This and That

Random bits of my life

Baking Matzah

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 6, 2012

Homemade Matzah

This is something that almost no one does — bake their own matzah for Passover. Lots of people do matzah-baking demonstrations and educational classes before the holiday, but this family is actually baking their own matzah for the Seder, in a home-made wood-burning oven. I walked up to their house at noon to take a few photos. I also recorded some video footage but I won’t have time to edit it until after the first day of Passover. Too much to do!

Matzah must be made in 18 minutes, from the moment that the water and flour are combined until the baking is finished. A timer is used. The water has to be mayim shelanu, water that has “rested.” It’s poured into jugs the night before and rested in a cool place until it’s needed for baking. (For an overview of the details, see this site.) You’ll notice that all the utensils are steel: table cover, rolling pins, mixing bowl.

Mixing flour and water in a steel bowl:

Mixing matzah dough

Rolling with a steel rolling pin on a steel-covered table:

Kneading Matzah Dough

Baking Matzah

Handing a raw matzah to the baker:

Baking Matzah

Preparing to put it in the oven, made of cinder blocks and metal plates (the upper compartment is for baking. The lower compartment is filled with burning wood and there is a plate in front to protect the baker from the heat):

Baking Matzah

Baking Matzah

Finished matzah drying on a cloth:

Matzah Drying

OK, back to the kitchen with me. Only a couple hours left before we start Passover!

Chag Pesach Kasher ve-Sameach!

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One Response to “Baking Matzah”

  1. Jay said

    The alleged requirements to complete Maṣah baking in 18 minutes, to punch holes in it, to use Shemurah flour and for the water to be “Mayim Shelanu” are extra-Halalakhic, they originated in the last several centuries and are not demanded by actual Rabbinic Halakha. As far as time goes, Halakha states that there is no fear of Ḥameṣ in the first 24 minutes.

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