Try This! Homemade Matzo

Most commercially-made matzo is about as tasty as the cardboard box it comes in. We imagine that making it ourselves has to be an improvement and we're curious to give it a try. Has anyone made homemade matzo before?

The downside to making matzo at home is that it's difficult to keep it kosher. Jewish law gives us only 18 minutes from the time the flour is first mixed with water to get the breads cooked. If you're speedy and work in small batches, you can just accomplish this at home. It also helps to have a few helpers to keep the process going smoothly!

The larger difficulty might be finding the right kind of flour. The flour used to make commercial matzo comes from wheat that has been grown, harvested, and processed following Jewish law. While most grains are off-limits during Passover, we weren't able to find much definitive information on whether kosher flour is available and if it's ok to use in making matzo. Can anyone shed light on this?

If you're ok with those two caveats, definitely give homemade matzo a try!

Homemade Matzo
with grateful acknowledgment to Flatbreads and Flavors by Jeffrey Alfrod and Naomi Duguid, and A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking by Marcy Goldman
Makes 8-12 flatbreads

2 cups flour, wheat, white, or a mix
1 cup water

Pre-heat the oven to 475°. Have ready a two baking sheets lined with parchment, a rolling pin, and a fork for pricking holes.

When the oven has pre-heated, mix together the flour and water. Knead briefly until the dough comes together into a smooth ball, 3-5 minutes. If the dough sticks to your hands or the counter, add flour a teaspoon at a time until it is no longer sticky.

Cut the dough into egg-sized pieces and sprinkle the counter with flour. Working with one piece at a time, roll out the dough as thin as you can. Transfer to a baking sheet and prick it all over to prevent the dough from puffing in the oven.

Repeat until the baking sheet is full. The breads won't spread, so you can put the breads fairly close together. Bake until crisp, 3-4 minutes.

While the first batch is baking, prepare the second batch. Continue baking and rolling until all the matzo has been cooked (or your 18 minutes are up!).

If you don't need to keep kosher, you can add a teaspoon or two of salt, honey, spices, or olive oil to the initial mix. You can also try substituting some of the water with yogurt or experiment with different kinds of flour for different flavors and textures.

Flatbreads and Flavors by Jeffrey Alfrod and Naomi Duguid, and A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking by Marcy Goldman are both available on Amazon.

Related: Tip: Cook Quinoa for Passover

(Image: Flickr member RonAlmog licensed under Creative Commons)

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