Unleavened Bread

Each piece of homemade Matzo has a unique shape
Each piece of homemade Matzo has a unique shape

Matzo, matza or matzah; plural matzot; matzos, matzus

There are many ways to make unleavened bread which is called Matzo. The simple instruction given in the Torah is as follows:

Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread twum ; even the first day ye shall put away leaven rav out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread Umx from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. Exodus 12:15

twum  is plural for unleavened bread

rav  is leaven or yeast

Umx  is bread that has yeast in it

  The simple commandment as given in the Torah is to remove all leaven from the home for seven days and make their bread without leaven. Do not eat any bread that has leaven for seven days. It is very basic, very simple. The Talmud has added a myriad of additions to this simple law.

There are many recipes on the internet, but they all are basically the same as this one.
Recipe by Batyah
Original recipe makes 8 small matzah breads

1 teaspoon all-purpose flour for dusting*
1 cup all-purpose flour*
1/3 cup water, or more if needed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or as needed (optional)
1 teaspoon olive oil, or as needed (optional)

Unleavened Bread in oven
Unleavened Bread in oven

Move an oven rack near the top of oven and preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). Preheat a heavy baking sheet in the oven.

Dust a clean work surface and a rolling pin with 1 teaspoon flour, or as needed. Place 1 cup of flour into a mixing bowl; set a timer for about 16 minutes (18 minutes maximum). Start the timer; pour the water, about 1 tablespoon at a time, into the flour. Stir the water and flour together with a fork until the dough forms a rough ball, remove the dough to the prepared work surface, knead rapidly and firmly until smooth, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Divide the dough into four equal pieces; cut each piece in half again to get 8 pieces total. Swiftly roll each piece into a ball. Roll each piece of dough out into a 5-inch pancake, dusting the top and rolling pin with flour as needed. Gradually roll the pancakes out to a size of about 8 inches, increasing the size of each by about 1 inch, then letting the dough rest for a few seconds before rolling again to the finished size. Roll from the center out. The bread rounds should be very thin. Using a fork, quickly pierce each bread about 25 times, all over, to prevent rising. The holes should go completely through the bread. Flip the bread over, and pierce each piece another 25 times with the fork.

Making Unleavened Bread for Passover
Making Unleavened Bread for Passover

With at least 5 minutes left on the timer, remove the hot baking sheet from the preheated oven, and place the rounds onto the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet onto the rack near the top of the oven, and bake for 2 minutes; turn the breads over and bake an additional 2 minutes, until the matzot are lightly browned and crisp.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Lightly anoint each matzah with olive oil, using a brush, and sprinkle generously with salt.

Homemade Unleavened bread cooling on wire racks
Homemade Unleavened bread cooling on wire racks

 *Making matzah breads kosher for Passover requires using special Passover flour that has been guarded from contact with liquids.

The cook is allowed no longer than 18 minutes from the point they combine the flour and water to when they remove the matzah from the oven in order for it to be considered fit for Passover. Of course, non-kosher cooks may bake at a more leisurely pace if desired.

Barley Matzo

Homemade barley Matzo large piece

Making Matzo for a large group of people is very time consuming and will tie up preparation space and one or two ovens for many hours. For a large group it is not recommended that the bread be prepared the day of the Passover meal.