year I got the timer ready, put on my big girl apron and made 18-minute square matzoh. And the matzoh are almost really square, if you squint.
Though technically not kosher for Passover, homemade gluten-free matzoh is still totally suitable for the holiday for many Jews. I am quoting my favorite Rabbi (that would be my little brother):
Pikuach Nefesh — the preservation of life and well-being — is what the Reform Movement would invoke in order allow for someone to consume non-kosher food during Pesach…..If the homemade matzah consists of kosher for Pesach flour, is cooked in a kosher kitchen and oven, and you follow the 18-minute rule, you’ve got an authentic Passover concoction. Anything other than that, and it’s not kosher for Pesach. Having said that, most in the Reform Movement would consider what you’re doing just fine, since you’re creating something in the same way that kosher for Pesach matzah would be made.
This matzoh will cost you about $2 to make at home. You get 6-8 squares. You probably already know how much a GF box of matzoh at the store or online costs – if you can find one. It’s nice to have options.
Here’s how you do it and beat the clock. Get all of your ingredients ready to assemble. Heat the oven to 450 or even 500 if your kitchen can handle it. Get the parchment cut and ready, along with your rolling-pin and that extra tapioca or potato starch to keep everything from sticking. Don’t forget a docker
(or use a fork). And only when the flour/salt is in the bowl and your hot water is ready to pour – then you start the clock.
It is a ridiculously easy recipe. Just be generous with the salt because it really helps the flavor. And if you want fancy schmancy matzoh, add some seeds or sea salt on top. Use whatever flour blend you love – just stick to the weight. I used kosher GF flour (Authentic Foods). If you spoon the flour into a measuring cup, it is about 2 cups total, but weighing is more accurate (yep, get that scale please.)
The most difficult part is rolling it out thin enough. Just when you think it might be right, roll it some more. You want it to be crazy thin. Think wispy paper-thin, not sugar cookie thin. A thin dough bakes up faster, tastes more like matzoh when it cools off and you get more pieces from one recipe.
Including gathering your materials and preheating the oven, you can have your matzoh and eat it, too – in under 30 minutes. That’s almost faster than driving to the store and certainly way less expensive. Happy Passover.
|Matzoh Squares, Gluten Free||
- 8 oz. of GF flour plus a little more starch for rolling (4 oz. superfine brown rice, 4 oz. tapioca starch) or (8 oz. any GF AP mix) (about 2 cups, spooned not dipped)
- 1 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
- 4-5 oz. filtered hot water (about ½ cup-ish)
- optional: poppy or sesame seeds (or both), sea salt
- 4 baking sheets lined with parchment
- medium mixing bowl and fork
- a kitchen scale (yes, you should have one! really)
- extra sheets of parchment or plastic wrap for rolling
- extra tapioca starch for rolling (to avoid sticking)
- heavy rolling-pin
- fluted pastry cutter or small knife to score the matzoh squares
- docking instrument (a docker or a fork)
- tongs (to flip the matzoh while they are baking…hot!)
- racks for cooling baked matzoh
- Preheat oven to 450 or 500. Line four baking sheets with parchment. Don’t use a silpat – the oven temp is too hot. Get more parchment or plastic wrap pieces cut for using on top of the dough when rolling.
- Get all your ingredients and implements ready to go.
- In a medium-sized bowl, weigh the flour and add the salt. Stir and make a well in the center. Set the timer (go!) and THEN add 4 oz. of water to the well in the center of the flour. Using a fork quickly work in the flour. If you need more water, add a little bit just until the dough comes together – it will seem a little dry. Grab it with your hands and knead slightly. Divide into 6 or 8 pieces. Grab a parchment sheet from one baking pan and slide onto the counter, sprinkle a little tapioca flour on it. Drop two pieces of dough onto the parchment far apart. Sprinkle more tapioca starch on top. Top with more parchment or plastic wrap and roll as best you can into a thin square (or a round). Hurry hurry. Remove the top plastic or parchment. Using the fluted pastry cutter or knife, make two neat squares. Dock using the tool or a fork. Slide the parchment back onto the baking sheet. Place in oven and time for 6 minutes. They should curl up slightly which is part of their homemade charm. If they look too blond, use the tongs to flip the matzoh (carefully because they might stick slightly but they will release). Bake a couple of minutes more.
- Repeat until all the pieces are used up. I bake two sheets at once. Get them all baked within 18 minutes and you can totally brag about that. Cool on a rack and enjoy.