Bread Loses Its Status
Intro: This entire discussion is only concerning already made bread, and we are trying to turn it back to mezonot. (However, if it wasn’t bread yet – like I started with flour as opposed to crushed pieces of bread – then it could be mezonot without any of this. In order for something made out of wheat flour to be mezonot – see Pas Haba Bikissnin)
Cooked – if the pieces were placed in a pan of water on fire, or if the pan is not on the fire then at least the water in the pot must be hotter than “Yad Solet Yado” (Various opinions range from 104° F to 176° F, but as for the halacha we are machmir on both sides depending on the case. In this regard, concerning bread loosing it’s status, we would go with 104° F).
The Mishna Berura qualifies that this only applies when working with a kli rishon, but if one put the bread into a kli sheini which was hotter than Yad Solet Yado - it would retain it's bread status.
Fried – There is a dispute concerning whether or not frying in oil is equivalent to cooking with water or perhaps similar to baking. The difference being that if frying is similar to cooking than the bread would loose its status, but if it’s similar to baking it wouldn’t.
We poskin that if the bread was placed in a medium amount of oil and fried so that the food gets more taste or changes its color – it’s safek bread. However, if there was just a tiny bit of oil placed in the pan for the sake that the bread doesn’t burn – then the frying would be comparable to baking. On the other hand, if it was deep fried and totally immersed in oil – then it is treated as cooking.
Bread mixed with liquids – if it wasn’t cooked or fried, but rather broken up into small pieces and you then reformed the clump of small pieces using either milk/honey/soup or something like that AND it doesn’t look like bread any more – then say mezonot.
Soaked - Another way of removing bread’s status is to take small pieces of bread and soak them in water for a while, until the water turns white. Some say it will even work with red wine, however any other liquid wouldn’t change it’s status.
Some Common Examples:
Matzah Balls – if they are made from matzah meal or crushed bread and then cooked in water – mezonot.
Pesach Cakes which are made from matzah meal and then kneaded along with water, oil, and sugar and then are baked in oven – would be safek bread and should only be eaten during a meal. However, if one wanted to make the cake mezonot, he would need to add more of the oil/fruit juice than water to the matzah meal.
French Toast: First Off - If the French Toast remained the size of a KaZayit, then even if it had been soaking in eggs and fried, it would remain a hamotzei. However, if the pieces were smaller, then it would be treated as safek bread and preferably should only be eaten in a bread meal so as to avoid the uncertainty.
Matzah Bry – if the pieces are smaller than a KaZayit it would be treated as safek bread and should be eaten in a bread meal. Alternatively, one can first cook the crushed matzah in water and then fry it – and this would avoid the safek and the resulting matzah bry would be mezonot.
Croutons - where one placed small toasted pieces of bread into very hot soup - would looses it's bread status and become mezonos.