Posted by: Erica Retrochef | April 9, 2012

Tempting Kosher Dishes: Matzo Pancakes No. 4

Passover is a fun time of year for recipes, and by “fun” I mean “frustrating” — it’s surprisingly hard to find foods that don’t involve leavening. Yeast is clearly off-limits, but depending on how loosely (or strictly) you want to interpret the restriction on leavening in memory of the Israelites fleeing before their bread could rise — if you consider chemical leaveners (e.g. baking soda or powder) to be forbidden, well, pretty much every baked good is off the menu this week.

Luckily, matzos are on sale everywhere, and luckily I’ve got a 1930 edition of Tempting Kosher Dishes, published by Manischewitz and featuring dozens of recipes you never even thought you might want to make with matzo bread or matzo meal. This is one of the far simpler ones…

2 Manischewitz’s Matzos
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. Manischewitz’s Matzo Meal
6 eggs
pinch of salt

Soak matzos, squeeze dry, and mash well with spoon. Add sugar, meal, salt, and egg yolks, mixing well. Lastly, fold in stiffly-beaten egg whites. Mix thoroughly but gently. Fry until light brown, and serve with brown sugar.

While matzos are everywhere, matzo meal is slightly harder to find; however, it’s just ground matzos, and a quick blender attack gave us what we needed. The process of soaking and mashing matzos, however, is rather bizarre.

These took a few minutes to really get soggy enough for mashing.

Then Buzz squeezed them out over the sink, getting a few teaspoons of water out.

Finally, he mashed them with a spoon, which worked pretty well. The burnt edges, though, weren’t as well-soaked and didn’t mash as well. (Not all matzos have these, but this box apparently came from a slightly overdone batch.)

Meanwhile I was separating eggs; for some reason I’m a lot better at this than he is.

The yolks and dry ingredients…

… all mixed into a sweet, mushy, matzo mess.

And somehow I have to incorporate this monstrous pile of stiff whipped egg whites in there.

Much folding and stirring later, it’s more or less uniform, although it still seems to be almost entirely egg whites. Oh well, let’s see what happens when it cooks.

Into the hot oil!

You’ll notice that these are a little bit beyond golden brown; I should have used a non-stick pan rather than an oiled skillet. My frying-in-oil skills are pretty poor.

For any regular pancakes, this would be an awful lot of work to go through, and they are a bit tough and chewy. But that sprinkle of brown sugar on top, plus the generous sugar in the batter, makes these sweet and eggy with a slight crunch.

And, all that effort does replicate fluffy leavened pancakes, thus making them kosher for Passover! Chag kasher v’same’ach!



  1. WOW. That is a lot of work… and I can’t help but wonder if matzo flour and the eggs wouldn’t work just as well or better. Oh, well – the point is that you managed fluffy pancakes in a leavening-free week, which I think is amazing. Happy Pesach!

  2. Hmmm…the no leavening thing makes me glad I’m not Jewish. Well, that and I can’t imagine a world without pork. So being Muslim wouldn’t work either.

    And finally, I love my matzohs either just buttered! Or in matzoh balls, in my soup.

  3. They look really really good, though quite a bit of work.

    I was unfamiliar with the mysterious matzoh. Someone brought a packet to work and I nibbled at one, unimpressed. Now, making these pancakes IS impressive…. I recently bought a packet of matzoh ball soup mix and made chicken soup, adding chicken and frozen mixed veg. Very tasty, love the matzoh balls, though a bit salty as all packaged mixes seem to be.

    • A matzo itself is extremely unimpressive — you really can’t accomplish much with just flour and water besides a flat, bland cracker. But it ends up being used much like flour in most recipes I’ve seen.

  4. I’ve been making matzo pizzas!

  5. I am impressed!!! And really happy they ended up tasting good. 🙂

  6. Here’s a question that occurred to me during Passover: can you eat pasta? Technically, it doesn’t have any leavening…does the flour alone make it off limits?

    • Matzo is made from flour, too — it’s strictly the leavening that is an issue. So, pasta is kosher-for-Passover… which is a good thing, because the middle child would probably die if he wasn’t able to have mac’n’cheese.

      • That’s what I figured, but I’m glad to get the confirmation!

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