Every year Jews worldwide celebrate Passover by reliving the story of the Exodus from Egypt as if they themselves are going from slavery to freedom. Matzo (Matzoh or Matzah) is a flat-bread that has no leavening (eggs, yeast, baking powder). Matzo is mentioned seven times in the Torah when Israelites made the exodus from Egypt. When Pharaoh finally agreed to let the Israelites leave Egypt, the slaves fled in such haste that their bread did not have time to rise. The result was a cracker-like food called matzo. Now, on Passover, Jews eat matzo or unleavened bread to remember the Exodus. Because matzo has great religious significance, strict guidelines about the flour, leavening, and time limits to prevent fermentation are followed when preparing matzo. Matzo is considered a poor man’s bread and therefore serves as a symbol of the slavery endured by the Israelites in Egypt and a reminder to remain humble.
Our Shorashim students made matzo in Bshul this week:
In bread making, fermentation is presumed to take place with in eighteen (18) minutes after the exposure of the cut grain to moisture. Thus, to make a Kosher for Passover matzo, the bakers need to do three things:
- Protect ingredients from moisture and heat prior to mixing
- Prepare dough rapidly (there is an 18 minute time limit from the beginning of the kneading till dough placed in the oven)
- Bake dough at an extremely high heat (e.g. 475 degrees Fahrenheit)
Toot students made matzo this week, too!
Making matzo is a messy business!