The other week I got a mysterious souvenir gift: a little jar labelled “Charoset”. I had to go by the picture of dates on the front to guess at its content as all the other words on the jar were in Hebrew. This little mystifying jar had travelled half-war round the world. Not only that, it had to travel most of the way all on its own: It started its trip comfortably nestled in the safety of the suitcase my friend CL was carrying on her way back from Israel. At the airport however security was suspicious of this little vessel with its dark content. So this little jar was packed off all on its own for the long trip to Europe. How foreign that little parcel must have looked on the baggage belt amongst all those huge and well travelled suitcases.
This weekend I was holding this little jar in my hands, impatient to discover its content. But after it had travelled all this way I could hardly just dive in with a spoon for an unceremonious quick taster. Bread was needed! But I had none, not even a single slice was to be found in the freezer. And I certainly did not have the patience to bake a loaf. So I pulled out my favourite recipe for super-fast, emergency skillet bread.
This bread comes together in minutes. It takes no more than a quick stir to make the batter and then a few minutes in a skillet on a stove. The combination of buckwheat and quinoa give this skillet bread a strong nutty flavour. It is a great side for a cheese plate but just as nice with a spoon full of jam – or as it turns out, charoset. When I make it to go with something sweet I often throw in a teaspoon of nigella seeds to enhance the fragrant flavour of the bread. But this time I left it plain as I wanted the charoset to take the star role.
But I had no need to worry, the charoset was one powerful combination of flavours: deeply sweet with a hint of earthy spices. The taste made me even more curious to find out what I was eating. A quick search in Wikipedia revealed it to be “a sweet, dark-coloured, paste made of fruits and nuts eaten at the Passover Seder. Its colour and texture are meant to recall mortar (or mud used to make adobe bricks) which the Israelites used when they were enslaved in Ancient Egypt. The word “charoset” comes from the Hebrew word cheres “clay.”
A big thank you to CL for this lovely gift and amazing discovery that doubled as a good excuse to share my recipe for this humble but ever so versatile and tasty skillet bread.
(found on the blog ‘Natural Noshing’)
40g (1/3 cup) quinoa flour
40g (1/3 cup) buckwheat flour
80ml (1/3 cup) water
80ml (1/3 cup) unsweetened rice milk*
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
optional: nigella seeds (DE: Schwarzkuemmel, NL: zwarte komijn)
- Combine the quinoa and buckwheat flour.
- Make a well in the center. Add in the water, milk, lemon juice and the egg. Use a fork or whisk to beat together the egg and the liquid and then the mix with the flour.
- Allow to stand for 5 min. While you heat a skillet (20 cm / 8 inch) over medium heat.
- Sift the baking powder into the batter.
- Grease the pan with a little oil.
- Pour in all the batter.
- Cook for 6-7 minutes.
- Flip and cook for another 5-6 minutes.
- Serve warm and cut into wedges.
Tips & Variations
- instead of the rice milk you can of course use regular or other grain based milks
- the original recipe also suggest replacing the milk and lemon juice with yoghurt, but I have not tested this
- besides nigella seeds you can experiment with other spices or fresh herbs
- cheese and fresh grapes
- butter and jam