Matzah is mentioned in the Torah several times in relation to The Exodus from Egypt:
From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day, you are to eat matzah. —Exodus 12:18
The flour can be made from the five grains mentioned in the Torah: wheat, barley, spelt, rye and oats.
Matzah dough is quickly mixed and rolled out without an autolyse step as used for leavened breads. Most forms are pricked with a fork or a similar tool to keep the finished product from puffing up, and the resulting flat piece of dough is cooked at high temperature until it develops dark spots, then set aside to cool and, if sufficiently thin, to harden to crispness. Dough is considered to begin the leavening process 18 minutes from the time it gets wet.
There are two major forms of matza. In many western countries the most common form is the hard form of matza which is cracker-like in appearance and taste and is used in all Ashkenazic and most Sephardic communities. Yemenites, and Iraqi Jews traditionally made a form of soft matza which looks like Greek pita or like a tortilla. Soft matza is made only by hand, and generally with shmurah flour.
In early April 2015, I made a few batches of matzo bread for the first time. It was a super thin, crispy "bread." Each disk was slightly larger than a saucer plate.
On my first attempt, I used 100% all-purpose flour. For batch number two, I used 100% white whole wheat flour. For batch number three, I pulverized spelt berries or kernels in our Vitamix. I used 100% spelt flour for this batch. I liked the white whole wheat version the best thus far. I would like to make versions with milled spelt, rye, and red whole wheat.
I adapted from this recipe:
White Whole Flour
- 150 g www
- 100 g water
Mix the two ingredients into a ball, kneading for a couple minutes.
Divide ball in half multiple times until 8 pieces. Then round each piece into a ball.
Flatten and roll out each dough ball into a paper-thin disk, approx 6 to 9 inches in diameter. Add flour to counter, dough, and/or rolling pin to keep dough from sticking to pin.
Preheat oven at 475 degrees with baking sheet on the top rung in the oven.
I could only bake four at a time. I used nothing else on the baking sheet. I placed the disks directly on the pre-heated sheet.
Bake for 2 to 2.5 min, flip the disks, and then bake for another 2 to 2.5 min until brown.
A total time of 5 min seemed to be too long, so I'll stick with around 2 min and 15 secs per side.
After baking, placed thin, sturdy, crispy disks on a cooling rack.
Brushed olive oil on only the top side.
Sprinkled on some sea salt and/or pepper.
Not much to it. One night, I topped one baked disk with pasta sauce and Turkey Foot Creek goat cheese chevre and warmed it in the microwave to melt the cheese. Mini pizza.
The bread was good dipped in DD's homemade hummus.
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