My partner’s father’s partner is a Danish-born Israeli who has lived in Sweden for many years now. When I mentioned that I love some Israeli cuisine and also plant-based proteins, we had a lot to talk about and too of recipes to share! We talked about matzos, the unleavened cracker bread typical of Jewish cuisine (eaten at Passover). Since matzos don’t contain yeast, they are thin and crispy. Now the reason for not using yeast during Passover is a traditional one, dating back to stories of Moses in The Torah. It became tradition to celebrate Moses freeing the Jewish people from Slavery, though Passover customs. One of the customs is to make the bread Moses and the people made, in a hurry for their travels, had to be unleavened. Even if the story of how matzos were born doesn’t mean much to you, the idea of making a quick, nutrition-laden cracker bread might.
So Susan kindly shared with me her personal (and healthier) take on the matzo recipe she grew up with.
It’s so great and so simple, and healthy! I like crunchy foods and given all the plant-based dips and pates I like to make, these are the perfect accompaniment. Now, I only watched and scribbled down information as Susan made these, so the pictures are not my work.
The ingredients speak for themselves, nutty, healthy and delicious. Although the seeds’ nutritional properties are diminished when these ingredients are baked, you’ll be hard pushed to find a brand that doesn’t bake a product like this containing seeds. And it tastes good, which sometimes (or always?), must come first. These are far better than seeded cracker or matzos that I’ve bought in the supermarkets or health food stores because the helping of seeds is far more generous. You can’t taste the cornflour base at all in the recipe.
This portion serves 2 as a lazy day snack with a dip or pate (whilst watching a film). If you do have some left over, which I doubt, store in a tightly-sealed container in a cool dry place.
Thank you so much for this recipe, Susan.
20 minutes + 1 hour to oven-bake minimum
Sesame seeds, black or white or mixed, 1/2 dl
Sunflower seeds, 1 dl
Pumpkin seeds, 1 dl
Flaxseeds, 1 dl
Sea salt, 1/2 tbsp + some for sprinkling if you wish
Warm water, 1 dl minimum
Extra-virgin olive oil, 1/3 dl
Cornflour, fine, 1 dl
Other seasoning of your choice, a few sprinkles on top
Susan’s recipe comes in decilitres (dl), which is a typical way to measure out ingredients in Sweden. I am not used to using dl, or cups for the matter, but just to clarify, 1 dl is approximately 1/2 a cup. If you want a rougher estimation that you’re more comfortable with, you could use 50g/100g as 1 dl of each or 25g/50g for 1/2 dl. As long as the ratios are accurate, it doesn’t really matter. They only thing is the volume of mixture will vary.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees celsius.
2. In one bowl, add warm water to the cornflour stir until you have a smooth paste.
3. Add the olive oil and stir well into the cornflour mixture.
4. In another bowl, add all the seeds and stir well.
5. Then add the cornflour mixture, and using your hands, knead and mix until smooth. You might need to add drizzles of water as you go along, because the texture should be very sticky and all the seeds well ‘stuck’ into the cornflour mixture.
6. Now, cut two pieces of baking paper to the size of your baking tray. For this mixture, a baking tray approximately the size of newspaper cover is ideal for one round of baking, if you only have a small baking tray, you might need two rounds of baking for this.
7. Using a rolling pin, place the mixture between the two sheets of baking paper and roll until smooth, even and very thin. The thinner the better (and quicker for baking). I would say around 3-4mm is ideal but it rally depends on your tastes.
8. When smooth, even and thin remove the top covered baking paper and place the rolled out uncooked seeded matzo on the baking tray.
9. Season as you wish. With Maldon sea salt, ground black pepper, chilli flakes, dried thyme, dried rosemary, the list goes on. You could split the mixture into smaller batches to try out different toppings too.
10. Place in the oven and bake for at least an hour. You’ll need more time if you roll out a thicker matzo. The ingredients essentially dry out in the oven and then bake very lightly until crisp. Keep an eye out so as not to burn them. It could even take less time if your oven is efficient and you rolled out your matzo very finely.
11. Remove the baked matzo from the oven and set aside to cool. When cooled, break into pieces with your hands and enjoy with anything you like or just as they are with a nice cup of tea.
Add some poppy seeds instead of (or in addition to) one of the other seed ingredients. Play around with the amounts of seeds based on your personal tastes.
Substitute the cornflour for rye flour or another flour of your preference. Drizzle with raw local honey when cooling for a sweet version.