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According to Halacha what is the proper beracha (blessing) on pancakes or waffles? Is it considered like bread which requires hamotzi or is it considered more like cake which is mezonot?

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    Cake is only mezonot if eaten as dessert/snack
    – Double AA
    Mar 27 at 23:27
  • @DoubleAA would you consider both to be pas haba bekisnin? Those lines have always been kind of murky ...
    – Shalom
    Mar 28 at 15:10
  • Interesting articles on this from the OU regarding pancakes: oukosher.org/halacha-yomis/… and waffles: oukosher.org/halacha-yomis/…
    – Esther
    Mar 28 at 21:10
  • I was under the impression that pancakes were tzuras hapas and thus if eaten as a meal would have the bracha hamotzi and if eaten as a snack would be mezonos
    – Dude
    Mar 29 at 19:12

2 Answers 2

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OU suggests mezonot for both waffles and pancakes presumably since they're made from grain (usually wheat) and not bread.

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    Why are they not bread?
    – Double AA
    Mar 28 at 12:35
  • I agree mezonot. But "made from grain and not bread" is not an answer - if they weren't made from grain then there would be no question at all. And since the answer is "mezonot", by definition they are not "bread". What is the distinction? Mar 28 at 14:32
  • The OU has articles on each of pancakes and waffles, describing specifically why they are mezonot, see my comment on the question
    – Esther
    Mar 28 at 21:12
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    @DoubleAA mostly because they are sweet, but they also might not have tzuras hapas, it depends on a few factors
    – Esther
    Mar 28 at 21:13
  • @esther I wager most challah has more sugar than waffles, per flour at least
    – Double AA
    Mar 28 at 21:25
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This OU page specifically refers to baked grain products becoming bread. This Mi Yodeya question about fried bread discusses some of the details.

Another article on The Halakhic Defintion of "Bread" discusses it in even more detail.

My take on it is that:

  • Dough is different from batter. Pancakes and waffles both start out as a liquid batter, not a dough that is kneaded. There is a Machlokes as to whether liquid batter can become Hamotzi bread even if it is baked.
  • Baking is critical. Pancakes are fried. I am not sure exactly what you would call a waffle iron, but it is in certain ways closer to frying (in terms of what you put in it and what you get out of it, even if it does involve a layer of oil like frying normally does) than to baking.

According to the referenced Mi Yodeya page, there is a Machlokes about the Bracha if dough is fried. But pancakes and waffles don't start as dough, and therefore they would not be Hamotzi.

"Cake" is a little different. Some cakes start as a very loose batter (what I think of as "birthday cake", for example), some as a thick batter or dough but not kneaded (e.g., cookie dough) and some are a dough that is kneaded. But all of those are baked - put the item on a pan in a hot oven just like bread is normally baked.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a clear Halachic definition of frying vs. baking. There are modern definitions (air flow, dry heat for baking (as is normal for bread and cake) vs. direct heat to a container with oil or another liquid for frying or cooking (as is normal for pancakes)) but I don't know how close that is to a Halachic definition.

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    Heating on a surface is baking. Fried means submerged in liquid. Pancakes are accordingly baked in a pan not fried (at least no pancake I've ever made)
    – Double AA
    Mar 28 at 14:51
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    @DoubleAA I think pancakes are grilled. But frying doesn't always require submersion, it also includes cooking on a thin layer of oil, like making latkes or matzah brie, or stir-frying.
    – Barmar
    Mar 28 at 15:35
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    @Barmar you are talking about English words not halachic concepts. Only the latter is relevant
    – Double AA
    Mar 28 at 16:14
  • @DoubleAA I was worried about that....
    – Barmar
    Mar 28 at 16:14
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    @DoubleAA source for your pronouncement?
    – Yehuda W
    Mar 31 at 20:12

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