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Meet Williamsburg’s matzoh men • Brooklyn Paper

Meet Williamsburg’s matzoh men

Matzoh man: Yossi Friedman takes out a fresh batch of shmura matzoh at the Satmar Central Matzoh Bakery on Rutledge Street just before Passover.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

These bakeries get breader every year.

Williamsburg’s matzoh-makers have furiously churned out a quarter million pounds of unleavened bread over the past six months — and they sold it like hot cakes right until the start of Passover yesterday.

Shmura matzoh is among the only flour products Hasidic Jews eat during the eight-day celebration, and unlike many crackers it’s made by hand.

It takes only 18 minutes for the all-male workers at the Satmar Central Matzoh Bakery on Rutledge Street to prepare a batch, kneading, rolling, and baking the matzoh in a brick oven before boxing it up and putting it on sale.

This year, bakers produced 65 tons pounds of matzoh — a 20 percent increase from last year’s output thanks to the neighborhood’s growing Hasidic community, bakers say.

Some of the neighborhood’s largest families buy as much as 80 pounds of matzoh, which at $20 per pound can cost about as much as a two-bedroom Williamsburg rental.

Neighborhood resident Gary Schlesinger bought a mix of regular Arizona wheat and whole wheat matzoh, which he likes for its rich taste.

“The kids like to eat matzoh for breakfast with a schmear of butter and cheese,” he said.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at ashort@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2547.

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