This is a fun and festive way to partake in Passover's most famous food.
Matzo is an important part of telling the story of the Exodus and an integral part of the Passover Seder ritual. Known as both the “bread of affliction” and “the bread of freedom,” matzo is what the Hebrews ate in the land of Egypt as slaves as well as when they were wandering the dessert, fleeing in a hurry from persecution. In both cases, the Hebrews had no time to let the dough rise, and thus today we try to make matzo ourselves from start to finish under 18 minutes.
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife or pizza wheel; dry and wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; large mixing bowl; fork; rubber spatula or dough scraper (optional); rolling pin (or pasta maker); pastry brush (optional); pizza stone or sheet pan; tongs or spatula; cooling rack
Ingredients: 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for sprinkling 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ cup warm water (with up to ¼ cup additional warm water)*
1. Place one oven rack on the rung closest to the heat source in your oven (top or bottom). Add the pizza stone or sheet pan to the rack. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
2. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients, beginning with the first ½ cup water, to form a dough. If the dough seems dry, add a little more water, one tablespoon at a time.
*ILOC tip: The amount of water used will vary, depending upon the moisture in the air.
3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough as thinly as possible with a rolling pin to approximate a 6x6 square. Alternatively, if you have a pasta maker, you can flatten each piece of dough and then pass it through a pasta maker as you would pasta dough, repeatedly, reducing the thickness each time until you reach the minimum setting (in this case, the matzo will be rectangular, not square). Whichever method you choose, repeat with the remaining dough pieces and get the dough as thin as possible.
4. Trim the rolled-out dough pieces into squares using a chef’s knife or pizza wheel. (Reserve the scraps to make crackers!)
5. Use a fork to dock the dough, being sure to prick the dough all the way through to the other side. Brush the dough lightly with water and sprinkle with kosher salt to taste, if desired.
6. Remove the pizza stone or sheet pan from the oven and shut the door. Carefully and swiftly place some of the squares onto the pizza stone or sheet pan, leaving just ¼-inch space between the squares (they will not expand). Quickly return the pizza stone or pan to bottom rack in the oven. If necessary, bake the matzo in batches.
7. Bake until the surface of the matzoh bubbles, 2-4 minutes. Using tongs or a spatula, carefully flip the matzo pieces and continue to bake until the other side is lightly blistered, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oven and set to cool before eating.
Makes 4-5 squares of matzo.