“Lo! this is the bread of our affliction.” That line comes from the Passover Seder Service or Hagadah (meaning a recitation). Now after a week of eating this stuff you may feel afflicted, but that is a result of not enough fiber (eat some prunes). Also you might feel afflicted by seeing the price of a box (or case) of Matzah. In that case I recommend that you make your own. It’s easier than you think and as an added bonus you can make it with high fiber flour, thus eliminating (if you pardon the pun) the other difficulty.
Matzah is intended to remind us of the Israelites who in their great haste to leave Egypt baked bread without letting it rise. Up until recently, raising bread was a matter of trying to entice the airborne yeast to settle and have kids on your dough, a time consuming process. It was slightly faster if you had a starter, but still could be 12-24 hours to get a dough frisky enough to make bread.
As a result Rabbinic instruction is that it should not take more than 18 minutes from the addition of the water to the finished matzah. If you work in small batches this turns out to be fairly easy. The resulting matzah is less like cardboard and more like what it was originally, rushed pita. For another take, check out Mark Bittman on matza.
Makes 4 matzot
1 1/2 cups flour (I used Atta flour which has a high protein content and a lot of bran)
Place a cast iron pan on the stove and turn up medium high. Add water slowly to the flour, once it comes together stop and work it with your hands until it forms a compact ball. Cut the ball into four pieces. Dust a board with flour and roll each piece out until it is very thin. Take a fork and prick the matzah all over. Place into the hot pan hole side up and flip after 30 seconds. After 30 seconds on the second side flip again briefly and then remove from heat. Place on a baking rack to cool. If you want a more traditional crisp finish place in a 300F oven for 10-15 minutes or until the remaining moisture is driven out.