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Grain-Free Matzo

grain free matzo

For years my friends, family, and readers have been asking me to create a grain-free matzo recipe. This year, instead of throwing matzo together the day of our Seder, I took time during the last few weeks (well prior to Passover) to work on creating an amazing gluten-free, grain-free matzo recipe.

As you can imagine, my house has become a veritable grain-free matzo factory with batch after batch of matzo spread out all over my kitchen counters.

Matzo is an interesting food. Most Jews, including myself will tell you that we don’t really like the taste of matzo. It’s dry and starchy, and for the most part completely lacking in flavor. On the other hand, matzo is an incredible vehicle for a fabulous part of the Seder, the Hillel Sandwich, which is matzo with charoset and maror (horseradish).

Grain-Free Matzo

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  1. In a food processor combine almond flour, coconut flour, and salt
  2. Pulse in egg, olive oil, and water
  3. Divide dough into 2 pieces
  4. Roll out dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to 1/16th-inch thick
  5. Remove top piece of parchment paper
  6. Transfer matzo to a baking sheet
  7. Prick holes in matzo using a fork
  8. Bake at 350° for 10-13 minutes, watching very closely
  9. Cool for 2 hours
  10. Serve

Thankfully, my matzo is fairly tasty. Unfortunately, since it has good taste, texture and flavor, my grain-free matzo does not taste exactly like the real thing –i.e., grain-based matzo. Because of this I recommend that you do what our family does each Passover –buy gluten-free matzo for those on a gluten-free diet, and make this grain-free matzo for folks that are strictly grain-free (like myself) or following a Paleo eating plan.

What is matzo? Referred to as matzoh, matza, as well as matzah, and otherwise known as “the bread of affliction,” matzo is unleavened bread typically made of wheat flour and water. It is traditionally eaten by Jews during the Passover holiday when eating chametz (or grain products that are leavened) is not permitted.

I’m often asked, is matzo gluten-free? Well, the answer is no. Real matzo is made of wheat, something I have not eaten since 1998, and that would make me very sick if I consumed it. I’m also frequently asked what I use in place of matzo meal during Pesach. That is easy to answer –almond flour is my matzo meal and all of my recipes are kosher for Passover.

If you’re looking for a Paleo Passover menu, you’re in luck as I created one last year. That post will help you refine all of your Passover recipe and menu ideas, and of course like everything on my blog, it is both gluten-free and grain-free. I hope you have an incredible Passover and enjoy my matzo. Chag Sameach!


posted on April 11, 2014, 24 comments

  1. Ruth

    A truly yeast-free matza! Fantastic. (Even the passover ones that I’ve seen in the stores have malt, which contains brewer’s yeast.)

    Anxious to try these out!

  2. Charlotte Travis

    Elana,
    Even if I didn’t make it for Passover, it looks like a nice cracker to make for spreading nut butters, guacamole, tuna, egg salad, etc. since I am Paleo and don’t eat bread or crackers made from grains.
    I enjoy getting recipes from your website and I have your book, too.
    Thanks,
    Charlotte

  3. Sheila Glazov @ sheilaglazov.com

    Elana, Thank you for your recipes for Passover. What a treat to be able to celebrate the holiday and enjoying tasty matzo!
    Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach! Sheila

  4. Debra

    Thank you for doing the hard work and then letting us enjoy the recipes.
    So grateful for your gifting in understanding the make up of food and chemistry of ingredients.
    Happy Passover Seder Meal with your family!

  5. Iris

    Thank you so much! I’m strictly paleo now and so can no longer eat the GF oat matzah I’ve used for the past few years.

  6. Lissa

    I am so sad that all these recipes use almond flour. Being allergic to almonds make all these recipes a no-go for me. Any chance there’s a different flour that works as well?

  7. Just a few notes. Matzah is also called the bread of healing. Real Pesach (Passover) matzah is made with only 2 ingredients – special flour and water. If you CAN eat grain, try handmade round “Shmurah” matzah sometime. It’s available most commonly made from wheat but oat and spelt matzah is also made nowadays. Nothing is in it besides flour and water and the entire process, from the time the flour and water touch till they’re out of the oven is under 17 or 18 minutes, so I doubt even yeast from the air is in it.

    Many of us do not use any matzah meal or any wet matzah or ANY processed foods on Pesach, so I’ve always made my Pesach foods using ground nuts, etc. There’s no shortage of various foods though. All that’s needed is a bit of imagination.

    Wishing everyone “a kosher and joyous Pesach!”

  8. Lynne G

    Awesome! Can’t wait to try a batch.

    Elana – always appreciating the efforts you must take to try these recipes out!

  9. Shari from NC

    Hi Elana,

    Thanks for adding nourishment to yet another Jewish festival! I can’t wait to make this recipe!

    I’d also like to make chocolate-covered matzoh; could you please experiment and post a yummy recipe?

    Thanks, and chag sameach,
    Shari from NC

  10. LInda

    Am really loving your Passover recipes. I’m the only gluten, grain free person out of 15 coming, so I mostly just don’t eat my matzo ball soup and the matzo. But this year I will take the time to make a few things for myself. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Katie

    Thanks, Elana! The gluten-free matzo I bought at a store upset my stomach so I’m looking forward to making your recipe. Have a wonderful Passover!

  12. Marilyn

    Thanks for all your hard work in developing recipes! I am starting to collect a repertoire of Paleo Recipes and was excited to see a matzoh recipe. I also will be trying all your Passover recipes. Was wondering if you have used your Matzohs to make Matzoh Brie successfully. I know it works with some gluten free crackers and flatbread. I found I didn’t need to quickly run my Matzohs under warm water as I have traditionally done, because the egg mixture alone softens the cracker pieces.

  13. sami

    How did you poke the little holes so evenly? And at what point do you do it?

  14. Allison @ Clean Wellness @ cleanwellness.ca

    I’m looking for a gluten-free and vegan matzo, but I think this is a great starting point for me! I’m going to try to omit the egg and increase the water and see if it turns out. Thanks for another great recipe!

  15. Grace

    Hi!

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for, for a really long time… It’s really difficult, growing up in a half Jewish family, and not be able to eat ANYTHING! My father and his family were all Jewish, and while my mother didn’t officially convert, she DID teach us about our Jewish Heritage. My father was only orthodox when it suited him, or when we were with my grandparents. He really didn’t teach my brother or me anything about our Jewish Heritage. My mother learned from HIS mother, and from my Dear Aunt & Uncle, Esther & Leon, who have all passed on. I have always been fascinated with the Seder and Passover, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Hanukkah. I have not only been fascinated with this part of my heritage, but also reverent.

    But, as I was saying, it’s really difficult not being able to eat anything! I have so many food allergies, and Celiac Disease, that it makes it virtually impossible to take part in the Seder… I think all I can eat is the parsley & saltwater, the egg, and the maror. The charoset is loaded with walnuts, which I am also allergic to, and I just can’t seem to “win” when I try to take part in a Seder. I can remember the Seders from when I was very young, and I remember being able to eat everything, but the charoset always made my throat close. We found out later, that I am allergic to tree nuts… I’m also allergic to coconut, so I still have a problem with a lot of the recipes you create, but I usually find a way to adapt… But this one sort of baffles me… Do you think that I could use ground flaxseed instead of the almond and coconut flours, in this case? I guess I could try it out and see, but I wondered your opinion on that change. Or, perhaps I could use rice flour and ground flaxseed? And what about the charoset? Do you have any suggestions on how to make it, so that I can make it safe for me to eat? I can still eat peanuts(amazingly), cashews, and pistachios, if I work very hard at removing ALL of the brown papery film that lies between the actual but and the shell… Charoset is supposed to be bitter though, and I don’t know how I could possibly make it that way, with any of the “nuts” I CAN eat… And thoughts or suggestions there? I really haven’t been able to take part in a Seder in a very long time, so maybe I should just not bother, but it IS part of my family heritage, and I don’t want to just “forget about it.”

    Thank you for any suggestions you might be able to make. I love reading your blog, and adapting your recipes so that I CAN eat them. :)

    Blessings!

    • Eliana

      Charoset is sweet (though it reminds us of bitter memories), marror is bitter. You can make charoset by taking fruit and nuts that you are not allergic to and chopping them up finely and adding grape juice/wine.
      Traditional fruits in charoset are dates or apples, but I use pear for an allergic friend. Walnut is traditional but you can use whatever nuts you want, or leave them out entirely.

      • Grace

        Thanks Eliana! You’re right… It’s the maror that is bitter… I was thinking of the walnuts MAKING it bitter, I think. I may have to use some apple AND pear and the dates… Plus we put finely chopped celery in ours… Family recipe… It was walnuts, celery, apples, dates, and my mom always used a blackberry wine… Maybe I’ll work hard at the pistachios, and use those, since I think cashews would make it too sweet. Thank you for the tips! :)

    • Michele

      This recipe might work for you: http://www.glutenfreediva.com/2007/04/gluten-free-matzo/ I was planning on making a version of this with Bob’s GF all purpose flour (it’s ingredients are all starches) for an egg and GF friend.

      I’d make a small batch charoset with cashews since you can have those.

      • Grace

        Thank you Michele! I will have to try that. I love Bob’s Red Mill products, and I always have GF Oat Flour on hand, because I don’t like the consistency of regular baked oatmeal, so I grind my oats into a fine flour and it turns out more like cake, instead of oatmeal… But hey, Blueberry Muffin Cake, looks AND tastes better, somehow, than Blueberry Baked Oatmeal.

        Anyway, I will have to try that, so that I can make some Matzoh of my own. I don’t think it’ll be this year, unless I can commandeer some space in my Mother’s kitchen, as I’m not living with her anymore, but don’t have a GF kitchen of my own at the moment. I can MAKE my Mom’s kitchen GF, if I need to, but this kitchen is shared by several people, none of which have the same dietary restrictions as I do. As for the Charoset, I’m going to work hard at the pistachios, so that it makes me feel like I’ve really done something worthwhile, to make my Charoset special. Like I’ve taken the time to make it my own, if you understand what I mean… Anyone can chop up nuts and turn them into something else, but I really have to work hard to make them edible for myself. I want to work hard at making this batch of Charoset. Is that prideful? I don’t mean for it to be. I just want to put the work into it… I’m hoping it turns out ok. Thank you for the link for the other Matzoh recipe… I hope I can get it made in the traditional 18 minutes, but if not, I’m sure that God will forgive me…

  16. Matzo is great with peanut butter and jelly or honey. This is a must-try for me. Thank you for all your grain-free recipes. I haven’t felt this good in forever.

  17. Batya

    Just an important note: matzah does not have to be made from wheat! It can be made from any of the biblically recognized five grains: wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt. It is possible to purchase gluten-free oat matzah, which is every bit as much “real matzah” as the much more common wheat kind.

  18. Theresa

    Appreciate this recipe. Question: How far in advance can these crackers be made? How best to store them?

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