(As done for 20 years by Rabbi David L. Kline)

1 part water (cold)
3 parts flour (approximatly)

Knead quickly into firm, non sticky dough.
Divide into 1" - 1 1/2" balls, the rounder the better.
Roll out to 1/8" or less thickness. Poke holes.
Bake on tiles, at hottest setting till done (2-3 minutes).
No more than 18 minutes may elapse from the touch of the water to putting the
matsah into the oven.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Notes for mehadrin("meticulous beautifiers") 1 Flour: the everyday product is acceptable. My Hungarian predecessors include Solomon Ganzfried, than whom no one could be Orthodoxer. In his Kitsur Shulchan Aruch , among the meticulous instructions is the following: "If part of a bag of flour has been moistened by water, whether it is still moist or already dry, we may hold that part of the bag in our hands while emptying from it the rest of the flour, the use of which is permissible; only the moist part may not be used. If, however, the bag of flour has become wet in many places, so that it is impossible to proceed as aforementioned, then if it is still moist, we sift the flour, and the lumps alone which remain in the sieve is leaven, but the rest may be used. If mice have eaten some of the flour, it should also be sifted. If, however, the bag of flour has already become dry, sifting is of no avail, and the use of the entire four is forbidden." (English edition, Book 3, page 24) Kal v'chomer(a fortiori), I consider a nice, sealed, bag of flour from the super market to be shamur("kept") from the hazards of moisture.

2 Water: H2O from the cold faucet. Ganzfried prefers a river to a well because the water is generally colder. He lets the water rest overnight so that no sun rays may touch it. I figure the tap runs with water that has rested at least that long and the pipes are opaque.

3 All bowls, measures, rolling pins, hole punchers, peels, tiles are reserved for Pesach preparation.
A Stainless steel mixing bowl works fine.
B I use styrofoam cups, one for flour, one for water.
C Rolling pins, either the expensive long tapered model or 1 1/4" dowel cut into 18" lengths. Clean them with sandpaper after each rolling.
D The hole puncher is called a "dough docker" (tahker!). I found a neat plastic toothed roller, made for pizza preparation. (I also have a gadget with metal disks bearing wicked looking perforators designed for tenderizing steaks.)
E A peel (sometimes called "spade") is the flat wooden or metal plate with handle, used for taking baked bread out of a brick oven.
F Line oven shelf with tiles, plain red or brown, such as are sold for floors. One inch fire bricks will do but they are heavier. Leave room at edges for convection.
G Some say oven must be purified by flame, such as a blow torch. Not hard to do but less effective, in my opinion, than an hour at self clean, followed by a wipedown.

4 To avoid any chance for onset of yeasting -- chometsdigity -- eighteen minutes is the just-to-be-on-the-safe-side maximum preparation time. Ganzfried takes it for granted. The Soncino footnote to Pes 46a considers it "generally regarded." Talmud offers the charming definition: "the time it takes to walk from Migdal Nunia to Tiberias, a mil." Rashi, in Yoma, says that a mil is 2000 cubits, and Soncino concurs. I say that doing a mil (not a mile) 18 minutes is strolling, not walking, but why should I be more machmir("stringent") than the Hungarians? (I'm German on my mother's side.) Besides, bread dough, even with the addition of yeast and kept warm takes hours to leaven.

5 Line the kneading/rolling surface with layers of brown paper. Remove a layer at the end of each 18 minute session. (I learned this by watching the Shmurah Matsah makers on the Lower East Side.)

6 Best for 8-10 to work together. Dough needs to be kneaded constantly till rolled, perforated and baked. Assembly line does the trick. At the start of each session, and maybe once or twice more for good measure, all recite: "L'shem matsah shel mitsvah."("intended as mitsvah matsah," i.e. the matsah we are commanded to eat, particularly at the seder)

1 comment:

MorningGlory said...

Than-kyou thank-you Thank-you! for this- I have been looking more then for two years the halcha on this- I have been trying to find this info so we can set up a coumminty Matzoh making project here in Tucson but nothing I have found was to helpful- untill I found A Rabbi you helped in Massachusetts who gave me the link to this blogg!!!

This seems so much more do able now- one question- is there a different in intupation of the pasges you cited between the Reformed and Conservative movements? Or is this Black Letter for both law so to speek?
Again thankyou so much I am so exacited- and I got to get on this soon... well all need some practice I think.