What do you get when you add a history lesson (via Wikipedia) to a recipe?? My second ’30 Before 30′ challenge!
Matzoh (also spelled Matza, Matzah, Matzo, Matsah, Matsa, and Matze) is a cracker-like unleavened bread made of white plain flour and water. The dough is pricked in several places and not allowed to rise before or during baking, thereby producing a hard flatbread. One of the many numerous explanations behind the meaning of matzoh is that Passover is a commemoration of the exodus from Egypt. The biblical narrative relates that the Israelites left Egypt in such haste, they could not wait for their bread dough to rise. This is why there must be no more than 18 minutes from the time the water is mixed with the flour until the time the dough is put into the oven. The resulting product? Matzoh.
And according to Western Christian belief, matzoh was the bread used by Jesus in the Last Supper as there he was celebrating Passover. For example, Communion wafers used by Roman Catholics (as well as some Protestant sects, like Episcopalians) for the Eucharist are flat.
I’ve seen the many recipes for Matzoh Ball Soup or Matzoh Brei, but never ran across one for plain Matzoh. And instead of buying it, I figured it was a perfect challenge for me. Now that it’s made, I’ve got Matzoh meal for a number of great recipes, so stay tuned!
2 c kosher flour (see note)
1 c spring water
Preheat oven to 450 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place flour in a large bowl. Gradually add the water until you have a soft, kneadable dough (add a bit more water or flour if needed). Knead about five minutes.
Break off egg-sized portions of dough. Stretch as thinly as you can before rolling into thin, oval slabs that are as thin as possible (1/8″ to 1/4″ thick). Prick each slab all over with a fork or pastry docker. Place on baking sheet and as soon as sheet is filled with matzohs, place in oven. Bake until crisp and buckled, about 3 minutes. Cool and eat.
Note: To be completely kosher in making matzoh, use a kosher flour (Kemach Shel Matzah Shamura), clean all kitchen tools & equipment thoroughly (including your oven) and make sure that the entire process (from the time the water is added to the flour until the dough is placed in the oven) takes less than 18 minutes.