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What makes a matzo ball fluffy?

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I made matzo balls last night and they were the worst I have ever had in my life. It was like eating a ball of leather flavored like cardboard. Here is the problem -- I used the recipe I have used for years: the one on the back of the Manichewitz matzo meal box. The only difference was that that batter was a little dryer than usual and the matzo meal was a different brand, but I don't think this should make I a great difference. I chilled them for a while and then cooked them for an hour. I just can't believe that after an hour of cooking they were not even remotely soft, soggy, or water logged.

What I would really like is for someone to explain to what makes a matzo ball fluffy or barring that what my problem might have been.

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  1. Baking powder, baking powder, a thousand times baking powder.

    http://www.themanlyhousekeeper.com/20...

      1. re: jmcarthur8

        Absolutely, seltzer or any sparkling water. Also possible to separate eggs and beat whites in.
        The brand of matzo meal does make a difference as liquid is absorbed differently by different meal.
        If you had something that always worked for you maybe you should just keep doing that.

      2. Fluffy matzoh balls? I've never heard of such a thing! True matzoh balls have the density (and weight) of lead; anything else is...?? Well, I don't know the name for a "fluffy" matzoh ball....<very big grin> Sorry, couldn't resist.

        1. I've never used seltzer, never used baking powder, and never had a sinker. I separate the eggs and whip the whites to stiff peaks. The most important factor, however, is do not overhandle, whatever else you do.

          Also, cooking for an hour? That seems awfully long to me. Is that your usual cooking time?