Why is this holiday different from all other holidays? For starters, you eat a lot of matzo. Passover, which begins tonight with the first seder or holiday feast, commemorates the exodus of the ancient Israelites from Egypt, after they were freed from slavery. According to tradition, they were forced to leave in such a hurry, that there was no time for their bread dough to rise. Because of that, eating bread or anything leavened is a no-no for the eight days of the holiday.
Typically, on the first night, matzo is a pleasant and crunchy change of pace. By day three or four --- not so much. That's when you start to have un-kosher daydreams about sandwiches. To help keep observers of Passover from having another sin to atone for at Yom Kippur, we're delighted that cookbook author and pastry chef Marcy Goldman shared with us her recipe for a fun holiday treat, special rolls made from matzo meal.
"These inventive matzo rolls, a classic of Passover, can be filled with tuna or egg salad for Passover brown bag lunches, used as hotdog buns, or serve them as a breakfast roll," says Goldman, who is the host of BetterBaking.Com.
She adds that you can be creative with the size and shape of the rolls: "You can make them big or small, oval or round, use a pastry bag to make them professional looking or just deposit the wet dough with a spoon on the baking sheet."
Think of these rolls as Jewish popovers. They're crispy on the outside and light and airy on the inside. They get nice and puffy, thanks to a preponderance of eggs, the key ingredient in nearly every Passover recipe.
Incredible Passover Rolls
From: Marcy Goldman's The 10th Anniversary Edition of A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking.
Note: if you're feeding a crowd, you can double the recipe.)
Makes: About 6 - 10 rolls, depending on how big you make them.
1 cup water
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups matzo meal
*1/2 to 1 cup diced, sautéed onions (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a large cookie sheet with nonstick foil or parchment paper.
2. In a medium saucepan, over low heat, combine the water, salt and sugar. Add the oil and heat until the mixture begins to simmer. Turn off the heat and immediately add the matzo meal. Stir in the matzo meal with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan.
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3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl or a food processor and allow it to cool for about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, either whisking briskly by hand or with the food processor. (Just blend until the eggs are incorporated, don't over-mix.) *To make onion rolls, fold in the sautéed onions now.
4. Depending on how big you want the rolls to be, use an ice cream scoop or a large spoon to put rounds of dough onto the baking sheet. To create hot dog buns, shape the dough into appropriately sized ovals. You can oil or wet your hands to give the rolls the form you want, or just push them into shape with a spoon.
5. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes, until the rolls are light brown and puffy. (After 30 minutes, start checking them every 5 minutes, to make sure they're not getting too brown.)
6. Put the rolls on a cookie rack to cool, where they will quickly disappear. In the unlikely event that any are left over store them in an airtight container in the fridge. These rolls also freeze well.