Some Laws of Separating Challah

Instant Fresh Baked Challah

Many families purchase ready-made challos that just need to be put into the oven and baked.  Who separates the Challah?  Based upon research – the bakery separates the Challah.  Since the bakery might keep the amount of dough which is obligated in Challah the obligation is the bakery’s.

Shiur (Amount)

Only dough made with flour of the five grains (wheat, rye, spelt, oats, and barley) is obligated in Challah.  Challah is separated from a dough made from 2.6 pounds of flour (1.8Kg about 8 2/3 cups) without a brocha.  A brocha is recited if 4.95 pounds of flour (2.25Kg about 16 1/2 cups).  Challah must be separated from cake and cookies without a brocha if a sufficient amount of flour was used (when baking at home it is not common to use such a large amount of flour).  If a cake or cookie batter is runny the separation is taken care of as soon as it is baked.

Method

When standing a small piece of the dough is held (preferably the size of an olive) and the brocha (if required) is recited.  The piece of dough is separated (some people recite “harei zu challa”).   The separated piece is wrapped (in foil) and placed in an oven or on a grill to be burned  Nothing may be baked in the oven while the challah is being charred.  If it is too difficult to burn the challah some people wrap it in plastic and through it away.

Combining Products

If small amounts of compatible dough or even baked goods that did not have challah separated  are combined in one container – so that now a sufficient amount of Challah is present – Challah must now be separated.  Placing the dough or baked goods on the same shelf in a refrigerator or freezer is considered like putting the products into one container.

More Important Information

If a non-Jew makes kosher baked goods they are not obligated in Challah.

A person should not make baked goods without any water.  To avoid halochic “challenges” when removing Challah, some water should always be included in the dough.

Please follow the directions of your rabbi or established family halochic traditions if they differ from our guidelines.