Shailoh of the Week by Rabbi Zvi Nussbaum
Rabbinic Coordinator, Kosher Hotline Administrator for the Orthodox Union
Enjoy indulging in a quick nosh, crunch on the go, and not interested in washing for a Hamotzi? Are pita chips and bread croutons similar to noshing on a pretzel or cracker or, is washing, Hamotzi, and Birkat Hamazon necessary?
You may be surprised to learn that there is a quick nosh that actually requires reciting Hamotzi! When these products are made, they are first produced as regular bread. They are then cut into small pieces, seasoned with spices and oils, and baked a second time.
Rabbi Yisroel Belsky zt”l was of the opinion that their Bracha remains Hamotzi. Other prominent poskim such as Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l were of the opinion that being that the original intention was to turn them into a snack food, the bracha is mezonot.
Everyone agrees that if the croutons are added to boiling soup or made into stuffing and cooked, the Bracha would be Mezonot.