Homemade non-kosher matzoh

March 20, 2010 in baking, bread, Food Porn

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Sometimes a recipe inspires me to jump up, spend way more energy than I have, to make it immediately. This recipe today was that for me.

I watched Mark Bittman’s video on making these non-kosher matzoh which seemed quite easy to make and they look fantastic.



There are several things which make a matzoh kosher (and then another layer of rules to make it kosher for Passover). These include the composition of the flour used, the type of liquid used, the careful handling of the dough so that it doesnt begin to ferment, the time from starting to make the dough to the time of baking (18 minutes max), and supervision by a rabbi.

I think this recipe is likely non-kosher in every way except the use of relatively pure flour. Bittman says that this recipe is essentially the same as Sardinian “carta musica” or “pane carasau” although this recipe for matzoh is not baked twice.

If you live in the USA and are not Jewish you may not know much about matzoh other than that you have likely seen matzoh in the stores around this time of year – this is because Passover is coming!

In very short – Passover is the Jewish holiday that commemorates the escape of the Jews from slavery to the Pharaoh in Egypt. A ritual meal is eaten on the first night of Passover, called a seder. For an extensive description of this meal visit this wikipedia link – Passover Seder.

Remember that Jesus was Jewish so it makes sense that what is celebrated in the communion rite of the Christian Mass as the Last Supper was actually a passover seder, which it was. In art that depicts the last supper you often see hunks of bread but the reality is that the bread at the last supper would have been unleavened bread like matzoh.

In some ways, it was a masterful stroke by the writers of Christian theology to add meaning to the already heavily ritualistic and extremely important Jewish holiday by adding the ritual of Jesus giving bread as his body and wine as his blood – the mystery of the transubstantiation.

Think about the communion wafer or eucharist – its a flat unleavened wafer barely recognizable as bread and much more like a matzoh.

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Shmura_Matzo


A handmade and expensive especially kosher matzoh called a shmura matzoh

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The machine made matzoh that you see in stores.

Homemade olive oil matzoh


Homemade non-kosher matzoh (This is Mark Bittman’s recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Sea salt, optional

Directions:

Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Put flour, salt and olive oil in a food processor. Once the machine is on, add water. Continue to run the machine until the dough forms a firm ball, rides around on the blade and is not at all sticky. (If you prefer, whisk together the water and oil and add this to the machine all at once.) [This is the way Bittman does it in the video. I put the water and oil in a canning jar, put on the lid and shook the heck out of it, well emulsified that way]

Cut the dough into 12 small balls — this is easiest if you cut the ball in half, then half again, then into thirds — and flatten each into a 3- to 4-inch patty. On a well-floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll each patty into a 6- to 8-inch circle. The shapes can be irregular, but the dough should be so thin you can almost see through it.

Put the dough on ungreased cookie sheets, sprinkle with sea salt if you like, and bake for about 2 to 3 minutes, keeping a very close eye on the breads — they can burn very quickly. Once they begin to puff up and brown, flip and cook for another minute or so on the second side. Repeat with all the dough and let cool completely.

Yields 12 servings.