Shabbat Parashat Chukat| 5767
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Question: I used 2 kilo of flour to bake several challot. I remembered about hafrashat challah (=hc) only after baking most of the challot and freezing the remaining dough (which I didn’t need for that Shabbat). How do I do hc now?
Answer: One who did not do hc on dough may do so even on the resulting bread (we will reserve the term challah for that which is taken off during hc) with a beracha (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 327:5). However, should the challah be taken from the dough, the bread, both, or either? One may not do hc from one min (type) onto another, e.g., if they are made from different grains (ibid. 324:2). Are dough and bread from the same grain one min in this regard?
The Tur (YD 324) discusses one who mixed up loaves of bread, where only one had hc done on it. One solution to the problem is to make enough new dough for a new obligation of hc and take from it onto whichever loaf requires it. The Derisha (ad loc.:4) wonders why one could not make a little dough and connect it to the existing loaves to create a combination. He answers that bread and dough are like two minim which do not combine to create an obligation of hc, and one cannot take challah from something that is not obligated to exempt something that is (one of the loaves). However, if the dough is independently obligated, the challah taken to exempt it can also exempt the bread. In your case, the original dough was ostensibly obligated in hc and, therefore, challah can be taken from either the bread or the dough.
However, we must examine a few assumptions. First, it is not clear that all agree with the Derisha. The Haghot Maimoniot (Teshuvot after Zera’im, 22) says that one cannot do hc from bread on dough or vice versa. Admittedly, that is a minority opinion and the Challat Lechem (2:(23)) even limits it to an exceptional situation.
Few seem to be aware of the more serious issue. The Shulchan Aruch (ibid. 326:2) (based on a mishna (Challah 1:7)) says that if one makes enough dough for hc with the intention to break it up before baking into pieces that are too small for hc, it is exempt from hc. (Although the obligation begins at the time it is dough, this is based on assumptions regarding the future baking. That which happens after baking does not affect the obligation of hc.) If so, how do we ever do hc, since our individual loaves are small? The most common answer is that the aforementioned ruling refers to cases where the dough is given to different people. However, if one keeps and bakes smaller loaves, so that they may be “reunited” later, it is considered one batch, which is obligated. However, several poskim make distinctions regarding the level of future connection between the loaves even when they are kept by one person (see Pitchei Teshuva, YD 326:2). This is not the forum for in-depth analysis. However, the bottom line is that it is unclear if there is an obligation of hc when that which is baked immediately and that which is baked much later (in this case, after the first batch is finished) are individually “undersized.” If you may have already baked enough for hc and the leftover dough is smaller, you may not be able to take challah from the possibly exempt dough on the obligated bread. However, it is possible that a minhag has developed to view the dough to be baked and that to be frozen as dough as one batch, for many women make a beracha even in this case (see Shevet Halevi IV, 145). (One can question the wisdom of kneading and freezing more dough than needed just to enable making a beracha.)
In your case, the safest idea is to bake the remaining dough (and freeze later) and put the batches together (i.e. by covering them together - Shulchan Aruch ibid. 325:1) for hc. Another safe system is to take challah from the bread on the bread and the dough on the dough without a beracha (assuming each is too small for a beracha). It is legitimate to accept the opinions that you can do hc as you like with a beracha as long as they are all before you (see ibid.:2).
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This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated to the memory of
R' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld o.b.m.
Hemdat Yamim is also dedicated by Les & Ethel Sutker of Chicago, Illinois in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
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