So good, you’ll want more when Pesach is over!
True, the gluten-free version won’t fulfill the matzah mitzvah but it’s as close as we can get without damaging my kids, so this is what we eat during Pesach. Actually, this is so tasty, we eat it all year round.
I was very excited when I read Mark Bittman’s recipe for Olive Oil Matzo the other year, and that excitement was fulfilled after a bit of tinkering around to make a gluten-free version. We follow Sephardic minhag regarding kitniyot, hence my use of rice flour and sorghum. I like grapeseed oil for this since it’s so well suited for the high heat involved and for its pleasant, mild flavor.
If you don’t have any issues with gluten, just substitute all-purpose wheat flour for the same amount of all-purpose gluten-free flour blend in the final recipe for tasty wheat matzah.
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. Get out some heavy baking sheets that have lips (the matzah tends to slide around a bit, and will hang off the edges of completely flat baking sheets). You do not need to grease the baking sheets.
Get all of you ingredients ready. If you want to replicate the matzah experience halachically, you’ll need to have the finished product completely baked and done 18 minutes from the second the water touches the flour. Get that minute timer ready!
Gluten-Free and Gluten-Filled Grapeseed Oil Matzah:
2 cups GF flour blend or the same amount of all-purpose wheat flour
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup water
When your oven is hot, put the flour, sea salt and grapeseed oil into your food processor and pulse until well blended. Start your timer as you pour the water into the mix in a steady stream with the processor running. As soon as the mixture forms a large ball, stop the motor.
If you’re making gluten-free matzot:
- Pinch off a ball of dough equal to about 1/8 of the mixture. Press this ball out flat on one of the heavy baking sheets. I like to start near one of the corners, pushing the dough out flat into the corner and edges and out towards the center. You want to get the dough so thin, you can see the pan beneath it. Don’t worry if it’s not completely even, if your fingers form tiny bunny hills in the dough. Remember, your 18 minutes are ticking away!
- Once your first chunk is done, move onto the next. You can flatten the dough onto the baking sheets so that the edges of each individual flatbread touch, just don’t overlap them. There’s no importance to the amount of dough you use for each piece, although the smaller the pieces, the more crispy edge you’ll get to enjoy.
If you’re making gluten-filled matzot:
- Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Pat each portion into a round, then roll it out to a rough 6-8″ circle. The dough should be so thin, you can almost see through it. Set each flattened piece onto an ungreased baking sheet and move quickly on to the next. Your 18 minutes are ticking away!
For both gluten-free and gluten-filled versions:
- Once you’ve got the dough all pressed out, use a fork to poke aesthetically pleasing holes into the flatbread, as few or as many as you like. The gluten-free matzot won’t puff up like wheat matzah, but they will puff up a bit if you go easy on the holes. Sprinkle with a bit more sea salt if you’d like.
- Put your baking trays into your hot oven. Check after 2-3 minutes, just to see how everything looks. It’s likely that you’ll need all of the remaining 18 minutes for the gluten-free matzot; wheat flour matzot tend to bake more quickly. If you’re not bothered with the halachic timing rule, your gluten-free matzah will be even better if you let it bake until it’s uniformly browned along the edges and on the bumpy bits. Once everything is baked to your satisfaction, remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before moving pieces to a rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container. Great with haroset and horseradish, of course. But when the holiday is over, break free of your Passover menu and treat it like the delicious flatbread it is. Serve it with a good cheese and some olives, with peanut butter and jelly, with sliced turkey, fresh greens, and Sriracha, with whatever you desire. It’s also good plain. Really.
It’s easy to mix up your own all-purpose gluten-free flour. This is the blend I’m using right now, although I’m always tinkering with it, depending on who I’m baking for (some people can have nut flours, some can’t, some flours are better for cakes, some for cookies, some for savory dishes, etc).
Gluten-Free Flour Blend
2 cups rice flour
2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/3 cups potato starch
2/3 cups tapioca starch/flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
Whisk everything together well. Can be multiplied for larger batches. You can substitute all sorts of flours for the rice flour, but don’t use brown rice flour for all of it (it’s too heavy). It’s fun to experiment with buckwheat, brown rice, coconut, almond, quinoa, garbanzo, fava bean – Tinker away to get a blend that you like.
Once you’ve got your GF flour blend, mix up some gluten-free matzah or whatever else you’d like to bake.