Must Granolas be Bishul Yisrael?

Do Granola and Granola Bars Have to be Pas Yisroel or Bishul Yisroel?

Pas Yisroel is the requirement that the bread we eat be baked by a Jew, bread being defined as a product of the five grains (identified as wheat, barley, oats, rye and spelt) which has been converted into dough. In view of the fact that granola, is not dough and its brachah is therefore ha’adamah, the requirement of pas Yisroel does not apply to it. Many brands of granola bars are also ha’adamah

Bishul Yisroel is the requirement that dishes of certain significance be cooked by a Jew. One of the defining factors is that it applies only to food which is oleh al shulchan melachim (that would be served at the meals of royalty). Thus, according to many poskim, snack foods, granola and granola bars included, are not subject to the laws of bishul Yisroel.

In fact, even those who don’t rely on this lenient approach would agree that granola doesn’t qualify in other ways: It’s not a dish that’s served with bread (i.e. as part of a meal), and furthermore, to quote the Rambam (originally in the context of roasted wheat kernels), “Ein adam mezamein chaveiro,” (one would not invite his friend over) to eat a meal consisting of granola or granola bars.

It‘s therefore safe to conclude that granola and granola bars need to be neither pas Yisroel nor bishul Yisroel. While there is a minority view that is stringent, the consensus among poskim reflects the above conclusion. #461

Practical Halacha: One minute a day. By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, shlita, Mara D'asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.