The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Thoughts on the un-bread holiday of Passover

108 breads's picture
108 breads

Thoughts on the un-bread holiday of Passover

I'm big on the celebration and the rituals of Passover, but I have many questions - way more than the traditional four that are asked and answered each year. Mine have to do with sourdough starters, matzo making, etc. Here's my synopsis of the holiday and my questions.

I thought, since one is supposed to discuss all aspects of the Exodus, a Fresh Loaf forum would be a good place to ponder the bread and un-bread aspects of the holiday.

A lovely holiday to all who observe it. May your week without bread (and some other foods) go well. To anyone else, it's an interesting topic.

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

matzoh under the 18 minute rule is to make them multigrain since regular ones are just horrible and the product you can buy is poor.  So making them at home ls liberating and the matzoh can't be any worse than you can buy.  Any children or adults that ruin the 18 minute rule can also be beaten or whipped to remind them that slavery was worse.  They will never interrupt the 18 minutes ever again - or forget the rule:-)  The 18 minutes is the fun part and the challenge though - even without the beating and whipping:-)

Have a Happy Passover

108 breads's picture
108 breads

I've heard people say you can only use particular wheat grown at a certain time of year. Do you use regular flours, whether whole grain or white? If they are not leavened, that should be fine, though no kosher-for-Passover label will ever be found on a bag of flour.

I don't subscribe to all of the mishegas, but it's in my genes. I will probably try making matzo right at the end of the week and see how it goes. If we like it, maybe there will be a revolution next year, unless my sister comes because she and her family are Orthodox.

Have a happy Passover and I hope you do not have to whip anyone :)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

don't keep kosher anyway - so it makes things much easier around here when making matzoh balls and gefilta fish:-) 

Happy Passover!

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

The 5 grains that are kosher for matzah (i.e. to fulfil ones obligation of eating matzah) on Passover are...

 

1. Wheat

2. Barley

3. Oats

4. Rye

5. Spelt

 

Not only should one not eat leavened bread but one is obligated to eat matzah and it should be made out any of the 5 grains mentioned. They can be wholegrain or white. Unleavened is not enough as they should be baked within 18 minutes of mixing the flour + water together.

108 breads's picture
108 breads

For every person who compares matzah to cardboard, there is me, happily eating matzah all Passover. I more than fulfill that commandment. In fact, I wait all year for the special foods. Whole wheat matzah farfel for breakfast, spelt matzah with lunch, and matzo brei for dinner. I make my mother's matzo brei, which is about as close as earth comes to heaven, with some grease, eggs, and onions mixed in. I also make my grandmother's homemade gefilte fish.

I have never seen barley or rye matzo. In fact, I am having a hard time envisioning such a thing. I always thought oatmeal was out, but why not? (I have not see kosher-for-Passover oatmeal yet.) But, then again, who needs it? I always over-buy for Passover and we have a good eight months worth of matzah and matzoh meal, nuts, dried fruit, etc. I am going to do an experiment after the holiday, probably early next week or the weekend after, to make my own matzah. Not sure I can do it in under 18 minutes. Also, if it doesn't taste like Streits or the old Horowitz-Margaretin, is it really matzah? 

I still think the 18-minute rule is the creation of rabbis who have never baked bread.

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

I won't go into it deeply now as it's late here but I'll contribute some food (or matzah) for thought. 

Matzah is just unleavened bread. Well ever since I started to learn about sourdough and it's origins in Egypt I have understood the eating of matzah more deeply. Leavened bread is Egyptian bread. Before Egyptian bread there was just unleavened bread or what we now know as matzah. Leaving Egypt and returning to our way of life is what we celebrate on Passover. Interesting to note they probably didn't call it matzah, just bread. 

Cardboard bread is more of a recent thing. Any unleavened flour and water is matzah. Laffa bread is a kind of matzah. Doesn't have to be cardboard. You probably haven't heard of kosher for passover oats as we don't cook with these five grains on passover incase they become leavened. So they are used for matzah and nothing else. We clear our houses of flour which probably also explains pancake Tuesday a little while before Easter which is around Passover time. Clearing ones house from flour. 

And according to me there's no greater way to celebrate passover than with matzah brei. 

Enjoy!

Capyboppy's picture
Capyboppy

Laffa bread like cardboard? Never :-) Not on Ben Yehuda St anyway. Soft and fluffy that beats the hell out of pitta and naan bread. Must admit the version I tried in Halperns was nowhere near as good as Jerusalem, but then nothing ever is! Surely you must have a good sourdough recipe for laffa Abe :-D

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

If we're comparing Laffa to Matzah then sourdough would be the antithesis of matzah. I suppose a sourdough laffa would be very nice. Just flatten and bake. But totally not kosher for Passover ;)

Capyboppy's picture
Capyboppy

Oh to have plenty of room (and money: seen the prices the other day of purpose built bread ovens - eek!) for everything to allow for breadmaking :-). I have visions of bread making lovers slapping their laffas or other stuff on the sides of anything hot and metal.

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

But you are correct that wheat grains are by far the more common. But more recently with a greater understanding of allergies and food intolerance other types are becoming more available.