Thursday, December 16, 2010

Matzah Brei

Photo by Rachel Dedrickson
 Think of matzah brei (pronounced MAHT-zoh BRY; Hebrew: מצה ברייט) the same way you would think of French toast, but sans the bread. But isn’t bread the point of French toast, you ask? Yes, but matzah is the point of matzah brei.

Typically matzah brei is a breakfast dish enjoyed during Passover, when Jews forgo all leavened bread. The meal is simply matzah briefly soaked in eggs and pan-fried in butter.

It can be savory or sweet, as the fried delight is usually served with a sauce or topping. Sauces can range from salsa to apple sauce to cinnamon and sugar. I, for one, have grown up with cinnamon and sugar dusted over the top.

A great way to start the day following the Passover seder is with matzah brei. We are a reform Jewish family, meaning we interpret Judaism and its traditions as culture and tradition-based and understand Jewish law as a set of guidelines to strive for. We are not orthodox (consequently, Mom recently discovered Gram’s Passover carrot ring has been made with flour all these years). We do our best to stay away from leavened bread, and matzah brei is a great attempt to do so....but we are not perfect!

Growing up, Mom would occasionally cook up a batch for us kids, and we’d sit with our legs dangling from the stools that nestled up to the kitchen bar facing towards the stove. Pajamas and bed head were not discriminated against. Matzah brei was for all, along with a large cup of our beloved “coffee milk” (coffee, milk and lots of sugar).

Since I decided to delve into family and food history, I’ve had my eye on the Jewish section of every grocery store I enter. On my last trip to the store, I picked up a box of matzah and decided to give matzah brei a stab for Saturday morning breakfast, coffee and newspaper consumption. It turned out great!

If you have ever been curious about matzah – what it is, how to eat it, what it tastes like – give this super simple matzah brei recipe a try. It’s easy to make and impossible not to devour. Try a cup of “coffee milk” alongside it. Make sure to bring your bed head and pajamas to the kitchen table too!

Matzah Brei

1 sheet of Matzah
2 tablespoons hot water
1 egg
1 tablespoon butter or canola oil
Cinnamon and sugar for topping (or try apple sauce, salsa, or jam if you wish)


 1. Break matzah into small pieces and put in bowl with hot water

2. In another bowl, beat the egg with a fork

3. Melt butter or heat oil in frying pan over medium heat

4. Pour over matzah and that pour into hot pan

5. Let mixture become golden brown. Flip and cook the other side to golden brown as well.

6. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and serve immediately

Photo by Rachel Dedrickson


Lara said...

possibly silly question - can I use water crackers instead? I think my son and I would enjoy this!

Rachel Dedrickson said...

I think that water crackers would work similarly! Give it a try. I'm curious to hear how it turns out. :)

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