Mishna Berura Summaries

Siman 168 – Which bread gets the blessing?

  1. In a case when you want to eat two types of bread, there is a hiddur mitzva to say the beracha on the one of better quality. (This extra mitzva applies, as well, when you will be eating only one of the two breads but you have no preference as to which one.) (ShA 1 – MB 1,5)
  2. The following is a list of qualities in descending order of importance:
  1. Wheat – being the best of the 7 spiecies (Later in Siman 211 we will learn that some poskim hold that personal preference comes first.) 
  2. Whole.
  3. Cleanly sifted. (Even if you aren’t machmir for pas Yisroel, pas Yisroel ties with this quality)
  4. If both are cleanly sifted, the whiter loaf takes priority unless you prefer the darker loaf.
  5. Large. (ShA 1,2,4,5 – MB 3,6,10,13,15,16,18)
    1. Two loaves that attached during the baking can be separated and still considered whole. However, since the separated side looks as if it was cut, botzaya from the well baked side. This does not apply when being botzaya a truly cut piece of bread.                (ShA 3 – MB 11)
    2. These days the custom is that each person recites “hamotzi” for himself. (MB 21)
    3. Pas haboh b’kisnin (described later) gets a Mezonos before eating and an Al Hamichya afterwards. This is because it is usually eaten as a snack. (ShA 6 – MB 23)
    4. If you eat a quantity of pas haboh b’kisnin that is the amount of a sit down meal you need to wash netillas yodayim, say “hamotzi” and afterwards Birkas Hamazon. Some poskim say as long as you eat 4 eggs worth, the beracha changes to Hamotzi. Therefore do not eat 4 eggs worth – it will be a sofek. (MB 24)
    5. Other accompanying foods eaten together with pas haboh b’kisnin combine with the pas to make up the above shiur. (MB 24)
    6. If you personally become full from less than the above shiur (without the accompanying foods) – you will say “hamotzi” as long as the pas is a quantity that others would be full from, were they to eat it with accompanying foods. (MB 24)
    7. There are 3 descriptions for pas haboh b’kisnin:
              1. Regular bread-dough is filled with a lot of fruit or honey or sugar, nuts etc. and then baked together. There is so much filling that it strongly affects the flavor of the bread.
              2. The bread-dough is kneaded together with a lot of honey or oil or milk or spices or fruit juice to the point that they make up the ikar flavor – and the grain flavor becomes secondary.
              3. Bread dough is baked into dry and crumbly biscuits.

                The idea is that it is not common to eat a lot of these. They do not achieve the importance of bread. They remain Mezonos. (ShA 7 – MB 27,28,33,35 – BaH 14)

                1. We pasken like all of the above – they all have the din of pas haboh b’kisnin. (ShA 7)
                2. Bread that has extra spice for taste or some raisins kneaded in, is still regular pas.  (MB 30)
                3. If you remove some fruity filling from pas haboh b’kisnin, say the beracha for fruit. If you eat only the pastry part, it is still Mezonos. (MB 27)
                4. There are many people who are not careful: they buy small cakes that are mostly kneaded with water but say “mezonos” on them because of the little bit of egg or honey. This is wrong. If it is kneaded with mostly eggs and a minority of water, the egg flavour will be prominent and rightly classified as pas habo b’kisnin.                (BeH “harbay”)
                5. There is a type of pas that, because it starts off as batter and baked very thin, has the beracha Mezonos and Al Hamichya. Flour is mixed with a lot of water and then poured – spreading thin into a pan, and then baked in an oven or on a stove top with no oil. If you make a meal out of these (see above #62, #63, #64) the beracha changes to Hamotzi. (ShA 8 – MB 37)
                6. A batter is poured on a very hot iron form, then sandwiched by a second hot form on top – making the batter spread out even thinner. It bakes immediately. It is not classified as pas at all, therefore the beracha is Mezonos no matter how much you eat. (MB 38 – ShaH 36)
                7. What is the beracha required for pas haboh b’kisnin eaten during a regular bread meal?
                          1. If it is eaten to fill you it is covered by the beracha on the bread and does not require any further beracha.
                          2. If it is eaten like dessert for its sweetness but you eat a shiur of 4 eggs (k’vias seuda) – it might be Hamotzi anyways – don’t say a beracha. 
                          3. If you eat less than 4-eggs worth for dessert, say a beracha only if it is pas haboh b’kisnin according to all opinions (i.e. filled tasty dough baked to a crumbly consistency, see above #65).
                          4. If you eat kichel or prezels (examples of mezonos-pas that might have a din of Hamotzi) – don’t say a beracha. It is best to have them in mind when you say “hamotzi”. If you want to say a beracha Mezonos on a filled dough you won’t lose. (ShA 8 – MB 41,42 – BeH “t’unim”)
                            1. A cooked dish that is not categorized as pas and is served during a bread meal gets no beracha even if it is filled (e.g. apple kugel). Do not even remove the apples to say a Hoaytz on them – they are toffel to the grain. (MB 43)
                            2. Sometimes a thin baked dough is served only to hold another food so your fingers don’t become soiled. The beracha on the food exempts this “pas” since the “pas” is eaten in a toffel manner. (ShA 8 – MB 45)
                            3. If you eat all of the food off and then eat the baked “holder”, say a Mezonos on the holder. However, if you eat both together, do not say a beracha on the holder, even if it is left over at the end by itself. (MB 46)
                            4. Cake that has a condiment baked on top of it is Mezonos. But if after the baking, the condiment (which is good to eat by itself) is spread on top – say a separate beracha on the condiment. (MB 45)
                            5. Regular bread gets the beracha Hamotzi even for the smallest amount. Do not say an after beracha unless you ate a k’zayis. (ShA 9 – MB 47)
                            6. Bread does not lose the chashuv beracha Hamotzi just because it becomes small pieces. Even if it is pulverised to be like flour it is still Hamotzi. However, there are further processes that can make the bread pieces lose their chashivus:
                                    1. Boiled in a kli rishon, all pieces less than a k’zayis. (MB 49,52,53)
                                    2. Combined with liquid (e.g. honey, broth) all less than a k’zayis and do not look like bread anymore. (MB 58)
                                    3. All pieces less than a k’zayis are soaked until the water turns white.          (ShA 11 – MB 61)

                                      Any of these cases turns the food into Mezonos and Al Hamichya no matter how much you eat. (ShA 10,11 – MB 57)

                                      1. If you ever have a k’zayis among the pieces, you say Hamotzi on that piece and the rest of the smaller pieces are exempt. But you can say Mezonos and eat only the small pieces. (MB 53 – BeH “v’im”)
                                      2. Let’s say the pieces are smaller than k’zayis, combined with liquid, and then fried in a pan:
                                        1. If you use just a little bit of oil, the beracha remains Hamotzi.
                                        2. If you are deep frying the food, there is an argument if it is considered like boiling or baking. Do not eat such food except during a bread meal.           (MB 56 – Rama 14)
                                        1. The minhag ha’olam is to say Mezonos on knaidlach; no matter how much you eat. (MB 59)
                                        2. Pulverised lechem kneaded with “liquid” and then baked. If the “liquid” is:
                                          1. A little oil, the food should not be eaten except during a bread meal.
                                          2. A lot of oil or honey – Mezonos (pas haboh b’kisnin)
                                          3. Just water – Hamotzi. (MB 59)
                                          1. When you dip cake into coffee and you want both equally, say a beracha Shehakol on a sip of plain coffee first. Even better: Say a beracha on the plain cake first, then say Shehakol on a piece of sugar to be motzi the coffee. (MB 65)
                                          2. Boiled or deep-fried dough is mezonos no matter how much you eat. Nevertheless, a yoray shomayim should eat them only during a bread meal. But, if the dough is mixed with extra ingredients, then the most it can be is pas haboh b’kisnin.                  (ShA13 – MB 75)
                                          3. Noodles are made of boiled dough, but since they do not resemble bread after the boiling – the beracha is mezonos according to all opinions. (Rama 13)
                                          4. Boiled dough or batter which is then baked either in an oven or on a stove top is Hamotzi (compare bagels). (ShA 14 – MB 83,85)
                                          5. Deep fried dough or batter which is then baked is a dispute among the poskim: some hold it is Hamotzi – others hold it is pas haboh b’kisnin. (MB 85)
                                          6. Deep fried batter is Mezonos no matter how much you eat. But batter “fried” with only a little bit of oil (to avoid burning) is considered baked. (Compare pancakes.)(Rama 14)
                                          7. When a bread dough is baked together with its accompaniment (e.g. meat, fish, cheese) the beracha remains Hamotzi. Because this food is for a satiating meal, it does not demote to pas haboh b’kisnin. (ShA 17 – MB 94)
                                          8. Soft kichel that has no water in the dough (just eggs) is pas haboh b’kisnin. If there is a little water in the dough the minhag is to treat it still as pas haboh b’kisnin. A yoray shomayim should eat it only during a bread meal. (MB 94)
                                          9. Hard, dry kichel is pas haboh b’kisnin. (MB 94)