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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Pekudei – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Halakhic Status of Bread Made with Both Wheat and Almond Flour

by Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on March 14, 2024)
Topics: Pekudei, Rosh Yeshiva Responds, Sefer Shemot, Torah

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https://pixabay.com/photos/loaf-bread-wheat-grain-baked-7352306/

וַיַּֽעֲרֹ֥ךְ עָלָ֛יו עֵ֥רֶךְ לֶ֖חֶם לִפְנֵ֣י הֹ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה הֹ אֶת־משֶֽׁה

He set upon it an arrangement of bread before Hashem as Hashem had commanded Moses (Shemot 40:23).

QUESTION—Washington, D.C.

A bread made with mostly rice flour but some wheat flour would be HaMotzi if you could taste the wheat. What about if instead it were made with almond flour? Would the same taste rule apply or would you need rov?

ANSWER

A question relevant to those with gluten intolerance as well. Mishnah Challah 3:7 teaches that if there is a mixture of wheat and rice, it is considered bread for HaMotzi and matzah if there is a wheat taste present.

Ramban, on page 31a of his Hilkhot Challah on that mishnah writes that this rule is unique to the combination of wheat and rice. It is a principle called גוררין – the wheat “drags” the rice. The Mishnah Torah in Hilkhot Bikkurim 6:11 and Hilkhot Chameiz uMatzah 6:5, mentions only a wheat and rice combination, as does Shulchan Arukh YD 324:9 and OC 453:2. However, Shakh YD 324:17 states that it seems that the Tur – who uses the word דגן and not חטים – disagrees with the Shulchan Arukh and would apply it to all 5 types of grain (but presumably only with rice).

A separate debate addresses whether the dough needs to contain the minimum shiur of one of the five grains – a kezayit for HaMotzi and 43 eggs for challah. Ramban states that as long as the bread dough contains the minimum shiur the ratio of wheat to rice can be extremely small. Ra’avad, in the two Rambams above, says that you need a shiur of the wheat flour in a ratio of 1:8 or 1:9 – כזית בכדי אכילת פרס – so you can eat the minimum amount of wheat flour in the requisite time.

When we get to Shulchan Arukh we find:

1. Only wheat and rice are mentioned (as stated above) – other grains and flours are presumably no good.

2. No mention of shiur – presumably there is no minimum proportion of wheat flour, it is considered as bread, as long as the wheat can be tasted.

Mishnah Berurah 453:14 follows the peshat of the above – it only works with wheat and rice and you do not need a particular proportion. He writes that you fulfill the mitzvah with one kezayit of such bread. He also adds that if it is a mixture of other types of grain – say barley, such that the barley is 1:8/1:9 of the rice, then you fulfill the mitzvah with a kezayit of the bread.

My pesak is that wheat and rice works even if the wheat is a tiny amount, and other grains work if the oats, barley, etc. is 1:8 or 1:9. You fulfill the obligation even with 1 kezayit of such bread.

Thus, a person who is gluten-intolerant can have matzah made of just a small amount of wheat flour combined with rice flour (yes – this overrides kitniyot). I think the ratio has to be more than 1:60, though to make sure it is tasted, you would probably have to do a taste test, or use the 1:8 or 1:9 ratio. If you can’t use wheat flour, barley flour plus rice (or almond) flour in a 1:9 ratio, is fine. The same would be true for HaMotzi.

The answer to the original question is yes, this does apply to almond flour, if there is 1:8 or 1:9 ration of wheat flour to the almond flour.

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