Bread is a staple pantry item. Whether it’s toast in the morning, a sandwich for lunch or cornbread and chili for dinner, it’s pretty difficult to go through a day without a slice of bread (even if you’re gluten-free). As a Jew, our love of bread is well known. We’ve got challah, bagels, babka, pita, Yemenite breads and more.
When Passover comes around, the warm and fluffy challah gets traded for dry, flavorless matzah in all its various forms. Rather than attempting to make a bread out of matzah meal, there are several other ways you can get your carb fest on without even opening a box of that aforementioned cardboard.
Gluten-free eaters may be onto something, as they deal with flour substitutes 365 days a year instead of just eight. While many gluten-free flour blends contain chametz like oat flour or kitniyot like rice flour, cornstarch and corn flour, there are several options available that don’t have any grains at all. Nuts and seeds are a surprising substitute, and you can even use produce like cassava and banana for a healthy boost to your baked goods.
Go to the tropics this Passover and try your hand at Brazilian Cheese Bread (pão de queijo) for a cheese-filled chametz-free dinner roll. Made of tapioca or cassava flour, this is more of a gelatinous goo than a typical dough, but it puffs up into crisp cheesy rolls in the oven. You can go with the traditional Parmesan cheese or substitute your favorite cheese.
Nothing sops up matzah ball soup like a thick slice of bread. For Passover, swap out white flour and make this Almond Flour Bread that’s full of nutritional ingredients. With a flavor base that works for both sweet and savory toppings, you’ll definitely want to keep a loaf of this around.
Chances are you’ve got some sweet potatoes left over from the tzimmes you made for the seder. The starch in those potatoes is great for baking and turning into breads, just like this Sweet Potato Flatbread. It’s free of gluten, sugar, dairy, soy, sugar and grains, and you can easily add in your preferred seasonings. For another veggie option, make this Cauliflower Pizza Crust and invite your friends over for a Passover pizza party! You can also bake the crust without any toppings and use it as a flatbread for dips and spreads.
Most of these ingredients can be found in regular grocery stores, but some obscure ingredients like banana flour require some advance planning. If you’re feeling adventurous, order some online and try out these potassium-powerhouse Banana Pancakes. If banana bread is more your jam, there’s a recipe for you, too: Grain-Free Banana Bread. You caramelize the bananas before adding them to the mix, adding sweetness without any extra sugar.
This Passover you won’t be missing your morning bagels or dinner rolls. Put the box of matzah down and try your hand at one of these more creative—and in many cases, nutritional—bread substitutes. And your gluten-free family members and friends will love these all year long!