- Question: [Sunday, 16th Iyar, 5783]
I am on a special diet and need to eat a special bread made of oat flakes. It does not contain any flour, but simply oat flakes [and other ingredients] because of which the bread is very crumbly and does not really cut into slices. What is its blessing? Hamotzi, Mezonos, Hadama, or Sheakol and what is its after blessing?
If it has no flour and only flakes, then since it cannot cut into regular slices of bread and does not resemble the form of bread, then its blessing is Mezonos and Al Hamichyah, just like oatmeal porridge.
There are a number of conditions which must be present in order for bread to receive the blessing of Hamotzi and Birchas Hamazon, aside for just the fact that it is made up of one of the five grains. For example, in order for bread to be Hamotzi [or be potentially Hamotzi if one were to set a meal over it] it must be baked as opposed to cooked and retain the form of bread. If it is cooked or does not retain its form of bread then it is not Hamotzi, and does not require Hafrashas Challah, and cannot be used for Lechem Mishneh. Thus for example if one were to cook porridge made of oatmeal grains, then it’s blessing would be Mezonos and not Hamotzi as it is both not baked, and does not contain the texture of bread.
Now with that said, let us determine the status of oat flake bread: If the final baked substance somehow resembles the same texture as regular bread in which you can cut a slice of it and smear something on it and eat it as a sandwich, then indeed it would be Hamotzi and require Hafrashas Challah. This, however, would only be possible if the flakes disintegrate in the water and become similar to flour. Otherwise, if the flakes retain their flaky texture, then there is no way that such bread will resemble regular bread, and it is more similar to porridge, or granola bar, and hence is not Hamotzi. In all of the oat flake recipes that I have seen, actual flour is also added for the simple reason that you will not receive the texture of bread in your finished product if flour is not added. Hence, if you make it without any flour at all as you say you do, then it will never be able to become Hamotzi being that it does not contain the regular texture of bread. Seemingly, it is due to this reason that throughout the Talmud and Poskim we always find the term flour used when discussing the ingredients of bread, and never find whole grains in the description, as it is simply not possible to make a texture of bread without flour. Nonetheless, it’s blessing would still be Mezonos and Al Hamichya just like porridge, as the grains stick together through the cooking which is the condition necessary for a grain food to be elevated from Hadama to Mezonos.
Sources: See regarding the blessing of Mezonos over whole grains which are cooked and stick together: Admur 202:12; Seder 1:8; Luach 1:7; M”B 208:3; Igros Moshe 4:45; Piskeiy Teshuvos 208:3; See regarding the blessing over oatmeal porridge: Vezos Habracha Beirurim 27:9; Piskeiy Teshuvos 208:8; Luach of Rav Prus See regarding that the blessing of Hamotzi is only said if the grain baked food retains the form and texture of bread: Seder 2:12 and 2:15; Admur 168:20; Derech HaChaim 219, brought in Ketzos Hashulchan 48:10; Piskeiy Teshuvah 168:21; See regarding the use of the term flour in all areas discussing Hamotzi: Admur 168:11, 13; Kuntrus Achron 168:10; Seder Birchas Hanehnin 2:6; 8:3