Buckwheat Bread

What bracha (blessing) is said on buckwheat bread? And let’s say it is mixed with whole wheat flour?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

In spite of its name, buckwheat (kasha in Yiddish) is not a type of wheat or a member of the grass family at all. It is often referred to as a “pseudocereal” because its seeds are similar in composition to cereal grains and are likewise prepared and served in a similar manner. Beyond that, however, Jewish law views it as an ordinary plant species. Thus, if one eats it as porridge – where the grains are still visible, the blessing is ha’adamah. If it is ground and baked into “bread”, the blessing is she’hakol. (This may potentially change if it becomes very normal to make buckwheat bread. If so, it would retain its original blessing of ha’adamah. I’m assuming that is not the situation today.)

In terms of Passover, since it resembles grain, it is considered a type of kitniyot (such as rice, corn and legumes) which the custom of Ashkenazi Jews is not to eat on Passover.

If buckwheat flour is mixed with wheat flour (or flour from any of the other four grains – barley, oats, rye, and spelt), then if the taste of the wheat is discernible, the blessing is ha’motzi – as is said on bread. If one eats an olive-sized amount of wheat in the span of four minutes (which generally occurs if the mix is 25% wheat), then he recites birkat ha’mazon afterwards.

If the proportion of wheat is less than that, but it can still be tasted – or if the proportion was higher but a person did not eat enough of it to consume an olive-size amount of wheat, the blessing beforehand is still ha’motzi, but there is a question what blessing should be said after (whether al ha’michyah or borei nefashot). Due to this, it’s preferable that one eat such a food only during a bread meal.

If the buckwheat bread has little wheat flour in it, such that it cannot be tasted, its blessing remains she’hakol.

(Sources: Shulchan Aruch O.C. 208:8-9, Mishna Berurah 33, 47.)

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