The Passover Roll, as seen above, accompanying matzo ball soup, is a bit of a culinary enigma. Before having seders with my wife’s family, I had never encountered them before.
My family (admittedly reform Jews) on both sides traditionally would have matzohs during the seder, the kugels, and of course, the matzo ball soup. But the idea of having ersatz bread or rolls during Passover was a bit alien to me, and questionably pesasik.
The whole point is that you are not supposed to eat bread during Passover, right? You’re supposed to want for it.
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Indeed, Pesadich rolls are made with matzo meal. Still, they have the consistency, taste, and physical properties of a cream puff, ideally suited for stuffing with tuna fish, cold cuts, egg salad, PB&J, cream cheese and smoked salmon, or even whipped cream or custard.
My favorite way to eat them is dunked in the savory broth and broken up into matzo ball soup, where it sucks up the liquid like a sponge.
Passover Rolls (or Passover Cream Puff shells)
⅔ Cup Water
⅓ Cup Peanut Oil (Butter for cream puffs)
1 Cup Matzo Meal (use Matzo Cake Meal for cream puffs. If you cannot find Matzo Meal, buy a few boxes of whatever flavor of Matzos you like and blitz them in the food processor.)
1 tsp. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
Healthier alternative version (ingredient weight instead of volume):
1 1/3 cup Water (152 grams)
2/3 cup Peanut Oil (76 grams)
2 cups Whole Wheat Matzo Meal (9 oz)
1.5 tsp Honey (7 grams)
1/2 tsp Salt (3 grams)
13 oz Egg Beaters
Follow the instructions below. Use a scoop to make even rolls, each about 3.8 oz. Add a few drops of water to a tsp of egg beaters, use your fingertips to smooth the surface, and brush with some eggs. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired. Cut a shallow X into the top before baking for 60 minutes.
As soon as they are done, poke a hole with a sharp knife in each and put them back in the oven with the door open so they cool slowly and don’t deflate.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Boil the water and oil together, add the dry ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon to mix well. Allow to cool slightly and, using a handheld beater, beat in the eggs, one at a time. Allow to rest for a few minutes.
Line a sheet pan with parchment or Silpat. Portion dough into balls using a disher, drop into wet hands (with oil or water), and gently roll into a ball.
For (about 20) bite-sized cream puffs, use a very small disher and bake for 25-30 minutes; for (10-12) dinner rolls or larger cream puffs, use a medium-sized disher and bake for about 40 minutes; for (5-6) larger rolls for sandwiches, use a large disher and bake for 50-60 minutes. Bake until golden.
For cream puffs, allow to cool completely, then cut open and gently hollow out the soft interior using a spoon. Fill with whipped or pastry cream.
Roast Beef Sandwiches with Whole Wheat Matzo Rolls.
For something savoury, one might fill with some type of a cream cheese, spring onion, and lox mixture, no?
I am definitely making these primarily because you have made it seem so clear and simple .. oh yeah, and I have those few ingredients on hand this week …
Jason! You’re back! I lost track of your blog when you were abroad!
Good to have you back!
If you are going to fill with something soft and creamy, like the mixture Melissa describes above, I’d remove the soft interior first. My favorite filling is tuna salad. Or, chopped liver. Egg salad is would be acceptable, but since the rolls are very eggy, it is a little over-eggy. Leftover turkey is excellent, you don’t need mayo since the interior is so soft, it’s almost creamy.
It is basically a pate a choux, look at the technique. I made three different variations yesterday. Two different recipes, one from my Grandma Bessie, and one from her sister, Aunt Ida, same ingredients, just different proportions. Then my mom said I had Aunt Ida’s wrong, too much matzo meal (1 1/4 cups). But Jason and I both thought her’s needed more salt (like Bessie’s), so the above recipe is what we think makes the best variation. It yields nice round rolls, with a firm crust. If you like your crust firmer, add another couple tablespoons of matzo meal. If you want a flatter roll for sandwiches, add a splash more water and oil.
Yesterday, I was watching a Tivo’d episode of Martha Stewart’s show and what do you know? Joan Nathan was on Thursday demonstrating “Passover Popovers”! Here’s a link to her recipe:
She uses quite a bit more liquid and egg to 1 cup of matzo meal than I do, but then cooks it out a little by mixing in the matzo meal over heat until it coats the bottom of the pot – just like pate a choux. It is also baked hotter at first, then longer at 350. They showed the finished product and it was totally hollow. Perhaps I’ll try this version next time I need them to be hollow.
RAchel, would love to hear from you….hope all is well. This recipe is a great help..I have an observant friend with breast cancer, and she was very distressed to not be able to bring a dish to her extended families table..this saved the day, and I only filled half, spoke with her mom who was more than willing and had many ideas for fillings.
FYI- Peanut oil is NOT kosher for Passover. Of course, if you use another kind of oil (olive?), it should be fine.
I should have to try this. I am fond of baking pastries with my hubby. This looks delicious for dinner.
It’s PESACHDIK, not pesadich…”pesadich” is incorrect American pronunciation of Yiddish…
Okay, but did you make the rolls? :)
these are so easy to make and turned out great! thanks for posting and happy passover!
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