Question: Is bread from a non-Jewish store (without Rabbinic supervision) allowed?
1. Where kosher bread baked by a Jewish bakery is available, one should stick to that bread.
2. Where such bread is not readily available, one may eat non-Jewish bread provided that one knows for a fact that all ingredients are kosher (see Rambam’s MT Ma’akhaloth Asuroth 17:12). The ingredient that is sometimes an issue is the oil or fat used (vegetable oil is fine, and that is the oil most commonly used nowadays). Make sure there is no "improver" listed in the ingredients. “Improver” is sometimes actually beef lard.
3. Some breads contain grape juice as a sweetener. According to most Pos'qim non-Jewish grape juice is asur. I tend to disagree (see Tosaphoth HaRid, ‘Avodha Zara 57a).
Thursday, 25 October 2012