Delicious and matzo are not usually combined in the same sentence. But this homemade small batch matzo is actually tasty. Really!
We eat matzo, and other special foods, as part of the observance of Passover. If you are not familiar, the Passover holiday celebrates the Israelites’ escape from slavery in Egypt. The occasion is observed by having a feast, featuring special foods: matzo (signifying the unleavened bread we had to eat because we had to leave in a hurry and couldn’t wait for the bread to rise), charoset (a mixture of nuts and apples with wine that signifies bricks and mortar), horseradish (signifying the bitterness of slavery), lettuce or other greens dipped in saltwater (for tears), and four cups of wine. We also read the story of the escape (exodus) from a book called the Haggadah. The entire meal and ceremony is called a seder (order).
Back to the matzo. The supermarket stuff is, frankly, awful. My grandma used to call it hemstitched cardboard. Everything you’d normally eat that’s made with flour or leavening (noodles, rolls, pie, etc. has to be made with matzo). Since there’s no leavening it’s all really dense and heavy and hard to digest.
However, some time ago, I discovered I could make my own matzo. I found this recipe
and it actually has something that store bought matzo sorely lacks. Namely… taste!
Since this is for one, I halved the recipe. Note that your oven temp may vary, and the matzo cooking time may vary. Keep an eye on it!
Homemade Small Batch Matzo
Matzo with actual flavor and taste.
- The goal here is to make the matzo as quickly as possible to get it under 18 minutes. However, if you are not trying to be strictly kosher for Passover, let the dough rest for 15 minutes before baking.
- Your oven may vary. I find it takes a minute to two minutes to cook (especially for the first batch). Keep an eye on it. Underdone matzo can be cooked more. Overdone matzo can't be undone.
- 2 /14 C flour
- 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt (because the crystal sizes are different between brands)
- 1 T mild olive oil
- 6T plus up to 2 T warm water
- Preheat the oven to 500F.
- Mix the ingredients all together in a bowl. Start with the smaller amount of water, adding more if necessary to form the dough.
- Remove the ball of dough from the bowl and divide into four pieces. Flatten them slightly and either run them through a pasta maker (on decreasing thickness settings) or roll them out with a rolling pin on a floured board.
- Poke holes in each piece with a fork.
- If you want salted matzo, brush them with some water and add salt.
- Slide the pieces onto a baking sheet and bake for 30-60 seconds until it starts to brown and bubble.
- Flip the pieces over with tongs and bake another 15-30 seconds.
- Repeat the process if you have more pieces. Subsequent batches may take a bit longer. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.
More Passover Foods
Stovetop Coq au Vin Chicken with Red Wine Sauce
An “easy button” version of a French classic. The usual version takes a lot of time and effort. This one doesn’t.
For Passover, swap the flour for potato starch.
Jewish Chicken Curry Chitarnee
This Sephardic recipe is packed with flavor. It’s spicier than Eastern European food, but not super-hot. Flavored with onion, garlic, ginger, mild chilis, and cardamom, all of which become warm and mellow as they cook. The wine vinegar is OK for Passover too. And only one pot!
Cinnamon Sugar Brandy Bananas
Finish off your feast with sweet bananas, lightly dusted with cinnamon. It’s simple, and delicious too.
Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream
Sure, this looks decadent. It might me. It’s also rich, easy, and delicious. Fancy enough for company or a special feast, but simple enough for a Wednesday.