Matzoh from scratch

Can’t find matzoh anywhere?

It has sometimes been my misfortune to live in places where you just can’t buy matzoh – or anyway, where you’d have to take long bus trips to other parts of town to buy matzoh. Fortunately, you can make your own matzoh at home, if you’re careful and quick.

Matzoh in 18 minutes

Passover rules for matzoh give you exactly 18 minutes to make the matzoh, from the moment the water hits the flour to when you take the crisp matzoh out of the oven. This is to be sure the dough doesn’t begin to rise. While I didn’t quite hit this 18 minute mark the first time I tried, by the second time I was, in fact, able to make matzoh in just about 18 minutes. Give it a try!

How to make Barley Matzoh:

The timing doesn’t start until the water touches the flour, so do everything else first. Preheat the oven as hot as it will go. Get out two cookie sheets. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix 3 cups of barley flour (look in the bulk or health-food sections of your grocery store) with a large pinch of kosher salt. Get ready 1 cup of water and a wooden spoon. Scatter some flour on a clean work surface, and get out a rolling pin.

Now look at the clock and start timing. Quickly mix the water and barley flour until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out the dough on the floured surface and knead it for a couple of minutes.

Divide the dough into golf-ball size balls and roll each ball out with the rolling pin, then put it on the cookie sheet. You can make five or six of these matzoh, then put the cookie sheets in the oven to bake. When the matzoh are browned and crisp, they’re done. Did you make 18 minutes?

Will these matzot keep?

You’ll probably eat all of them at the Seder, but yes, if you wrap them up in dishtowels and leave them on the counter, they’ll still be good the next day for the second Seder.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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