You’ll love this Easy Homemade Matzo, a simple from-scratch matzah cracker recipe that’s perfect for Passover. Just flour and water combine to make a crispy and golden unleavened baked bread that’s ready in only 18 minutes according to classic kosher tradition!
Matzo, sometimes referred to as matzoh or matzah, is a thin unleavened bread made from flour and water that’s traditionally eaten during Passover.
Similar in texture and taste to a thick crispy cracker and usually topped with salt and a schmear of butter, most Jewish families nowadays typically buy matzo packaged — but it’s so easy to make from scratch at home.
Tradition dictates that matzo be made fast, within 18 minutes from the moment you mix the flour and water until when you take the last batch of bread out of the oven. It’s a hectic 18 minutes, but it is possible. Let me show you how!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe //
- This traditional matzo recipe has only 2 ingredients! Only flour and water (and a little heat) are needed to make this classic unleavened bread.
- Make it kosher (or not): I lay out how to make matzo in only 18 minutes according to kosher standards. Make it fast and traditional, or take your time if you’re not worried about following the rules.
- It’s a crispy, crunchy cross between a cracker and a flatbread. Matzo is the perfect combination of a big cracker and a piece of crunchy flatbread.
- Eat it alone or be creative! This matzo recipe can be eaten as a crunchy side, used as a toast replacement with toppings, or even used as a crunchy sandwich bread.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Matzo //
- Flour: Traditional wheat flour used in matzo must be grown according to kosher standards and unleavened, however if you are not concerned about this matzo being kosher then regular all-purpose flour will work as well. Whole wheat flour could be used as well, but would not be kosher unless it’s certified.
- Water: Regular tap water at room temperature works best for this recipe. While there is some debate on some bottled water brands being certified kosher, most any bottled water will work as well.
Traditional Matzo Kosher Rules //
There are some seriously strict rules about food ingredients and food preparation during Passover, and making matzo traditionally kosher means abiding by the following rules:
- The 18-Minute rule: To keep this matzo kosher, you need to finish the entire process in 18 minutes flat. That 18 minutes start when the water hits the flour until all of the matzo comes out of the oven (I was very grateful for my double ovens when I made these).
- The flour rule: The other thing that can be an issue is the flour that you use. The flour that I used in this recipe is a certified kosher all-purpose white flour. Regular all-purpose flour can be used, but know that it may not be 100% kosher.
How To Make Homemade Matzo Bread in 18 Minutes //
- Preheat oven and prep ingredients and tools: Preheat your oven to 475 F degrees and gather your tools and ingredients so they are ready to go once the clock starts ticking. Measure out the flour and water, line at least two baking sheets with parchment paper, and gather a rolling pin, pastry brush, a dinner fork, and a dough scraper or butter knife for cutting.
- Set your timer: Set your timer for 18 minutes; let the matzo-making begin!
- Mix the dough ingredients: Mix together 2 cups of flour with 1 cup of water.
- Knead the dough: Knead the dough on a well floured board or countertop until it comes together. This typically takes about 3-4 minutes. If the dough is sticky, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough is soft but not wet.
- Cut the dough: Cut the dough into 8-12 chunks by using a dough scraper or butter knife. Do this by first cutting the dough into quarters, then cutting each quarter into thirds. You want each piece of dough to be about the size of an egg.
- Roll the dough: Roll each small piece of dough as thinly as possible with a rolling pin. Generously flour the dough as you roll to ensure it doesn’t stick to your rolling pin. (Or the countertop or cutting board).
- Prep the rolled dough for the oven: Carefully place the flattened matzo dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. The dough does not expand. Feel free to place them close together to fit as many as you can on the baking sheet. Brush off any excess flour and use the fork to prick the top of the dough.
- Bake until crisp: Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 3-4 minutes until they are brown and crispy.
- Prepare the next batch: While the first matzo batch is baking, quickly roll out the next batch and prep it to go into the oven. When the first batch is ready then you can put the next batch in. When the first batch is done, remove the finished matzo to a plate to cool and place your next batch on the already used baking sheet (or use three baking sheets to allow one to cool). Continue prepping and baking until the entire dough batch is cooked. The clock is ticking!
- Serve: When the last batch is done, the matzo is ready to serve or store. And pat yourself on the back for a hectic 18 minutes!
Recipe Tips for Getting Perfect Homemade Matzo Every Time //
- Find your favorite flour. While a certified kosher matzo meal or all-purpose flour is traditional, feel free to test this recipe with different flours. Whole wheat flour or gluten-free flours like spelt, chickpea, or almond flours can also work well. (Be mindful if you’re following kosher standards).
- Use room temperature water. While cold or warm water will work, I’ve found the best matzo texture using room temperature tap water. I fill a measuring pitcher with water 20 minutes before baking. That way it’s had to time adjust to room temperature before I mix it with the flour.
- Flour is your friend when kneading. Is your matzo dough too sticky? Add more flour. Is your dough sticking to your counter or rolling pin? Add more flour. Don’t be afraid of flour, but make sure the dough isn’t too dry before baking.
- Keep an eye on the oven. Because matzo cooks up quickly, keep your eye on the oven or it will easily become too brown and overcooked.
- Use 2-3 baking sheets. If you’re making matzo according to the 18-minute kosher rule, having 2 extra baking sheets will speed up the process. Have one in the oven, one prepped, and one backup. You can let one sheet cool when you remove it from the oven. (Let’s make our matzo burn and injury-free!).
Storing & Freezing //
- Storing: Store leftover matzo in an air-tight storage container on the countertop for up to three days. Or up to four days in the refrigerator.
- Freezing: For the best taste and texture, I do not recommend freezing matzo bread after it has been baked. You can prep the matzo dough ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. In the freezer for a month or more, and then thaw before baking. Storing in the refrigerator or freezer will mean this recipe is not kosher. It will not fall in the 18-minute timeframe.
FAQ about Homemade Matzo //
What is the difference between matzoh and matzah? Matzo, matzoh, and matzah. These are all different ways of spelling and pronouncing the name for the traditional unleavened flatbread eaten at Passover in the Jewish tradition.
Why does homemade matzah have to be made within 18 minutes? The kosher rule for making matzo in 18 minutes is because only unleavened bread products are allowed during Passover. Natural fermentation begins within that time frame when flour and water are mixed. To avoid the natural fermentation, and therefore make the bread unleavened, it must finish baking before 18 minutes.
What kind of flour is kosher for Passover? Passover dietary restrictions exclude any grain that can ferment or become leavened, which includes wheat, barley, oats, rye, and spelt. The only bread that is allowed during Passover is matzo. Matzah is typically made from wheat flour and made in a way that ensures it is unleavened.
What do you serve with matzo? Matzo is usually served at the center of the table. Either as a side dish or accompaniment with traditional Passover foods like brisket, roast chicken, fish dumplings, and potatoes.