Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've seen some people (notably Sefardim) who sell "soft" Shmura Matzos (they are flimsy like a wrap).

What is the difference in how they are made?

share|improve this question
    
How thick the dough is when baked and probably higher water:flour ratio. –  Double AA Mar 20 '12 at 17:46
1  
Mind if I edit this to make it, um, more culturally neutral? (To those who eat soft Matzoth, those are the "normal" ones, and the harder variety are odd.) –  Seth J Mar 20 '12 at 17:59
1  
@DoubleAA, You're treating Shmuel's question as yours, is all. –  Seth J Mar 20 '12 at 18:27
1  
@DoubleAA, I assumed it was obvious that I was asking the OP. –  Seth J Mar 20 '12 at 18:32
1  
Shmuel, care to clear up the confusion? judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/15269/… –  Seth J Mar 20 '12 at 18:34
show 6 more comments

1 Answer

See this handy Hebrew/English Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 460

Matzah can be any unleavened bread, up to a tefach thick.

From the time that the flour gets wet, until the final product is baked, one has 18 minutes to bake the matzah. (see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 442)

Some sefardim have a custom to make a matzah that is soft, like a wrap. It is a little thicker than hard ashkenazi cracker-matzah (but still much less than a tefach).

Sephardic Matzahs use a shorter 15 minute cycle, because these matzahs take up to 2 minutes to bake, compared to Ashkenazi Matzah that bakes only 15-20 seconds in the oven. From here

Note the Rema's comment on 460:4:

"Rema: The matzos should be crackers, and not thick like other bread, because crackers do not rise quickly."

Because of that, Ashkenazi practice is to make matzos like the hard crackers to which many of us are accustomed.

However, see Rabbi Hershel Shachter's opinon, which allows Ashkenazim to eat Sefardi matzah, because "rekikin" doesn't mean cracker specifically, but simply a matzah much thinner than the halachic maximum of tefach.

It should be noted that, even among the majority of Ashkenazi poskim who prefer that Ashkenazim maintain their cracker-matzah minhag, all agree that sefardi matzah is kosher l'pesach, and certainly there is no halachic violation of any kind for an Ashkenazi to eat Sefardi matzah on Pesach.

share|improve this answer
2  
The only paragraph that answered the question was not sourced. (That's paragraph 4) –  Double AA Mar 20 '12 at 18:18
    
The question was why some matzah is hard, and some is soft. I sourced why Ashkenazi matzah is hard. By deduction, sefardi matzah doesn't have to be hard. –  user1095 Mar 20 '12 at 18:19
3  
I think the question was: "What is the difference in how they are made?" It's a baking question. I realize that from the title that may have been unclear, but that's why questions also have bodies, right? –  Double AA Mar 20 '12 at 18:21
    
@DoubleAA and Will, I think you both make good points. I think Shmuel should edit the title to clear up his question. I tend to side with DoubleAA (Shmuel? :-P) at the moment. –  Seth J Mar 20 '12 at 18:31
1  
True. Plus you are technically correct if there is no kneading, so I hereby make a literal retraction of my comment. –  YDK Mar 21 '12 at 19:17
show 3 more comments

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.