Wednesday, December 14, 2005


No, this isn't about knitting. This is about baking. They're both domestic activities, right?

One of my favorite websites is 101 Cookbooks. She tends toward vegetarian and organic foods, which normally isn't something that would grab me, but her photography is absolutely gorgeous. Anyway, I love that site, and it's inspired me to try to detail some of my baking experiments here... on my knitting blog. Sorry.

Mediterranean Matzoh
Rose Levy Beranbaum
The Bread Bible, page 228

I've made this recipe once before, and was very pleased with how it came out. Last night, around 8 pm, I was feeling atypically munchy. This matzo recipe takes less than an hour from start to finish, so I decided to make up a half-batch for myself.

Even though my family is comprised of non-practicing Catholics, we always had an affinity for Manischewitz Passover matzo. I loved that stuff. I never put anything on it, because the cardboard-like quality of the flavor is endearing to me. We got the unsalted variety for a reason. I don't want to mess with that. Now they have garlic matzo, and apple cinnamon matzo... somehow, that just feels wrong.

Your typical store-bought matzo has an ingredient list that looks like the following: Flour, water, (maybe salt and some preservatives). The Bread Bible recipe has both AP flour and whole wheat flour, salt, water, olive oil, and rosemary. Actually, I should clarify that. Rosemary is in the ingredient list, but the recipe doesn't ever say to add it. Does it go in the dough? Do you just sprinkle it on top before baking? It's a mystery. And it's a mystery that i probably won't ever deal with, because I almost never have rosemary on hand. Leaving it out entirely seems to work well.

Anyway, a few minutes of mixing and kneading, 30 minutes of dough resting, followed by rolling out and baking gave me this stack o' matzo:

It takes 6 minutes to bake them, and with a couple of baking sheets going at once, that time goes very quickly. They're very freeform, and definitely not "traditional"... you can definitely taste the olive oil in the finished product, and there's very little resemblance to the cardboard-y matzo that I was used to. I can see this turning into something that I make on a weekly basis... easy to make, tasty, and keeps nicely for a few days (not that it stays around all that long).

Let's all take a moment and cross our fingers for my sourdough starter, which I might be testing out soon.

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