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Mezonot Rolls

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Rabbi Ari Shvat

Cheshvan 10, 5772
Question
What is the status of mezonot rolls? I have seen very conflicting opinions - some stating that they are a halachic fallacy and others saying that the concept works (most notably on airplanes). Can this opinion be relied upon even when you are having a meal with a mezonot roll (kovea seudah)?
Answer
Shalom David, You're right, there are different opinions regarding "mezonot rolls". For sfaradim it's simple, for the Shulchan Aruch (Or. Ch. 168, 7) holds that as soon as the fruit juice is tasted in the roll (which I imagine is the case), its bracha is mezonot and doesn't need washing or benching. For Ashkenazim, the Rama writes that it's HaMotzi unless there is so much honey or spices that it's almost the ikar (the main ingredient). The basic understanding would indicate that those rolls which taste like rolls more than they taste like cake, are hamotzi, and accordingly, there's no such thing as mezonot rolls. On the other hand, others (Chabad, Maharsham) say that according to th Rama, it's enough for the amount of fruit juice to be more than the amount water in the batter. This does not set well with the wording of the Rama and therefore is better not to rely upon. On planes or when it's difficult to wash, there is on whom to rely, nevertheless this is less preferable. Kviat Seuda on mezonot is when eating about 4 k'beitzim, about 8 slices of bread (some say even more), something which isn't that common, so that hardly comes into play here, even according to the lenient opinion. There's another solution regarding airplanes, and that is if one eats less than an olive-size and then waits another 4 minutes, before eating the same amount, he is exempted from hand-washing and from benching Birkat HaMaazon. With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
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