This is gonna be the second Good Friday since the pandemic hit. I’ve made some matzoh (unleavened bread) for the upcoming holy communion on our virtual Good Friday service in remembrance of what our Lord Jesus has done for us on the cross. If you are interested feel free to bake along.
In the Old Testament, God delivered the Israelite from slavery in Egypt and commanded them to remember and celebrate this day as a feast to honor the Lord.
“Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And anyone, whether foreigner or native-born, who eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel. Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread.” (Exodus 12: 17 – 20 NIV)
「你們要守無酵節，因為我正當這日把你們的軍隊從埃及地領出來。所以，你們要守這日，作為世世代代永遠的定例。從正月十四日晚上，直到二十一日晚上，你們要吃無酵餅。在你們各家中，七日之內不可有酵；因為凡吃有酵之物的，無論是寄居的，是本地的，必從以色列的會中剪除。有酵的物，你們都不可吃，在你們一切住處要吃無酵餅。」(聖經．和合本, 出埃及記 12:17-20)
At first I thought “yeast” (chametz) refers to leavening agent such as yeast, baking powder and baking soda. However, there were no such things back in the ancient Old Testament time! How silly of me! Rather, in the Torah chametz actually means fermented grains. According to the Jews, when one of the five grains (wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt) has come in contact with water and stays uncooked for more than 18 minutes, it becomes chametz as fermentation is believed to happen afterwards. So if you are in accordance with the Jewish tradition strictly, for matzoh to be technically unleavened and appropriate for Passover, the process must be completed within 18 minutes from start to finish.
Makes 3 (6” discs)
60 g all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
35 g water
3/4 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
A pinch of Kosher salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 450℉ (convection mode) with a overturned large cookie sheet in the middle rack of the oven.
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together quickly with a pair of chopsticks until little pieces are formed. Knead with hand until the bits come together to form a rough ball that clears the sides of the bowl and does not stick to your hand. Adjust the consistency accordingly by adding a few drops of water if the dough is dry and sprinkling in some flour if the dough is too sticky.
On a floured surface, divide the dough into three portions and shape each into a ball. Sprinkle a dough piece with flour then flatten into a disc. With a rolling pin, roll the disc as thinly as possible to roughly a 6″ circle. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.
Transfer the rolled pieces onto a parchment paper that is about the same size as the cookie sheet being preheated. Dock the dough pieces evenly with a fork to prevent them from puffing up in the oven.
With the help of another overturned baking sheet, a wooden chopping board or a pizza peel, carefully slide the dough pieces (with parchment paper underneath) on to the preheated cookie sheet and bake for 2 minutes. Carefully flip the dough pieces and bake the other side for 2 to 3 minutes more until the surface of the matzoh is golden brown and slightly blistered, paying attention after flipping so the matzoh won’t be burnt. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack.
Recipe adapted from Bread In 5