How to Make Soft Massah (Matzah) For Passover
Our forefathers, or should I say fore-mothers, baked massah daily for Pesah (Passover), in their homes. I believe that this tradition should be revived (or continued, depending on your personal history) among Israel.
Tradition has it that Rabbi Hillel (one of the head Judges of Israel who lived during the Second Temple period) used to wrap his massah around the lamb along with the bitter herb to observe the Torah commandment found in B’Midbar/Numbers 9,11
Today with virtually immediate access to the necessary ingredients, it is almost insane to purchase what has become the normative versions of massah (hard squared and dry). However, there are a few things one should know before attempting to make the massah (matzah).
Preparing to Make Massah
One should prepare a Kosher for Pesah kitchen before attempting to make the massah. REMEMBER this dish MUST be baked within 18 minutes after the flour comes into contact with water. Be careful to use utensils that have not been used for anything other than for Pesah and that it is also stami (parve).
1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Sift the massah sh’murah flour (flour made from grain that was protected from moisture).
3. Mix the flour with water.
4. Mix the dough until it forms a ball. Add more flour or water as needed so that the dough does not stick or crumble.
5. Divide the dough into 2 inch balls.
6. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is approximately 1/4-inch thick. If you roll the dough out thinner, the massah may become hard after baking.
7. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and lay the dough on the sheets.
Insert the baking sheet into the oven.
8. Allow the dough to bake for 10 minutes. Remove the massah. If you prefer the massah a little crunchier, allow a few more minutes.
I suggest a little practice with all purpose flour, days before Pesah, until you get it right.