You might be wondering why in the world would I eat insects, let alone make a bread out of them. Actually, you wouldn't be surprised I have cooked and ate insects if you've seen most of my previous recipes(ex. chocolate pigs feet, chicken liver meatloaf). It was only a matter of time before I started featuring insects on this channel, and rather than just going with the gateway insect when it comes to beginning to practice entomophagy(the consumption of insects by humans), crickets, I decided to dive head in and eat locusts that have been boiled and dehydrated to form a powder.
I specifically used locusts in this recipe because this week is Passover and the 8th plague of Passover was the swarm of locusts that devoured the crops in Ancient Egypt. Basically, I have eaten the plague! That sound really disgusting, even though the end product I ended up with wasn't that bad. Just like with regular matzo, you wouldn't want to eat this locust matzo plain because it is bland without anything on it. But it's so tasty when you put something like peanut butter, jelly, or butter on top of it. The matzo has a smell and taste that is a cross between nuts and coffee(or plain lettuce).
You can also turn this locust matzo into matzo brie, which is matzo and egg fried together. As a Jew, I remember my mom making matzo brie for me every Passover. Then after she passed away, my grandma made matzo brie. Then my grandma moved to North Carolina. So I'm continuing on the family tradition of making matzo brie, albeit with locust matzo.
If my grandma was still living at home, I probably would've pranked her by telling her I made chocolate matzo. Then when she tastes it and realizes instantly that this matzo tastes nothing like chocolate, I would then reveal to her that the matzo was made from locusts. At this point, she probably would've freaked out and said I was a little stinker.
Unfortunately, since my dad is the cameraman for this channel, he was obviously in on the secret of the matzo, so he said flat out that he wouldn't consent to eating this matzo. I seem to be the only person in my family that's an adventurous eater.
Western civilization(i.e. North America and Europe) needs to get their act together and start eating insects for the sake of the future of planet Earth, because cows fart so much methane that it's contributing to climate change. Plus insects take up less resources like water.
But apparently the general population needs to be gently pushed into eating insects, which is why there are several startups that make energy bars and cookies with cricket flour that are masked with chocolate and peanut butter. Most people are too chicken(no pun intended) to cook with or eat insects like earthworms, scorpions, and silkworm pupa(which are some of the other insect powders that you can buy on www.thailandunique.com, the sourceo f the locust powder I used.
Now I didn't know what to expect when I first opened the bag of locust powder, which is why I filmed myself opening the bag on camera.
As I was mixing together the dough, it wasn't forming a stable dough(it was liquidy), so I wondered whether this going to be a failed recipe. That same thought crossed my mind when I was kneading the dough. Maybe it was my ego speaking but with enough patience and persistence, you can successfully knead any dough. It just takes a lot of time- and flour. It took longer to knead the dough than to actually cook the matzo.
Matzo needs to be baked for a short amount of time(3-4 minutes) at a very high temperature(475 degrees Fahrenheit), which will turn your oven into a hot kitchen that is not unlike conditions you would see in a professional kitchen in the middle of a dinner service. I was definitely sweating throughout the recording of this video. It also didn't help matters that my kitchen has no air conditioner(yet).
The color of the locust powder(a slightly lighter hue than cocoa powder) made it look like I was kneading s**t on my kitchen counter! Yes that thought crossed my mind.
Normally, when I make bread, I usually use a quick bread recipe(except for that rainbow bread I made last summer- that recipe involved yeast). I don't knead dough often, so I had to remember how to do it based on previous experiences, like with the chocolate pasta.
I would definitely cook insects again in the future. Once you get your biases set aside, insects don't taste horrible. They're just an acquired taste. That's all.
Makes 15 thin matzo crackers
Locust Powder- http://www.thailandunique.com/locust-flour-powder
You will need:
A large bowl
A rolling pin
A baking tray
For the matzo:
At least 3-4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups of water(the ratio of flour to water is 2:1 and I just realized I calculated incorrectly when I made the matzo. For 2 2/3 cups of a powder, you need 1 1/3 cups of water, not 1 2/3 cups, like I used in the video. Maybe that's why I had to use so much extra flour. Sorry!)
2/3 cups(100 grams) of locust powder(see helpful link)
2 tbsp. of olive oil(to reduce the taste of the insects in the final product, use a fat or oil of some kind)
Butter, peanut butter, or jelly to top the matzo(highly recommended)
1. Pour all ingredients into a large bowl.
2. Stir all the ingredients together until you get a solid, cohesive dough.
3. Flour your surface(ex. kitchen counter) with flour and pour the dough onto the surface.
4. Knead the dough until you get a firm dough ball that isn't sticky to the touch. It took me 20 minutes to fully knead the dough, but your mileage may vary. At least it's a good arm workout!
5. Break the dough into egg-sized dough balls.
6. Flour your surface and flatten each small dough ball using a rolling pin until the dough is very thin. Make sure the dough doesn't stick to the rolling pin!
7. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and put the flattened matzo dough onto the paper. The dough isn't going to expand in size during the cooking process, so it's OK to space the matzo dough pieces close together.
8. Poke holes in the flattened matzo dough with a fork so that the matzo doesn't puff up during the cooking process.
9. Bake in a 475 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven for 3-4 minutes.
10. Top the matzo with peanut butter, jelly, or butter. It will taste better. Or you can make matzo brie out of the matzo(suggested site on how to do this: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/16045/matzo-brei/.
11. Bon appetit!