Commemorating the exodus of Israelites who were captured as slaves by Egyptians, Passover is celebrated by Jews all over the world with great zeal and enthusiasm. Celebrated from the 15 to 21 or 22 day of the Nisan month in the Hebrew calendar, this festival marks the beginning of the harvest season in Israel. With tremendous religious and historical importance, the festival is associated with various religious rituals that are observed with great reverence and precision. These rituals are observed in commemoration of the hardships of the slaves and also the four promises of God. Served with scrumptious traditional recipes, the traditional feast, Seder is an important part of Passover. Wine and bread are important components of the feast, but they are different from their normal counterparts. The bread served during Passover is unleavened because eating bread with raising agents is forbidden in this festival. Read on to know more about Passover bread.
Unleavened Bread For Passover
Passover bread is special flat bread called "matzo" that is devoid of any raising agents and symbolizes the rapid departure of the Exodus. According to the religious texts, matzo is baked well so that it is well preserved and light weighted, making it convenient to use during travel. Also known as Lechem Oni (bread of poverty), matzo is considered a symbol of poverty. It promotes humility and appreciates freedom in contrast to the leavened bread that symbolizes ego.
The process of baking matzo is also interesting. The process is highly labor-intensive because the Chaburas have only 18-22 minutes to mix the flour with water and bake the dough and remove it from oven. In this process, only five minutes can be devoted to spread the dough into the shape of bread. Consequently, only limited number of breads can be baked at a time. Not only this, once the dough is made, the Chaburas work consistently on it until it is baked as keeping the dough for long may cause it to rise, and if happened so, it becomes unfit to use on Passover. A special cutting tool is used over the dough just before baking, so that it will prick any bubbles that might puff up the matzo and this is the reason for the dotted holes in it. After each course of baking, the entire work area is cleaned properly to avoid any remaining of the previous batch that could contaminate the next batch.
Passover Matzo Recipe
This Passover, try making Matzo at home! Here is a simple matzo recipe that would help you make this traditional food at home.