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Whole Grain Spelt Matzos

Matzo (or matza or matzah) is an unleavened flatbread that’s part of the Jewish holiday of Passover in the spring. Matzo is unleavened to represent the haste of the exodus of Israelites from Egyptian slavery, and some say it also symbolizes a reminder to be humble.

As simple as matzo is, I’ve always enjoyed storebought matzo in the springtime, but this homemade matzo is better than any I’ve ever had, probably because it’s super fresh and made with aromatic home milled whole grain flour. In reading up on matzo, I learned that only flour from the following grains can be used for Passover matzo: wheat, spelt, barley, rye, and oats. I picked spelt for this recipe because of its tasty nuttiness and extensibility.

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Whole grain spelt matzo

I wanted something that I could roll out quickly, because I also learned from my reading that for matzo to be considered truly unleavened, only 18 minutes can pass from when mixing begins to when it goes into the oven (and some guidelines are even stricter, specifying 18 minutes from mixing to completing the bake). I figured I’d test a wheat with stretchiness that would help people trying to adhere to this time guideline, and I’d use the flour in its whole grain format both for robust flavor and because I imagine most flour thousands of years ago wasn’t sifted.

I milled the spelt berries and pre-measured the salt, oil, and water to be efficient. This initial test batch was too salty, so the recipe amount below uses less salt than what you see in the bowl in the photo.

Though I wasn’t making these matzos for the holiday of Passover, I was excited by the challenge of making them in 18 minutes. I started my oven and baking sheet preheating at 475F, then I measured my ingredients and milled my flour. Finally, I set up a timer just before mixing the dough.

Tap or scroll your mouse over the photos below to see my timing. I ended up with time to spare: the matzos entered the oven at 13 minutes and came out at 17 minutes.

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