Matzo bread: is it really good for your health? – Happiness and health


Imagine that I have just rediscovered unleavened bread. I say “rediscover”, because this bread is very old. It dates back to the Neolithic.

If you’ve forgotten your history lessons, the Neolithic is the time when hunter-gatherers, dear to Paleo regime activists, became farmers. This is the period preceding the Bronze Age.

Does that mean nothing to you either? It is, however, closer to us. Short, unleavened bread, it’s been around for at least 5 years, even 000 years.

It is indeed an old bread. If I insist so much on this seniority, it is because unleavened bread currently represents only 2,6% of crispy breadmaking in a country like France (1).

It’s not a lot. It is a long way behind rusks and other forms of bread. Let’s see what this old bread can do for us and how to get rid of some preconceived ideas.

Get rid of some received ideas

”The unleavened bread is a religious bread“

It is true, unleavened bread is used in several religious rites.

It corresponds to the matza, which is consumed at the time of Passover (2), one of the three solemn feasts of Judaism.

This feast recalls the moment when, pursued by the army of Pharaoh of Egypt, unable to wait for the bread to be lifted, the peoples of the Exodus, led by Moses, fed themselves with the matza, just before crossing the Sea. Red.

Under the name of Host, which means victim, unleavened bread is at the heart of the celebration of the Eucharist, in the Catholic rite.

However, many Christian rites, non-Catholics, in particular Orthodox, reject unleavened bread at the time of the Eucharist and prefer leavened bread, in other words, ordinary bread.

In any case, the breads used in religious rituals are the subject of a particular preparation, which has nothing to do with unleavened or leavened bread which can be eaten every day.

In its ordinary context, unleavened bread simply means that it is unleavened or yeast free. The word comes from the Greek. The “a” is what we call the privative “a” and the syllable “zyme” comes from “zumos” which means leaven. “A” “zumos” means “without” “leaven”.

”Matzo is tasteless and expensive”

If you mean it is not salty, you are right. Depending on the brand, the salt composition varies from 0,0017 gr per 100 gr to 1 gr. That’s not all. Its fat content varies from 0,1 gr per 100 gr to 1,5 gr.

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You see, this is all very weak. This is the reason why it is well suited to low-calorie and salt-free diets.

However, it is a mistake to believe that it only exists in its mundane form. There are many unleavened breads in all shapes and sizes.

Some manufacturers, there are about fifteen in the world, including 4 in France, offer up to 200 references, with nearly fifty recipes and thicknesses or packaging of all kinds.


Matzo bread: is it really good for your health? – Happiness and health

You can embellish it in many ways yourself. At aperitif time, for example, you can serve it in small flavored, sweet or savory squares and make delicious toast with your favorite condiments.

As for the prices, according to the brands and the composition, more or less worked, in general, they vary, for 100 gr, from 0,47 to 1,55 €. Nothing exceptional, therefore.


“Unleavened bread cannot be found and cannot be kept”

Obviously, you are not going to find matzo in the first bakery you come across. That said, all manufacturers have very well done sites and the supermarket shelves always offer at least one brand.

As for the more “sophisticated” brands, some are even distributed in pharmacies or drugstores.

As for its conservation, think again. It keeps very easily, it is even its peculiarity. If you store it, with its original packaging, in a cool, dry place, it will not move for at least a month.

Not so bad. If you open this packaging, all you have to do is put the patties in a tin, for example, and place this box in an equally dry and temperate place. The effect is the same. Try doing the same with regular bread or rusks!

A natural and prophylactic bread

A natural bread

Matzo bread is flour mixed with water for about twenty minutes and also baked for twenty minutes. There are therefore no other ingredients than flour and a little salt.

By comparison, traditional bread, the most regulated, in particular by the “bread” decree of 1993, includes much more.

Their list is nowhere visible, but there are added yeast, of course, but also 5 natural adjuvants, bean flour, soy flour, wheat malt, gluten and deactivated yeast, plus a processing aid, the fungal amylase (3).

This mixture is made most of the time at the miller and arrives ready-made at the baker.

The situation gets worse with so-called “improved” or “special” breads. To make these breads, to the 5 aforementioned adjuvants, additives of the type E 300 or E 254 will be added. They take up 8 pages in the list which accompanies their regulations.

A number of additional processing aids complete this list. And as if that were not enough, the pastries, for their part, concentrate on their own more than a hundred authorized additives!

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It all depends on the flour and its quality. There are roughly 5 main types of flour, classified according to their ash content: soft wheat flour, spelled or large spelled flour, rice flour, buckwheat flour and rye flour.

The ash content (4) measures the proportion of mineral residues after having incinerated flour for 1 hour at 900 °. A T 55 flour which is that of traditional bread means that its mineral content is 0,55%.

The more the flour is purified and freed from bran, in which pesticides are concentrated, the lower this rate. Conversely, a wholemeal wholemeal bread, for example, is made with T 150 flour.

If you want my opinion and in short: in traditional bakery, the “must of must” is bread made with organic flour, sifted on a stone millstone and without additives.

With unleavened bread, the “must of the must”, it is a bread made with an organic mixture of spelled flour and buckwheat. This mixture also has the advantage of being almost gluten-free.

Obviously, even if it is not certified organic, this mixture is still without improvers and industrial yeast.

Matzo bread: is it really good for your health? – Happiness and health

Prophylactic bread

Come on, I’ll grant you that. Prophylactic, that sounds a bit pedantic. What is a prophylactic process? It is an active or passive process aimed at preventing the onset, spread or aggravation of a disease.

There are other definitions, but this is the best I have found. Good very good, but still?

Let’s take a little leap into the past and listen to Hildegarde de Bingen (5), the astonishing Benedictine at the end of the XNUMXth century.

This remarkable woman, proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI, thus joining three other remarkable women, Catherine of Siena, Thérèse d’Avila and Thérèse de Lisieux, they are also the only women to have been like this. proclaimed, is also known as one of the very first naturalists.

I bore you ? Normal, all this is far now. Anyway, at a time when bread was a fundamental part of the diet, she said: ”spelled gives life to those who eat a little every day and brings joy to the heart. . ”

Spelled dates back to the early days of agriculture and although it resembles wheat, it cannot be equated with it.

Now, you see, spelled is made up of all the things on the mineral list: sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, silicon, sulfur, phosphorus, and iron. That’s not all.

It is full of vitamins B 1 and B 2. And above all, it provides the body with 8 essential amino acids that it is unable to synthesize on its own.

I remind you of them for the record because I have already told you about them, in particular, about quinoa and its benefits. These are valine, isoleucine, threonine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, lysine, methionine and leucine.

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The advantage of all these properties is that they play a very active role against many pathologies. This is prophylaxis! They are very useful in helping to counteract gastrointestinal disorders and metabolic disorders.

What about matzo in all of this? Well, it’s the one that allows you to take full advantage of the benefits present in cereals.

It is the one whose ingredients are best known. I told you a little earlier that the must of the must, it is a unleavened bread with spelled and buckwheat flour, and well, in fact, nothing could be simpler to obtain it and to know its proportions.

With regular bread, it will be a little more difficult.

Make your homemade unleavened bread

After all, why wouldn’t you make your own matzo bread? It couldn’t be simpler and it doesn’t take a lot of time.

Take 200 gr of flour, certified organic, if possible. Mix it with half a teaspoon of salt, and 12 cl of hot water. Knead it all for about XNUMX minutes, but no more.

And if it sticks, add a little flour, it means that you have put too much water. Don’t forget to preheat your oven to 200 ° during this time.

Divide your mixture into two balls that you will roll out with a rolling pin or a bottle to make two patties. Prick each of the two patties at regular intervals with a fork.

Place your two pancakes, which you have previously rounded with a pastry ring, to make it more beautiful, on the sheet of sulphurous paper, sprinkled with flour, which you have placed on your baking sheet.

Bake, put your thermostat at 200 °, wait between 15 and 20 minutes, and take out your baking sheet as soon as the pretty golden spots appear, then leave to cool for about ten minutes.

There you have your “homemade” unleavened bread, made with the flour of your choice.

For the little story …

Be aware that unleavened bread can have other uses than those I just mentioned. During the Christmas period, in Provence, it is with him that the tasty nougats with hazelnuts are made (6). Finally… The very thin leaves that cover them.


(1) Union of crispy and soft breadmaking

(2) The World, History of religions

(3) News from the bakery and pastry shop

(4) Classification of flour

(5) Eating according to Hildegarde de Bingen

(6) Chef Simon’s recipe – Le Monde

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