Better late than never, no? I’ve been baking a lot of bread this year and what better way to close Bread Month than with the least leavened of all breads?  After scouring the interwebs and cookbooks, I settled on Peter Reinhart’s recipe for Whole Wheat Matzo- not a Jew but a darn good baker nonetheless!

Laugh all you want but the best Passover snack this year comprised of this matzo, homemade horseradish, gefilte fish and charoset. All best washed down with a large bloody mary, first plague style: extra bloody.

Whole Wheat Matzo
or Lila’s Bread of Affliction/Liberation (Depending your level of Jewish guilt that day, I guess.)

1 3/4 cups (8 ounces or 227 grams) whole wheat flour*
1/2 teaspoon (.14 ounces or 4 grams) salt
3/4 cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) water

additional whole wheat flour for adjustments

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C) with a baking stone (or use an inverted sheet pan.)

2. Combine the flour, salt, and water in a bowl and mix to form a coarse, soft dough. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface, dust the dough with more flour, and knead for approximately 3 minutes, adding more flour as needed to make a firm but tacky dough. It should not be sticky. Let the dough rest for 3 minutes and then resume kneading for another minute, adjusting the flour or water as needed. The dough should feel soft and satiny, not sticky, and only a little tacky.

3. Divide the dough into 8 to 10 pieces (the more you practice rolling matzo, the larger you can make these pieces), round each into a tight ball, and let them rest for 3 minutes. On a work surface (use minimal flour, if any, on the surface and the dough), roll out each piece of dough into a disk or rectangle until it begins to shrink back, dusting the pieces with flour if you need to stack them.

4. Return to the first piece and, starting from the center, roll it out to the edges into a disk or rectangle 1/8 inch thick. Dust the work surface with flour only if necessary.

5. Lightly flour a baking peel (or the underside of the sheet pan) and transfer the first piece to the peel. Dock** the entire surface, then slide the dough onto a baking stone and bake until the matzo begins to turn a rich brown, caramelizing on both top and bottom; this could be anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes, depending on how thinly the dough is rolled. Remove the matzo from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and continue baking the other pieces, rolling out the remaining balls of dough while the earlier ones are baking. The matzo should be crisp and snap easily after it cools. If not, return it to the oven briefly to crisp it.

* I used half whole wheat and half white bread flour.
** You can dock the dough with a fork, but a better choice is a roller docker. A small roller with many studs sticking out of it, it looks like a Medieval torture device but is useful for pie dough, naan, and for any dough that is not supposed to blister or have large air pockets. A crimping roller (often used to seal raviolis) can be used to run perforation lines similar to what you see on commercial matzo. That all being said, i used a fork.

You also might notice with the given times from Reinhart, that it is not possible to bake off the entire recipe from start to finish in 18 minutes or less, deeming this recipe not kosher! I did manage to roll out and bake the first piece under the deadline, so I’ll forgive him.


the anti-bagel


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