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Algerian Matzah

Algeria had an ancient Jewish community, dating to the 1st Century CE. Many Sephardic Jews fled to Algeria from Iberia following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal in the 15th Century. These Western Sephardic Jews baked what I think is the most beautiful matzah for Passover.


Matzah was baked manually in Algeria until Algeria achieved independence in 1962. Then, Mr. Simon Bitone purchased a galette bakery. Galettes are French crusty flatbreads. The equipment decorated the galettes beautifully. After receiving kosher certification, Mr. Bitone baked Matzah for Passover, retaining the distinctive patterns. It is still baked by the Bitone family in France to this day. This matzah is called 'La Bienfaisante', The Beneficent.

'La Bienfaisante' is a thick, hard, round, intricately decorated matzah. You can make your own beautiful matzah inspired by it. Set a timer. You have 18 minutes to bake the matzah from the minute the water touches the flour.

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1/3 cup water


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).

Step 2

Place a cookie sheet in the oven to preheat.

Step 3

Knead the flour and water into a dough.

Step 4

Roll out the dough.

Step 5

Press out your matzah with a large flower shaped pastry cutter.

Step 6

Press a fluted wheel pastry cutter into the dough to make decorative marks.

Step 7

Place the matzah on the hot cookie sheet.

Step 8

Bake for the remaining time, flipping over once.

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