Note: When one makes bread on Yom Tov, he may (and must) observe the laws of ‘hafrashas challah’ (separating challah from the dough.) The reason this is noteworthy is because the Sages prohibited other mitzvah “separations” on Shabbos and Yom Tov, such as ‘terumah or ma’saer’ from produce (i.e. gifts formerly given to the Kohein and Levi, and still observed, in part, in Eretz Yisrael today.) The reason the Sages prohibited these is because they have the appearance of “fixing” the food - since the food may not be eaten before the separations are made - which is not befitting Shabbos or Yom Tov. Inasmuch as separating ‘challah’ has the same properties as ‘terumah’, we might have thought it too to be forbidden on Yom Tov. Therefore, it is noteworthy that, unlike ‘terumah and ma’aser’, separating challah is, indeed, permitted. Why the difference? Since ‘challah’ cannot possibly be separated until the dough is mixed, and the Torah specifically permitted the baking of bread, the Sages understood this permit to include ‘hafrashas challah’ - whereas ‘terumah and maaser’ can always be separated before Yom Tov, even before the produce is cooked or prepared.
And now, for our next lesson:
MBY 507:1-7 Baking on Yom Tov (abridged)
Ed: Most of the material contained within this siman has little or no relevance to the baking we do today in our modern ovens. In the time of the Gemara and Shulchan Aruch, many questions concerning the use of wood and other fuel, including muktzah issues, were relevant. In previous lessons, we have addressed the general ‘heter’ (halachic permit) to perform the melachos of cooking and baking. The issue of raising and lowering the heat on an oven will, iy”H, be addressed in siman 514. For now, we will make just summarize one halacha relevant to baking bread in an oven. This will also serve as a nice review of a previous lesson!
In “MBY 503:1-2 Preparing food on Yom Tov for the next day”, we learned about the concept of ‘marbeh b’shiurim’ (lit. making larger quantities) – i.e. the permit to make extra quantities of food on Yom Tov than one will actually consume that day, and thereby have “leftovers” to eat on the next day, particularly if that day is Yom Tov again, or Shabbos. We learned there that there is no ‘heter’ to do so if it involves either more melacha-activity or more ‘tircha’ (effort or energy) than one needs for today’s consumption. The only exception is when the extra quantity somehow enhances the taste of “today’s” food. So, for example, if a pot filled with meat is tastier than a pot containing only a few pieces, one could even fill the pot with meat after it was sitting on the fire (which means more melacha-activity), because he is enhancing today’s quantity of meat in the process! Of course, once the extra meat is made, one could certainly eat it on the next day! (Remember that the Sages were trying to make it easier for us?!)
What about putting extra loaves of bread into the oven in order to fill it up – is that justifiable for the sake of the enhanced taste of today’s bread, even though clearly more melacha and ‘tircha’ is expended for each additional loaf? The Gemara says YES! The Shulchan Aruch says NO! – because already in his day, bread was baked differently from those in the Gemara’s times, and that consequently, extra loaves did not enhance the others. The Mishna Berura quotes other authorities who rule more leniently than the Shulchan Aruch, maintaining the same ‘heter’ even until today! The MB cautions us to rely on this opinion only in cases of great need (e.g. if one did not make an ‘Eruv Tavshilin’ – a procedure by which all food preparation may be done on Yom Tov for the next day of Shabbos – the topic of Siman 527), but not as a means of halachic “subterfuge"!