Types of Matzah

Traditional Jews refrain from using certain types of matzah at the seder.

Since the commandment regarding the eating of matzah in place of hametz is repeated several times in the Torah (see Exodus 12), it has come to be observed with extreme strictness, particularly on the first two nights (seder nights). There are several types of matzah, varying in their strictness. Also, be aware that not all matzah is certified kosher-for-Passover.

Shmura (Hand-Made)

The wheat is watched from the time of harvesting until the final baking to ensure that no water, heat, or other natural processes cause it to begin fermentation. It is hand-made, constantly observed, and the utensils used for making it are washed every 18 minutes [and dried out] (the time when fermentation can begin, according to halacha, Jewish law).

READ: Why Shmura Matzah Is So Expensive

Shmura (Machine-Baked)

Same as above but baked by mechanical processes. Although this is kosher in all ways, some have questions as to whether the introduction of machinery necessitates revision in the laws.

Regular Matzah

This is the supermarket matzah. It is only watched from the time of grinding (as opposed to the time of harvesting). Although this is also kosher, many people prefer to use the shmura matzah to fulfill the mitzvah [commandment] during the seder, and use this for regular consumption during Passover.

Egg Matzah

Matzah baked with egg, milk, wine, or fruit extracts. It is called “unleavened bread prepared in a rich manner.” Eating this will not fulfill the obligation of eating matzah at the seder [and many traditional Jews refrain from eating egg matzah at all during Passover].

Reprinted with permission from The Jewish Catalogue: A Do-It-Yourself Kit, edited by Richard Siegel, Michael Strassfeld, and Susan Strassfeld, published by the Jewish Publication Society.

Discover More

How to Make Matzah Toffee

An easy Passover dessert that's seriously addictive.

The Story Behind Soft Matzah for Passover

This style of baking matzah is often referred to as "authentic," resembling the way that matzah was made thousands of years ago.

11 Matzah Brei Recipes to Try This Passover

An easy Passover breakfast that can be made sweet or savory.