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I know intellectually that chemical leavening agents are allowed during Pesach. Kosher baking powder (free from kitinyot) is widely available. Still, I can't help feeling that it's cheating to use these products. Are there modern rabbinic authorities that are opposed to their use? If so, on what grounds?

  • Note that their use would be restricted to recipes calling for other kosher-for-Passover ingredients, and (at least in the vast majority of cases) not flour. One could not, e.g., make a cake with baking powder, despite its not being yeast, if flour and water were also ingredients. As always, for practical halacha, CYLOR rather than relying on what you read on this site. – msh210 Apr 4 '12 at 3:24
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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/05/dining/05leav.html?pagewanted=all

But rabbis in even some of the most Orthodox associations say chometz does not refer to all leavening.

"There is nothing wrong about a raised product at Passover per se," said Rabbi Moshe Elefant, executive rabbinic coordinator and chief operating officer of the Orthodox Union's kosher division, the oldest and most widely accepted certifier of kosher foods.

Lise Stern, author of "How to Keep Kosher" (Morrow, 2004), said: "Chometz, which means sharp or sour, denotes bread that has a sourness to it caused by fermentation, occurring when liquid is added to any of the five grains mentioned in the Torah. This refers to yeast, not baking powder or baking soda."

Rabbi Soloveichik said: "They're just minerals. What do we care about minerals?"

  • I did see this article, but the wording "... in even some of the most Orthodox associations ..." left me wondering whether there might be others that disagreed. Thanks for your answer -- if no one has come up with an objection yet then I feel better! – Ernest Friedman-Hill Apr 4 '12 at 21:59
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    What is "most Orthodox"? Do they mean "most orthodox"? – Double AA Apr 13 '14 at 14:11

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