Bread made from the five species of grains identified by our sages (wheat, barley, rye, spelt or oat) require the blessing "Hamotzi". In order to be considered bread, the liquid ingredient has to be primarily water and it has to be baked. Dough that uses more oil or fruit juice than water (like pastries), or dough that is fried or cooked (like pasta) is not regarded as "bread."

In addition to the blessing made on food, bread has the special requirement that we ritually wash our hands before partaking of it. Fill a large cup with water and pour it three times over your right hand, then three times over the left. Lift your hands and rub them together, and as you do so recite the following blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְ‑יָ אֱ‑לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדָים:

Baruch atah A-donay, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam, asher kideshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu al netilat yadayim.


Blessed are You L-rd our G‑d King of the universe Who has sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us on the washing of the hands.

Listen to this blessing

Then dry your hands thoroughly.

The blessing on bread:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְ‑יָ אֱ‑לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ:

Baruch atah A-donay, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam Hamotzi lechem min haaretz.
Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the Universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.

Listen to this blessing

Other Foods Eaten With Bread

When eating a meal that includes bread, begin your meal by washing, making the "Hamotzi" blessing, and eating a piece of bread. The Hamotzi blessing will "cover" everything you eat as part of the meal (except for dessert and wine). "Grace After Meals," recited after the meal, will cover everything you've eaten.