Odd Matzah Ball Experience
I suddenly have new sympathy for those who complain about undesired matzah ball outcomes. This year I used the same recipe I've been using for the last 20+ years. The first batch I made, I opened up a new container of matzah meal. It happened to be Streit's, a brand I can't generally get locally. It looked a little different from my usual Manischewitz, but I figured it's all matzah meal, right? Not right. These matzah balls weren't just floaters. You could have tied a string to them and they would have lifted you off the floor. They expanded to nearly twice their usual size and were helium balls. The taste was fine but the texture was beyond light.
Next batch I went back to Manischewitz. The texture of the matzah meal was the same as previous batches, much finer than the Streit's. And guess what? This batch of matzah balls came out exactly the way my matzah balls usually do. They were tasty and light, floaters without being zeppelins.
Lesson learned. Clearly the brand of matzah meal and the fineness of its grind makes a big difference.
My mother always used Manischewitz and made floaters.
I only use Streit's and make larger and fluffier floaters (my preference).
If I want them extra big and extra light, then I make sure to have a large enough pot and increase the cooking time from 30 to 35 minutes after all the balls have been added to a pot of rolling boiling water, then cover tightly and reduce heat to the lowest setting.
This year wife asked for bigger size, so I followed this and made only 20 per batch instead of my usual 32 yield.
I don't find much difference in the American brands, but have never had a decent result with the Israeli matzo meal....all sinkers.
Also, I have cut 25% of the oil and 12.5% of the eggs from the recipe with great results. Use 3/4 cup oil and 7 large eggs per pound of meal.