How to Make Matzah

A Guide on Preparing the Unleavened Passover Bread

Shmurah Matzah
WikiCommons

In their hurry to leave Egypt, the Israelites did not have time to wait for their bread to rise, and the result was what we now know as matzah (Read more on matzah in Matzah 101 here).

Matzah (also spelled matzo or matza) is eaten by Jews during Passover, which usually falls in the Spring, when leavened food, called chametz, is forbidden. Matzah plays a vital role during the Passover seder, and Jews eat matzah throughout the week of the Passover holiday.

(Read more on the Three Matzot of the seder here.)

For Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews, matzah is more like a cracker, although Iraqi and Yeminite Jews have a matzah that is soft and more like a tortilla or Greek pita, which many believe is actually more true to the original type of matzah that was made during the Exodus from Egypt. 

Making matzah can be a powerful and fun way to share the Passover story with friends and family, and here is a quick recipe and how-to guide for making matzah at home. 

Difficulty Level: Difficult because of the importance of timing precision

Time: 45 minutes (only 18 minutes from actual mixing to baking)

Ingredients

  • Cold water
  • Flour (called kemach shel matzah shmurah, which is flour that is watched — which is what shmurah means — from the moment of harvest to the moment of packaging to make sure it hasn't come into contact with moisture)

Utensils (all kosher for Passover)

  • A kosher-for-Passover kitchen
  • Measuring cups
  • Large mixing bowl for the dough
  • Roll of paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Tool for poking holes in the dough
  • Tiles for lining the oven shelf
  • Flat metal plate with a handle for taking matzah out of the oven called a peel

Directions

  1. Oven: Put the oven through a full self-cleaning cycle to make it kosher for Passover. 
  1. Prepare the oven by lining the oven shelf with floor tiles. Leave some space between the tiles and the sides of the oven. 
  2. Set oven on highest temperature setting. 
  3. Place clean paper on work surface and prepare utensils. 
  4. At this point, the clock begins to tick. There must be no more than 18 minutes from the time the water is mixed with the flour until the time the matzah has been completely baked in the oven. 
  5. Depending on how many matzot you want, measure 1 part water and 3 parts flour. 
  6. Quickly mix and knead into a firm ball of 1-2 inches.
  7. Roll out dough as thin as possible (the traditional shapes are square or round).
  8. Poke holes in the dough.
  9. Check to make sure no more than 15 minutes have passed since the flour and water were mixed. Put the matzah onto the tiles in the hot oven. 
  10. Bake on tiles for 2-3 minutes until done. 
  11. Remove using the peel
  12. Put clean paper on the work surface, and repeat steps 7-14.

Tips

It is best to have a few people working together when making matzah. Have one person do the mixing and the kneading, while another person rolls out the dough, and the final person places the matzah into the oven. 

This can be a fun activity to do the afternoon before the Passover Seder.

However, while having fun, make certain the matzah you are making is kosher for Passover. No more than 18 minutes can pass from the time the flour and water are mixed until the time the matzah is completely baked.

Videos

If you'd like to watch a video of matzah being made, here are a few:

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Gordon-Bennett, Chaviva. "How to Make Matzah." ThoughtCo, Mar. 1, 2016, thoughtco.com/how-to-make-matzah-3961144. Gordon-Bennett, Chaviva. (2016, March 1). How to Make Matzah. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-make-matzah-3961144 Gordon-Bennett, Chaviva. "How to Make Matzah." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-make-matzah-3961144 (accessed October 24, 2017).