It is March 2020, the world is gripped by the Coronavirus crisis, the UK is in lockdown and Pesach is a matter of days away. We are being told to stay at home, and the Rabbis across the denominations are declaring that this year it is OK to relax the rules.
So as it is challenging times and it is hard to do the Pesach shopping, we thought we would offer a recipe to make your own matzah at home.
Conundrum: So at The Together Plan we had a ‘wait a minute moment’ and found ourselves scratching our heads. This recipe doesn’t work! It’s got flour in it!! Wait! What? Er! We checked the ingredients on the Rakusens matzah box (yes we had one – just the one) and there it was – flour!
Here’s the kicker – the flour must not be allowed to become leavened or ferment. If it does, it becomes chometz. When flour is left to stand raw mixed with water for more than 18 minutes it starts to ferment and this is when it becomes chometz.
Matzah that is kosher for Passover is limited in Ashkenazi tradition to plain matzo made from flour and water. The flour may be whole grain or refined grain, but must be either wheat, spelt, barley, rye, or oat. Some Sephardic communities allow matzos containing eggs and fruit juice to be used throughout the holiday
Heat the oven to 500C (or the hottest your oven will go) If you have a pizza stone, put that in the oven, If not put a large baking tray in the oven. Leave until very hot, this should take at least 30-40 minutes (Do not touch!)
Put the flour, salt and oil in a food processor, With the motor running add 120ml water. The dough should now form a soft and pliable ball. If it feels sticky to touch add a little more flour, about 1 teaspoon at a time.
If you do not have a food processor you will have to knead the dough very hard – which is good exercise for your arms!
Divide the dough into 12-14 balls around 35g each. On a well-floured surface, with a rolling pin, roll out the balls into thin oblong shapes, just thin enough to see through.
Transfer the oblongs onto the heated trays taking care you don’t burn your hands when you take the trays out the oven.
Prick the sheets with a fork, to prevent the dough puffing up, and sprinkle with sea salt. (If you wish to use the matzah for a pudding do not sprinkle with salt)
Bake the matzah until light golden and crisp on each side, then turn over and crisp on the underside. Each side takes about 4-5 minutes depending on your oven.
Allow to cool on a wire rack. Keep in an airtight container.
You can re-bake and crisp up later for 5-10 minutes at 200C, but watch and make sure the crackers don’t burn