Monday, April 9, 2012

Homemade matzah

This is matzah I actually enjoy. Shocking, I know! It's not as good as actual bread, of course, but it's much closer to a pita or tortilla than to a saltine cracker. And, by definition, it's fast—not more than 18 minutes from when water touches flour to when finished matzah comes out of the oven. It's also easy to make a large quantity, since you can roll out another batch while the last batch is baking (or make a double batch if you're a seriously fast roller). There's really no reason not to make this for all your leniently-kosher-for-Passover needs.

1.5 c flour, plus a bit for rolling
1/2 c water
toppings of your choice: salt, grated cheese, roasted garlic, sesame seeds, cinnamon sugar, etc

Preheat the oven as hot as it will go, at least 450F. If you have a pizza stone, preheat that in the oven too; if not, get out a baking sheet.

When the oven is preheated (and not before!), stir the water into the flour to form a stiff but workable dough. Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out as thin as it will easily stretch, making a rectangle about the size of a baking sheet. (You can even do the rolling right on your baking sheet if you want.) Poke the dough all over with a fork to stop it from puffing up in the oven, or don't poke if you don't mind some sacrilegious puffing. Sprinkle or spread with toppings, then cut into 2"-5" squares with a sharp knife.

If you're using a pizza stone, remove it from the oven, carefully place each piece of dough on it, then put it back in the oven; if you're using a baking sheet, just slide it into the oven. Bake for a few minutes until the first brown spots start to form. Actual baking time will depend on how hot your oven is, so keep a close eye on your first batch and use that baking time for later batches. Take the finished matzah out of the oven and immediately transfer it to a cooling rack or serving platter. Eat it fresh out of the oven (best), after cooling for a few hours (ok), or perked up in the toaster oven the next day (pretty good).

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