On Thanksgiving, many have the custom to eat stuffing, which usually incorporates bread as a major ingredient, with their turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy. What bracha should be recited up it? What do different poskim recommend?
According to this (which includes footnotes to the original sources) the bracha is Mezonot.
There are two main instances where the bracha on bread is Mezonot:
- when small pieces of bread are mixed with other ingredients, to the p[o]int that they are no longer recognizable as bread
- when small pieces of bread are cooked
When bread is 1) broken into pieces smaller than a kezayit, and 2) mixed with other ingredients,3 if the pieces are no longer recognizable as bread. Generally, the bread loses its taste from being immersed in the other ingredients, and the bracha becomes Mezonot.4 This is true even if the small pieces of "bread" are subsequently joined together and made into one food that is larger than a kezayit.5 For example:
- an exotic dessert consisting of blenderized bread, mixed with apple juice and brown sugar, and stuck together into squares covered in chocolate
- turkey stuffing, which is made from bread that is broken up, mixed with other ingredients, and then baked
3: Simply immersing bread in water alone does not have this effect, unless it is soaked to the point where the water begins to turn white. (OC 168:11)
4: Halachos of Brochos, ch. 26 footnote 44, citing Rabbi S.Z. Auerbach
5: The Laws of Brachos, pg. 264, citing Magen Avraham 168:26
Cooking bread or changing its appearance by mixing it with other ingredients only affects its bracha when the pieces are smaller than a kezayit. Pieces of bread that are larger than a kezayit are still considered bread even after being cooked or altered. Their bracha remains Hamotzee.11
11: Orach Chaim 168:10
There are some more details, for example if the ground up bread is baked not cooked it may become Hamotzee again. (Stuffing is considered cooked not baked since it's wet, not dry like dough.)