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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

Homemade Matzoh For Passover

Passover, which begins next week, is the observance commemorating the freedom and exodus of the Jewish slaves from Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II about 3,000 years ago, and is a special time for Jews all over the world. In the Jewish religion, Passover is a time of inclusiveness.

During Passover, only foods that are Kosher for Passover are allowed. No leavened foods (containing yeast) or grains are eaten. In their place matzoh (also spelled matzo and matzah), and foods containing matzoh are eaten. Matzoh is unleavened bread made simply from flour and water and cooked very quickly. This is to remember the Jews who fled quickly into the desert with no time for their breads to rise, and baked the dough into hard crackers in the desert sun.

It is observed each year with the Seder, a special meal with its own foods, wine and reading of the Haggadah, that invites all who are hungry to come and eat, leaving a door open for the prophet Elijah to enter and take his seat at the holiday table.

There are many inventive ways to use matzoh; it is available in a variety of textures for cooking, including matzoh flour (finely ground for cakes and cookies), matzoh meal (coarsely ground, used as a bread crumb substitute), matzoh farfel (little chunks, a noodle or bread cube substitute), and full-sized matzohs (about 10 inches square, a bread substitute).

Happy Passover!

It’s fun and easy to make homemade matzoh, so here is a recipe to try.

HOMEMADE MATZOH

* 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

* 1 cup whole wheat flour

* spring water

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix two flours together and add water until you have a soft, kneadable dough. Knead about five minutes. Let dough rest a couple of minutes.

Break off egg-sized portions of dough. Stretch as thin as you can before rolling into oval slabs that are as thin as possible. Prick each slab with a fork. Place on baking sheet and, as soon as sheet is filled with matzohs, place in oven and bake until crisp and buckled, about three minutes. Cool and enjoy.

Matzoh Brei – good served with sugar or jelly

This egg and matzoh dish is quite popular during Passover as a convenient and tasty breakfast item. It offers carbohydrates as well as protein during a week where bread intake is avoided, and is a nice alternative to potatoes. Be sure to cook the eggs gently in order to obtain a light, fluffy product.

* 2 matzo crackers (use conventional store-bought large, square pieces)

* 2 eggs (may use egg substitute)

* pinch salt

* 1 teaspoon canola oil

Break the matzo into small pieces into a bowl. Cover with hot water for a minute, then squeeze out the water.

In a small bowl, beat egg with salt and pepper to taste and add to matzo. Mix well.

Heat frying pan with a little oil. Pour mixture into the pan. Brown one side and turn over.

Makes two servings.

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