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Nov 14, 2006 01:29 PM

Matzo Balls

I made batch last night and they weren't so hot. I followed
the directions on the box of matzo meal but I wound up with sinkers, very hard.

What are the tricks to making light and fluffy MB's?

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  1. Sorry, I can't help you. My Bubby was famous for her "cannon balls", as we fondly referred to them. We adored her sinkers (into which she always put some fried onions), and I make them the same way now for my family. My kids actually complain when they come out a little on the fluffy side.

    I do know that some people use club soda in the mix to get them soft, while other recipes call for separating the eggs and beating the egg whites.

    1. Yeah, how "fluffy" is a matzo ball supposed to be? Give them a good long rest to absorb all the egg before you form them. Handle them gently — all you need to do is roll them to make them round; no need to compress anything. Then make sure they're fully cooked — If they're not floating, they're not fully cooked. Finally, enjoy the broth-infused starch high and feeling of love in your belly.

      1. My late Aunt Frances called her recipe "Never Fail" and I have no idea why, but it never once has. My favorite tip is to handle the mix as little as possible. I can't emphasize this enough - DO NOT overhandle them. That being said, I'm one of those who likes sinkers, too. If it's a matzah ball, it's all good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rockycat

          "Never Fail" Matzoh Balls was published in the New York Post in the 1960s. It was my mother's recipe and is my recipe, which I've used for 20 years. It's a very simple recipe, (I think 1-1/4 cups matzoh meal, 4 eggs, water, salt and pepper - sorry don't remember the measures off the top of my head). But it's very important that you let the matzoh meal absorb the water. I always put it up the night before, and make them the next day. They are boiled in water for 30 minutes, and your pot needs to be quite large for them to cook adequately. Use as little water on your hands as possible when you make the balls, but you will need to use some since the batter will stick.

        2. I somehow get mine to come out fluffy, which is how we like them. All the tips above, particularly making sure they're fully cooked. I also cook mine most of the way in boiling water, then add them to my soup to finish them, which I've deluded myself into thinking helps make them lighter.

          1 Reply
          1. re: susan1353

            ...and keeps your chicken soup from getting starchy and cloudy.

          2. Do not overhandle them.
            Let them rest.
            Add a pinch of nutmeg.

            Serious about the nutmeg. Don't ask me why. It just works (flavor-wise, that is. I doubt it has any effect on whether they are sinkers).

            As my pre-Thanksgiving mitzvot (such a thing, I've decided!), I will post the vaunted family recipe tomorrow. Sadly, I don't have it memorized.

            2 Replies
            1. re: skigirl

              Nutmeg? In a Jewish household? My Bubby only used cinnamon, allspice and ginger - never nutmeg. Oh, and she actually put a touch of cinnamon in her matzo balls, too. Just remembered.

              1. re: FlavoursGal

                Yep. Nutmeg. And cinnamon too. Maybe it's 'cuz we're Reform, we get a little loose with the vittles, and we're always futzing with the rules. In any event, the recipe is below. It is a spin on the Feather Kneidlach recipe from an old cookbook my mom got from a relative when she got married, The Jewish Home Beautiful:

                2 1/2 tablespoons schmaltz (NOT oil!!!!)
                2 eggs
                3/4 cup matzoh meal (approximately)
                1 teaspoon salt
                healthy dash cinnamon
                healthy dash nutmeg
                healthy dash freshly ground black pepper
                1/4 cup warm water

                -Beat the chicken fat well, add the eggs and beat again;
                -Add the water, seasoning, and only enough matzoh meal to form a thickened batter. You want to bind the batter, but not weigh it down with matzoh meal. This usually means using slightly less than the 3/4 cup.
                -Place in the refrigerator for a number of hours. We usually make first thing in the morning for dinner time.
                -One hour before serving, wet your hands with COLD water and shape into small balls (we are not of the one gigantic matzoh ball persuasion).
                --Place back in the refrigerator (coldest part) for approximately 30 minutes.
                --Drop balls into boiling well-salted water, cover tightly and cook for 30 minutes.
                --Drain and serve in chicken soup (homemade, of course).