I have often been asked, how is it that Exodus Matza is soft?
The answer is we use a little more water, the Matza is not too long in the oven and the oven is not too hot.
Matza bakers like to boast about how hot their ovens are.
But ovens can also be too hot. Too hot to bake. The dough of hard Matza, already made with as little water as possible, simply dries out in the super intense heat of the oven, without being baked. I have often speculated about the distinctly yellow core within the thicker edges of the hand Matza. It looks like it might just be dehydrated dough. Is dehydrated dough Matza? Can it be used to fulfil the Mitzvah of eating Matza?
The machine made Matza ovens are said [by their owners on YouTube] to run at 700F and they are baked for at least 2 minutes. Dough of that thickness exposed to such temperatures for that time – would be burned to a crisp. There are small sections of the oven that run at 700F but the vast part of the oven runs at moderate temperatures.
Have you ever wondered why Machine made hard Matza and Hand made hard Matza have such different textures? Well, now you know.
The late Poskim considered whether it was permitted to bake Matza on paper. The Halachic question relates to whether the paper would prevent the Matza baking as rapidly as possible. Most Poskim determined that Matza may be baked on paper.
Our observation about this relates to the temperature at which paper burns. It burns at about 230C, which many will know from the book titled, Fahrenheit 451, the temperature at which paper burns. Clearly, the questions asked about baking Matza on paper were framed knowing that the paper would not burn; i.e. the ovens were heated to less than 230C.
These days hard Matza is baked at temperatures well in excess of 400C.
Exodus Matza conforms with our true traditions in all respects. Soft Matza can be verified to be properly baked by tearing it or poking it. This Halachic standard cannot be applied to hard Matza. HaRav משה שטרנבוך in חלק ד' דף צ' expresses his concerned that machine Matzos are likely to be Chamets.
Ovens are designed for specific purposes. Ovens for making crackers are designed to bake a flaky type of wafer because wafers with the texture of hard hand Matza are not a great seller. Such ovens are usually 100 plus feet long with at least 3 stages. At first the temperature is fairly low. This permits the gasses trapped in the dough to expand and stretch the dough which is not yet dry and hard. This section of the oven is commonly known as "spring". The next stage consists of a short duration high temperature section designed to colour the outside whilst the interior is not yet dry.
The last stage exposes the Matza to a long duration moderate temperature which dries the Matza. Rav Moshe Shternbuch urges that machine Matza should not be eaten throughout Pesach, due to the ovens which warm the dough but do not complete baking until much after the dough has entered the oven. Rav Yonasun Shteif, rules that there are very serious concerns with machine matzos baked with the common machine Matza oven.