Today is Passover and I am extending my best wishes to all my friends of Jewish faith in Lebanon and throughout the world. As a token of celebration I am making some matzos with a Lebanese twist. These matzos are flavored with zaatar I bought from Abu Kassem in Zawtar (south Lebanon), the world’s foremost expert on Lebanese zaatar. Abu Kassem sells his zaatar, both the herb and the mix (with or without salt) at Souk el-Tayeb.
I used a recipe template from the NY Times and adapted it slightly. The matzos are extra light, redolent with the fragrance of zaatar, toasted sesame seeds and olive oil. I need to make a stash next time, to keep a supply around!
INGREDIENTS: 12 matzos
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup of water
- Extra flour, as needed
- 1/3 cup of zaatar mix
- 1/3 cup of olive oil, or more as needed
- Place the flours in the bowl of a food processor along with the salt. Start the machine and let it combine the flours and salt a few seconds; add the olive oil through the feed tube; add the water and stop the machine when the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a work surface sprinkled with flour and knead it for a few seconds making sure it is smooth and not sticky, adding a few sprinkles of flour if it needs it.
- Roll the dough into a fat sausage and cut in half; cut each half in two; roll the halves to get them thinner somewhat and cut in three pieces. You are done. Preheat the oven to 525F. Prepare the zaatar by making a paste with the zaatar and the olive oil.
- Take one piece of dough and press it between your palms until it is flattened and forms a disk, about 4 inches in width. Using a rolling pin, roll the disk out until it is so thin that it is transparent, forming it into a free-form oval. Gingerly lift it up and place it on an ungreased cookie sheet. With the back of a small spoon, rub a couple of teaspoons of zaatar paste (including some oil) into the matzo, trying to spread it throughout.
- Bake for 3 minutes, watching the oven like a hawk; when bubbles form and the edges look brown, flip the matzo and bake it on the other side, about 1 or 2 minutes. The matzo should feel dry and crisp. Cool and serve.
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