potato-knish-two-ways Recipes

potato knish, two ways

Where have I been, you ask? Did I fly off to a small Caribbean island again, only to return to rub it in? Did my book project or adorable distraction eat me alive again? For once, no. I have actually been out climbing another (slightly smaller) culinary Mount Everest for you, and I have returned bearing not one, but two recipes.

both get peeled
onion, leek

I’ve been wanting to make potato knish almost as long as I’ve had this site. I thought I’d finally tackle it this winter, when carbs-for-warmth are the order of the day but New York up and decided to not have a winter this year and so it was a 60 degree day or never. I’m glad I went with it as knish are quintessentially old New York, brought to the Lower East Side tenements by Jewish Eastern European immigrants who knew, like most of our forefathers did, how to stretch staples into belly-filling delights.

russet potatoes and caramelized onions

The first knish bakery set up shop just down the street from me in 1910 (from 1890 to 1910, it was operated from a pushcart, or you know, the original taco truck) and as Milton Glaser and Jerome Snyder delightfully note in their 1968 book, The Underground Gourmet, “No New York politician in the last 50 years has been elected to office without having at least one photograph showing him on the Lower East Side with a knish in his face.” That knishery, Yonah Schimmel, still exists (with its original dumbwaiter, and never-shared recipes) and while I know that these days the word knish means many things to many people, I’m going to defer to their approach: dough-wrapped, potato-filled and baked. Or, as the current owner told the New York Times on the shop’s 100th anniversary, “I don’t mean to insult anyone else, but a knish is round, baked and made of potato or mixed with potato. It’s not square. It’s not fried.”

kale, leeks, cream cheese, red potatoes

Well, I will mostly defer to it. I did, in fact, make a very classic potato knish, with mashed Russet potatoes and caramelized onions. But I couldn’t stop there; I never can. I made a second batch with red potatoes, cream cheese, caramelized leeks and kale (kale!). If you’re clutching your pearls right now over my red potato-and-leek sacrilege, however, don’t, because I was thisclose to also adding bacon and think I showed remarkable restraint. (Though, no need for you to.)

rolling the dough outadding the potato fillingroll it up, trim the endstwist like making sausage linkspinch and closebrush with egg wash

They’re both as excellent as you would expect from carbs, wrapped in more carbs, brushed with egg, baked until flaky outside and steamy inside and filling enough to require the cancellation of all other meals for the remainder of the day. But the latter one is, in fact, knish of my wildest dreams, a bit part of each of my cooking religions — French, Eastern European and Vaguely Nutritionally Balanced, and packed with so much flavor, you might even skip the spicy mustard. I won’t tell.

six baked potato knish
a flaky, hearty half knish

One year ago: Sally Lunn Bread + Honeyed Brown Butter Spread
Two years ago: St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake, Warm Mushroom Salad with Hazelnuts, Coconut Milk Fudge, Breakfast Pizza and Irish Soda Bread Scones
Three years ago: Pita Bread, Migas with Tomato-Chipotle Coulis and Layer Cake Tips and The Biggest Birthday Cake Yet
Four years ago: Almond Biscotti, Roasted Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza, Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake, White Bean Stew and Butterscotch Ice Cream
Five years ago: Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad

Classic Potato Knish
Dough and technique adapted, just barely, from Joe Pastry

What took so long for me to make these? I was scared, people. The recipes I found online were few and far between and looked… dubious. It was until I met Joe Pastry (and by “met” I mean, became obsessed with his site and I’m sorry, but do you bake? Because if you do, you’d be crazy not to read his entire archives, right this very minute) and gazed at his crystal-clear step-by-step photos that I knew I could not only pull them off at home but that I had to use his recipe. Once again, Joe did not fail.

This dough is excellent, not only because it produces the soft, flaky dough that are the epitome of the knish experience, but because once it comes together (quickly), it can be used now or later, up to three days later, kept refrigerated. The dough can be used to make the classic Russet-and-caramelized-onions filling here, or the non-traditional Red Potato, Leek and Kale one below.

Updated 3/17 to increase the amount of water from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. Joe’s original recipe calls for 1/2 cup but, strangely, I found I only needed 1/4 cup. Based on responses from commenters, it sounds like most people needed the higher amount.

Yield: 6 3-inch hearty knish, though you can make them any size you please (larger for Yonah Schimmel-style, smaller if you, like most people, cannot eat more than half of one)

Dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil (Joe also recommends schmaltz, or rendered chicken fat, if you’ve got some)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 cup water (see Update, above)

Filling
1 1/2 pounds (about 3 medium) russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced small
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To finish
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon water

Make dough: Stir together your dry ingredients in the bottom of a medium/large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, vinegar and water. Pour it over the dry ingredients and stir them to combine. Once the mixture is a craggy, uneven mass, knead it until smooth, about a minute. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Set it aside for an hour (or in the fridge, up to 3 days) until needed.

Meanwhile, prepare filling: Put potatoes into a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes can be pierced easily with a knife, about 20 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and oil and once they’re fully melted and a bit sizzly, add onions and reduce to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, until deeply caramelized, which will take about 45 minutes. Can you do this in less time? Of course. But the flavor won’t be as intense. Transfer to bowl with potatoes and mash together until almost smooth. (A few lumps make it taste more “traditional,” IMHO.) Stir in salt and many grinds of black pepper and set the filling aside.

Assemble knish: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

If your dough has sweated some beads of oil while it rested, fear not, you can just knead it back into an even mass. Divide the dough in half. On a well-floured surface, roll the first half of the dough into a very thin sheet, roughly in the shape of a 1-foot square, but really, no need to be rigid about it. For moderate size knish (smaller than the traditional “doorstops” but still hefty, about 3 inches across), create a 2-inch thick log from half your potato filling across the bottom of your dough. Roll the filling up in the dough like you were rolling a cigarette (which, of course, we would never), but not too tight. A tiny amount of slack will keep the dough from opening in the oven. Keep rolling until the log has been wrapped twice in dough. Trim any unrolled length and add it to the second half of the dough; it can be used again. Repeat the process with the second half of your dough and second half of filling; you might have a small amount of dough leftover.

Trim the ends of the dough so that they’re even with the potato filling. Then, make indentations on the log every 3 to 3 1/2 inches (you’ll have about 3, if your log was 1 foot long) and twist the dough at these points, as if you were making sausage links. Snip the dough at each twist, then pinch one of the ends of each segment together to form a sealed knish base. Use the palm of your hand to flatten the knish a bit into a squat shape and from here, you can take one of two approaches to the top: You can pinch together the tops as you did the bottom to seal them; indenting them with a small dimple will help keep them from opening in the oven. You can gently press the dough over the filling but leave it mostly open, like the knish you would get on Houston Street. Or, you can half-ass it (okay, that’s a third option, and watch your language, Deb), like I did, closing them but not sealing them well because you are indecisive. But why would you want to do a thing like that?

Bake knish: Arrange knish on prepared baking sheet so that they don’t touch. Whisk egg yolk and water together to form a glaze and brush it over the knish dough. Bake knish for about 45 minutes, rotating your tray if needed for them to bake into an even golden brown color. I have burnt my mouth on every knish I have ever taken a bite of because that potato filling, it packs heat. Don’t do as I always do and let them cool a little bit before digging in. Spicy mustard is a traditional accompaniment, but I like a dollop of sour cream too. I won’t tell if you don’t.

Red Potato Knish with Kale, Leeks and Cream Cheese

Follow the dough and assembly directions above, but replace the Russet and caramelized onion filling with this one. You might never go back to tradition once you do.

1 1/2 pounds medium red potato (about 3 to 4), peeled and quartered
1 big leek (about 1/2 pound), white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced (you’ll clean the grit out in a moment)
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 generous cup lacinato kale ribbons (about 3 ounces or 1/4 to 1/3 bundle), tough stems and ribs removed and leaves cut into strips (you’ll wash it in a moment)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

Cook potatoes: Put potatoes into a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until soft, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare leeks and kale: Fill a medium bowl with very cold water and drop in leek rings. Swish them around with your fingers, letting any sandy dirt fall to the bottom. Scoop out the leeks and drain them briefly on a towel, but no need to get them fully dry. Do the same with the kale, but you can leave the leaves to nearly fully dry, patting them if necessary, on the towels while you cook the leeks.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and oil and once they’re fully melted and a bit sizzly, add the leek slices. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook leek for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Raise heat back to medium, add the kale ribbons and cook until they wilt, about 5 minutes.

Transfer mixture to bowl with potatoes, add the cream cheese and mash together until combined. Stir in salt and many grinds of black pepper and set filling aside.

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283 comments on potato knish, two ways

  1. Kale! For part of our honeymoon, post-cruise, we stayed in NYC and did a grub crawl down by Delancey. Turkish food, frites, Katz’s, and Yonah Schimmel’s. We did a sweet knish — apple, and a savory — potato. Now I want to go and look through my honeymoon photos.

  2. Those are so darn cute! And of course I’d have to go the kale route, though they won’t be just like my Bubbie’s knishes. And I had never heard of Joe Pastry and now am a little annoyed that I have to leave in 5 minutes for a meeting…I’ll be back.

  3. Chris

    Well now that I know what a knish is I will definitely give these a try. =) Also I just happened to see that today is the one year anniversary of me finding/reading your site! (What a handy feature that one year ago bit is!) Thanks!!

  4. You will not thwart my diet.
    You will not thwart my diet.
    You will not thwart my diet.
    You will not thwart my diet.
    You will not thwart my diet.

    Well, maybe a little…

  5. Anya

    Love knishes! Thank you for the recipe. Though “made of potato or mixed with potato”, a knish with kasha (buckwheat) is not bad either.

  6. Liz M

    I live just up the street from Yonah Schimmel as well. It takes a lot of willpower to not stop in every time I walk past!

  7. My goodness! I have never even heard of knish tucked up here in the Pacific Northwest. They look easy enough to tackle and indulge in some carb on carb action!

  8. Holy knishes! I’ve never had one but I’m a little obsessed with saying the name. It’s just fun. The Polish and Hungarian contingency at my dance studio are going to love these. I was expecting the dough to be yeast risen, but that’s probably just my love of yeast doughs forcing itself on everything. I’m sure its sacrilege, but I feel like the first filling is just begging for some blue cheese crumbles.

  9. Looks lovely! I make a similar version, but go for a wetter dough, and roll it out super thin so that you jelly-roll it up with lots of flaky layers (aka the old school strudel-maker approach). Your variation sounds excellent — the most creative I’ve gone is just sinking a bunch of broccoli and cheddar into the potatoes (which is also really, really good).

  10. The only time I’ve ever seen or heard of a potato knish was on an episode of Chopped. These versions look WAY better. I’m loving that combo of kale, leeks and cream cheese!

  11. WOW Knish and Bacon in the same sentence?!!! How very Kosher! KIDDING – but boy these look fan-damn-tastick indeedy! And look – today it’s 45 degrees — perfect CARB WEATHER! These sure look fun to make.

  12. Oh my gosh… this looks so delicious! I’ve never heard of Knish, why has everyone kept this from me? Thank you for sharing! I’ll have to try this recipe soon!

  13. It’s perfect carb season here in blustery, wet Seattle. (I think it’s funny how we make the choice to move here knowing what the weather is like and then act surprised when it downpours in March). Anyhoo, I want to make these!

  14. Giovani

    These look great! Every time I’ve tried a knish it’s been smothered in cheddar cheese. This looks like a more realistic meal, health-wise. Thanks for sharing, the kale & leek filling sounds amazing. Not sure if you’re a fan of spanakopita but the spinach/feta/onion filling goes well with potatoes, it’d be worth a try in knish form.

    P.S. The Kraft ads are popping up a video ad on the main page, it grays out the rest of the screen while the video plays.

  15. Lisa

    Your knishes look yummy and are making me homesick! You don’t see too many knishes here in San Diego. If you have a chance, try Liebman’s Deli in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. My favorite is their kasha knish, which is a mixture of kasha and potato.

  16. Santadad

    I have to figure out the Weight Watchers points, but they DEFINITELY are worth trading for something else … like a whole day’s worth of food!

  17. These look great! There was a fantastic Jewish deli on my college campus that I visited regularly, and their potato-cheese knish was part of my usual order. So if I were to add cheese to these, what kind would you suggest?

  18. Jacqueline

    My grandma used to make knishes. Yum. Just a little editing from a fanatic…that is
    “I have burnt my mouth on ever knish…” Make that every. Love your blog!

  19. Steve

    You only just found Joe Pastry? That entire website is genius – anytime I’m looking for some exotic dessert recipe, I know exactly where to turn.

    Can’t wait for your cookbook!

  20. omg! this looks heavenly cannot wait to try! I am obsessed with your website! you are an inspiration to me as a food blogger. Your pics are beautiful!

  21. As a native New Yorker living in Massachusetts, I can’t even tell you how much I miss knishes! I think I have a project for the weekend now.

  22. Alisha

    What are the chances the wheat flour could be swapped for something gluten free? Say Quinoa flour or Almond flour? I’d love to make these!

  23. nancyrivera

    I haven’t heard the word knish since we moved from New York when i was a teen. These look a-Ma-zing – there’s no way i’m going to make it through this weekend without making them. i really appreciate how great a teacher you have been as i recently starting cooking with only “all-natural” ingredients!!

  24. God damn. I love knish, but have never considered the possibility of making them at home. Thanks for the inspiration! I was biking home today and thinking of making these Finnish pastries which have a rye pastry crust and are filled with buttery rice or potato filling – they’re another great example of stretching not much into a filling carb loaded dish. They may have to wait though, these knish look way too excellent.

  25. Phyllis

    My grandmother was from a small village in Russia, she passes away many years ago. She was a great cook and baker, she made knishes from scratch often. Simple fillings: potato, kasha and liver. Kasha were my favorite. She was illiterate so no recipes written for her up pass along. I’m sad to say I didn’t think all those years ago to write them down :(

  26. Julia

    Oh my goodness these are just like the ones my Russian Jewish grandma taught me to make! Except she rubs vegetable oil all over the rolled out dough before adding the potato filling, and brushes them in oil again when they come out of the oven. While not quite diet friendly, this makes them even more delicious! They’re a staple at big family parties, and there are never any left over.

  27. Like the readers above me, your post has inspired me to try making this at home. I have never tried knish, so I would not know what a traditional knish recipe is supposed to be, but knowing your precision through all of your recipes, I can tell the authenticity (and deliciousness) of your version. I loved the history on knish that you included in your post – it is not only interesting to learn the background but this information brings an elegance to your delightful recipe. Your bread does look perfect – light, fluffy with the slightest crisp. You have amazed me once again!

  28. Melissa

    KNISH. knish knish knish…
    I have said it to myself no less than three hundred times and nope, never had this before. This german girl from MN has been DEPRIVED for too long. Look out upper midwest – your plain mashed potato days are numbered! These will be made and devoured at every potluck I can wiggle my way into attending. Oh, how the church ladies will marvel….

  29. Violeta

    I have never wished to make knishes before, but now I do!

    Also, I am slightly obsessed with finding a good pastry brush right now and immediately zeroed in on the one you’re using in your pictures. What kind is it??

    1. deb

      Hi Violeta — It’s from OXO. I bought it because no matter how good of a bristle one I bought, eventually, bristles always ended up in the food. No shedding with this. Plus, it’s easy to get it fully clean. Bristle brushes aren’t easy to really thoroughly clean and trying to do so gives me flashbacks to the end of years of painting classes!

  30. I love me a good knish- even the square fried ones- Lots of mustard on mine please! Yours are the most beautiful that I’ve ever seen- delish. (dare I say, they sorta look like a Cornish Pasty??) Glad you made it back from paradise in one piece :)

  31. Lauren

    Wow. These look amazing. I made an attempt.at.knish (although having never eaten them before it was a bit of guess work!) mine exploded all over! But yours looks amazing!!! I will have to have another go at some point soon and not seal mine fully. Thanks for sharing :)

  32. How do you pronounce knish? I’ve never seen one (or heard of one) before, so I’m pronouncing it K-nish, like, Kenickie. Or should it be knish, like, knife.
    Help!

  33. celia

    i am so mad at myself. I was right there! Right there! I was just off of Houston St. A whole week I walked by Yonah Schimmel and didnt have a knish. What is wrong with me? Thank goodness for this recipe, now I can have one here in L.A. :)

  34. Anna

    These looked so good I just had to make them today with my Jewish friend! They are in the oven right now and I’m so excited to try them :D

  35. Susan

    Hot diggity, you did it! I can’t wait to try these. I was thinking about Knish (and wondering if you’d ever get to them) the other night when I made garlic mashed potatoes and stirred in some cooked cabbage, leeks and parsley, basicallly Irish Colcannon, as a practice for St Patricks Day. I love your use of kale in them. I love Knish!…Thanks, Deb!

  36. Halli

    This is killing me. My family business was Mrs. Stahl’s Knishes in Brighton Beach and I have been dying for a good knish since it’s been closed. These are made differently but…I am going to have to attempt them since no one will give me the recipe that I so want. They really do look delicious.

  37. Anna

    Ok so I’m back after making them, and they were delicious! We used Yukon Gold potatoes, cream cheese, and sauteed (didn’t have time to carmelize) the onions. We also added shredded cheddar, which was amazing. Unfortunately, however, the dough was very heavy and non-flaky. When I was kneading it, I had to add a lot of water to get it to stick together, and it was tough to roll. Any ideas on how to avoid that?

    1. deb

      Anna — Very interesting about the water. I should have noted that Joe called for 1/2 cup. I found I only needed 1/4 cup, like, not a speck more. But I added the note about using more water in case, well, in case what happened to you happened to others too. So, if you were closer to 1/2 cup, you wouldn’t be in left field.

  38. Ohh, I will absolutely be trying these out ASAP. Maybe even this weekend if we get the random cold snap we’re supposed to. Especially the one with leeks, mmm…

  39. Ruth

    Ursula, it’s pronounced the way you think knife should be pronounced when you first learn there’s a k there. So it’s “kuh-nish,” but say the “kuh” part quickly and put emphasis on “nish.” Hope that helps! :)

  40. Tracy

    Thank you so much for the Joe Pasty recommendation! I’d never heard of him. I just read his chocolate chip cookie page, where he breaks down how to get cakey or crispy or chewy. I am in love. So clear and organized and helpful! Brilliant blog.

  41. Amanda

    Is it terrible that I love the square, fried ones? They are the knishes of my youth and I always choose nostalgia over authenticity, I’m afraid. I kind of love how the dough gets soggy … I know, sacrilege! And doesn’t Alex know you’re supposed to squeeze the mustard into the middle and smoosh it around a little so it gets in every bite? A little on top doesn’t hurt, but you gotta really get it in there.

    All that being said, these look AWESOME, and considerably more adorable round.

  42. Ellen

    Oh man these look delicious. Seconding question above about freezing — would it be possible to wrap the filled knishes up and freeze or refrigerate them for a few days? I’m eyeing these as possible make-ahead lunch candidates, because Portland’s still doing the cold carbs-for-warmth thing.

  43. Ahhhhh! These look so freakin’ good! I am trying to go easy on the carbs right now, thank you very much, but I am pretty sure I will think of a way to sneak these in on a cheat night or something. Seriously my kind of food. I don’t know which way to make them first, though! And thanks so much for the Joe Pastry site….I can’t wait to run my carb-deprived eyes over there.

  44. Ella

    Huh. There’s another recipe I have to try!

    I agree that Joe Pastry is fantastic. When I found him, I too immediately went through his archives. It took a while, but it was more than worth it. He and two other bloggers produce the most consistently excellent recipes I’ve found online. Almost invariably tasty, accurate, and well-presented.

    You and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt are the other two.

    Thanks!

  45. Stuart Borken

    Our family make knishes twice a year. Once for Rosh Hashanah, as you make them, and the second time for Passover. How do we do it for Passover you ask? Well, we forgo the pastry crust and place the classic schmaltzy caramelized onion and mashed potato filling inside paper cupcake papers and put them in muffin tins to hold them up. They are painted with an egg wash. These are frozen and taken out the day of the Seder and baked up still in the muffin tins, to be served with the apricot, date, cinnamon, and almond chicken and a roasted brisket dinner.
    Our 6 year old grand daughter rolls out the dough for the classic pastry ones, and my wife, her grandmother, placed the log of potato down one edge. My wife rolls up the log then seals it. Then the child uses the edge of her small hand to “cut” the log into segments. She turns each on its bottom and used her small knuckles to make the dimple. These get frozen on cookie sheets and then gathered up and the day of Rosh Hashanah we take out 3 per person and bake them up for dinner service. I am in charge of making the potato mixture…making sure the salt is enough, pepper is enough, maybe a couple pinces of sugar if the onions were not sweet enough this time, more schmaltz?????? maybe????…….that’s how we do it.

  46. I didn’t realize that I’ve wanted to make potato knish at home since 1977 when I had my very first authentic and delicious bundle of potato delight. It was in a New York bakery transplanted to Florida but no less New York for that move.
    Thanks for calling the subconscious urge to the surface and enabling me with a wonderful, do-able recipe. I’ll go for the classic first and then we’ll just see what happens.

  47. karenb

    If I’m in a hurry and do not have time to make the dough, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls(in refrigerator case) are a nice substitution. Just pinch 2 crescents rolls together at seams to form a rectangle and add your filling. These come out flaky and are quite good!!! But, nothing is as good as homemade dough!!! I also use left over mashed potatoes to make these and add fried onions. Your recipe sounds great-I’ll have to try it!! Thanks for sharing.

  48. I feel inclined to comment (I follow along with RSS) because I just read an article in the NYTimes about cookbook ghostwriters. And no, I did not realize so many chefs had so many ghost writers. Essentially, it makes me appreciate how much food bloggers write, share, document, research, post, publish, and open up their kitchens, skills, and themselves. This post, the story, the pictures, the backstory, your follow-up, everything is spot on. So way to go! I can’t wait to try it.

  49. I’ve never been to New York AND I’d never heard of knish until now!!! What kind of foodie am I? How could I live without it?! I need to spread the word, like, NOW! Thank you Deb for another great introduction. Knish need to conquer Europe.

  50. Deb – I used to live in NYC and always would get the potato knishes on the street, which I’m sure are an abomination in the knish world. I love to see this “real” recipe and will have to try it out. I’m sure the street vendors PALE in comparison with your deliciousness!!

  51. Simone

    Deb-you’re my hero!!! I’ve been wanting a good potato knish recipe since the year of the Flood and could never find a really good one. Thanks a mil.

  52. Audi

    Lovely, yet again! I’m excited that you featured Joe Pastry, too! You, Peter Reinhart and Joe Pastry are my top three favorites. I like it when my ‘friends’ like each other! :-)

  53. erin

    I have 3 kids who give me grief every single morning about eating breakfast. Sometimes I can get them to cooperate if I make pierogies, but they’re messy, all slathered with butter or sour cream. These seem emminently more portable for a “car breakfast”, and potentially more nutriton-packed for a long school day. I love it! It never occurred to me to try these on them, so thanks!!

  54. Lynn

    Stuart B, any chance you could post more details on the Passover version? Do you grease the cupcake liners? Bake frozen? What temp? How long? Same proportion of ingredients as In Deb’s? How many would that yield? I needed to find a Passover side and am intrigued! Deb, thank you, I would have been scared to try these lovely classics let alone their creative siblings without your step by step instructions, can’t wait to tackle this!

  55. I enjoy learning the history of different dishes and knish seem to have an interesting one. I love that Schimmel’s store is called a “Knishery” :)
    Well, I have never tasted knish before so I will start with your recipe this weekend, Deb. I’ll try the kale one first, since I bought a LOT of it yesterday at the market.
    Wish me luck!

    Off to read more about knish!

  56. Beth

    These look fantastic! Do you think there is a way to make the dough with a potato flour instead so it can be made for passover? That would be such a great dish to bring to the sedar.

  57. ET

    Please, please tell me these are called knish because that’s the noise you cannot resist making when you press the dimple into the top.

    Just me?

    1. deb

      ET — Here on out, I think it should be. Knisssssssh.

      Neeli — Fascinating, right? I know a few people who do work like that, and you wouldn’t believe how little the names on the covers actually know about writing recipes. Writing recipes for home cooks is a completely different skill from restaurant cooking, so much so that I have a very, very hard time getting most recipes that are shared from restaurants to work in my kitchen. And that’s when I can get past the stick of butter (or more!) for a simple saute.

      Ellen — Absolutely, totally and ideally freezable. Just reheat them in a low oven. It will take a while but if they were well wrapped, you won’t even notice that time had passed.

  58. ads

    I have to second Michelle – for me a kinish is square. I grew up in the bronx and walking home from school loved to stop for a knish (no mustard needed). I’ve eaten the less manufactured knish, but it just seems like a different dish.

  59. I think this would make for a wonderful easter side dish! One question: Can I prepare them the day ahead and keep them in the fridge and bake later? Think they’d be okay or should I prep filling and dough separately and make the day of?

    1. deb

      I have made the filling and dough in advance and assembled it when needed but I haven’t made the whole knish and baked it from the fridge. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, however.

  60. Those look amazing, but I’m glad you held off on the bacon. No one in my family ever kept Kosher and I love pork and shellfish, but still when we eat our “Jewish soul food” I don’t want pork or shellfish anywhere near it. Call me a traditionalist ;)

  61. Philip

    Excellent timing! This helps to solve today’s dilemma: what to cook for Jewish-American St. Paddy’s day. With reubens (corned beef), and vegetable-stuffed cabbage rolls already on the menu, I was wondering what to do with potatoes. Then your post shows up!

    btw, knish is a singular, not a collective noun. It’s a Yiddish word, and like most languages, Yiddish has rules for forming plurals. In Yiddish, the plural of knish is knishs. Since this is also a borrow-word in English (and your post is in English, not Yiddish) the plural here should be knishes.

  62. Ahuva

    Hey Deb – First of all, these look AMAZING. Second of all, can we think of a way to make these kosher for Passover? What do you think we could substitute for the flour….? I’m trying to bala-bust it down here in Baltimore (bala-bust is a verb for being a balabusta [balabusta is Yiddish for being an awesome home maker!]). I made up the verb, which makes me really, really cool.

  63. If the red potato-leek knishes are the ones in the top photo, I’m in. They look so appetizing and brown. Leeks are still running rampant through the produce box and we just bought pounds of red potatoes. Don’t have any kale at the moment but perhaps I’ll substitute green cabbage and make them for St. Patrick’s Day.

  64. Katzinger’s Delicatessen in Columbus Ohio will celebrate National Knish Month next week. To jump start our annual knish ritual we’re starting with our Knish Me, I’m Irish knish with of course corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and caramelized onions. In addition to our class knish, next week we will feature our Boss Hog with potatoes, bacon, cheddar, sour cream, our Sweet Potato with bacon and maple syrup, and our famous garlic, asiago cheese, artichoke and of course potato. Knish on, my friends!

    1. deb

      Diane — We have a no-advertising policy in the comment section! However, my goodness, that event sounds like so much fun, I can’t bear to remove it.

  65. Sheila

    My grandmother would make these without the dough and bake them in the oven. Roll the potato mixture into a ball and flatten brushing the tops with beaten egg and water. She called them “bilkaleh.” (Her made up name for sure.) She made them for Passover and they were a big hit.

  66. I am so excited to make these! Flying Star had amazing knish for years and then stopped making them – and, like you, I’ve never before found a recipe that looked promising enough to try.

    By the way, I made egg and bacon and blue cheese sandwiches last night (with watercress instead of frisee, because whatever slightly exotic green I am looking for is never the one the store I’m in has), and they were wonderful. I went with a little herbed mayo instead of the dressing because I wasn’t sure how the watercress would stand up to the dressing, but regardless, when the yolk started oozing everywhere that was one messy and delicious thing. Thanks!

  67. Amy P

    Good grief. I live in southwestern Canada and have never seen or heard of these, but I want one real bad. And I don’t want to have to wait to make it; I want it delivered piping hot to my doorstep immediately. Too much to ask

  68. I have never had a knish…or heard of it. We are finally experiencing some cool weather here, which might make this the perfect weekend to test this out before the first day of spring!

  69. Barbara N

    I grew up in New York (Long Island) and knishes. Every time I went back home I’d
    stop at Valley Poultry to pick up a dozen and bring them home. We used to get them at Long Beach too. Ah, great memories from my youth!

  70. I’m ashamed that I had to wiki “kale” but I feel so educated now and I can’t wait to get all those vitamins and minerals inside a starchy delicious thing!

  71. Laura

    I learned a trick once when I was making knish. Instead of creating the spun “sausage links” with the dough and the filling, you hold your hand out like you’re going to karate-chop the roll, lay the egde of your hand on the filled dough, and the roll your hand back and forth like you’re sawing into the dough. It’s super fast, and it perfectly seals the knish, and forms them into a ball shape all at once. If you want some filling sticking out of the top, then just poke your finger into the seam at the top. Hope that was descriptive enough.

  72. Gods. I am going to make these. Better yet I’m going to make my homemade shepherd’s pie with caramelized shallots this way. It will be delicious portable lunches for the week.

  73. Claire

    Okay, bear with me here…what about being so bold as to add one can of kidney beans to the red potato, kale, and cream cheese one? Looking at the nutrition, I’m thinking that addition would just push the fiber and protein levels into “complete meal in a pocket” territory, which would be great!

    Deb, as someone who’s tasted these, do you think that addition would be good, bad, or neutral?

  74. Limes

    I tried making these last night, and I am sad to say that they didn’t turn out well. It was the dough that was tough to figure out. I had a hard time knowing when to stop adding water. I added almost another 1/4 cup of water, and it still didn’t fully come together. In the end, I had something that was more like a hearty pie dough than a flaky knish dough. Sigh.

  75. Nelleke

    I just made these. Except…I was out of onions (!). So, I figured I just had to make some sort of tasty potato filling. I cooked and mashed a carrot with the potatoes, and stirred in some shredded old cheddar and a squirt of dijon (this was before I read on and discovered that they were supposed to be served with spicy mustard…oh well.) I had the same issues with the dough as another commenter…it was very stiff and hard to work with, though I added a couple extra tablespoonfuls of water. I probably should have gone with my gut and added more yet. I find different brands of flour take different amounts of water. I’m in Canada, where we tend to have a bit higher gluten…maybe that makes a difference?
    Anyway, when it was all said and done, they turned out great, and my kids loved them too.

  76. Derek

    I am glad that I am not the only one obsessed with Joe Pastry! My wife gets on my case when I retell the detailed accounts Joe gives for each recipe, including random history and her least favorite, food chemistry. But the results of following his recipes make her smile and the techniques I have learned are invaluable. And here you are, my other favorite food blogger, cross referencing! I love it! Have you tried making Joe’s Gateau Basque with pastry cream and jam? Mmm.

    BTW, any (more precise) timeline on the book publication? Really eager fans want to know. And you and the publisher can forget about an advertising campaign. You could have a grass roots marketing campaign with all of the above people participating at the very least.

  77. “But I couldn’t stop there; I never can. I made a second batch with red potatoes, cream cheese, caramelized leeks and kale (kale!). If you’re clutching your pearls right now over my red potato-and-leek sacrilege, however, don’t, because I was thisclose to also adding bacon and think I showed remarkable restraint.”

    Oh. My. God. I’m going into carb coma just reading the recipe. WANT WANT WANT!!!

  78. Hi Deb,
    I read #76 Anna and I had the same problem. My dough came out heavy and was extremely difficult to roll. I see your reply to her but I am not sure how that solves the problem. You are telling her to add more water but she said this is what she had to do anyway and her dough was like mine heavy and hard to roll. What did we do wrong?
    Thanks!
    Anna (also)

    1. deb

      Hi Anna — The dough isn’t like a pie dough or a pizza dough in softness/airiness, it takes some pushing to roll it out but it should get thin. I am going to update the recipe to note 1/2 cup as a first choice, since several people have mentioned that it made it easier and, of course, that’s what Joe used.

      Claire — I think it would be good but I also think that large beans baked in a sea of potatoes risk becoming dry. But more kale and leeks? Definitely.

      Derek — Please excuse my total freak-out but OH. MY. GOD. No, I had NOT seen Joe’s recipe for Gateau Basque but if I had, I would have solved one of the great pastry mysteries that has plagued me for four years, much sooner. When I was in Paris in the fall of 2008, we picked up thisthing from a farmer’s market and I spent months, nay, years trying to figure out how to make it. It was kinda shortbread cookie-ish, kinda tender like cake, and the one I’d bought was filled with an intensely dark salted butter caramel and walnuts. And I think now that it’s a Gateau Basque. I must investigate… thank you.

      Derek (updated to add) — Yes, I was so carried away that I entirely missed the second half of your comment. The book officially slated for publication this fall, and unofficially but most likely for October. I am attempting to shoot the cover this weekend and I hear that helps, you know, get the book closer to publication. :) Thanks so much for your enthusiasm.

  79. Deb and Penny

    Hey,

    We just made these, we were lazy and used frozen puff pastry and we’re goyim so we added bacon – and they are good.

    Deb and Penny

  80. Wow, the return of a well deserved holiday and then two recipe ideas, bravo! I can only image you dreamt of all the marvelous foods you ate whilst abroad and couldn’t wait to get back and keep cooking! Being from Australia I’ve never heard of these, but when I saw your photo and that super flaky pastry I figure I’ll save up my carbs and just go for this dish!!! Thanks for sharing your discovery and a pleasure as always to read your beautiful blog :)

  81. Vanessa

    I made these yesterday. They are soooooo good! I was a little rough with the pastry so mine is was not as flaky as yours. I made them a little smaller as got 8 total. I froze half of them to bake later. Which is good because I have eaten 4 in the last 24 hours….

  82. Lynda B

    I grew up in Long Beach, NY – this brings back so many memories!! I just made these tonight (the kale/leek/red potato version) and it was such a wonderful way to spend a Friday evening. My dough also seemed a bit too crumbly but I stuck with it and it all worked out in the end. It came together with an extra 1/8 cup of water and a good amount of kneading. Used the rest of the kale for a massaged kale and citrus salad with heirloom tomatoes and feta cheese and finished the evening with chocolate ice cream and some homemade blueberry sauce. Yum!

  83. Stuart Borken

    To Sheila; my grandmother and your grandmother must have come from the same shtetel. She would make a one inch high oval mashed potato patty and paint it with an egg wash and bake it until the egg browned and rose off the patty. Delish.

    To Lynn: The Passover knish is made in cupcake papers which are aluminum foiled on one side. They hold up better. No treating the papers with a non-stick material. The knish filling has enough oil in the way of fat to help it pull away. As far as seasoning, I’m sorry. It is made “to taste”. Enough chicken fat, enough salt, enough caramelized onions to taste and to get the correct color, lots of pepper, eggs to get nice moist texture and some water to make it moist since you will be baking them you don’t want a dry filling. Fill the paper cups and paint each with an egg wash. I remove them from the freezer in the afternoon and bake them at 350-degrees to brown the top, remember, the potatoes are already cooked and you have only to cook the eggs, takes about 35-45 minutes.

  84. How good, this looks delicious. I’ve never tried this, it reminds me a bit of Austrian or Eastern European specialties I like a lot. Have to try this.

  85. You know, I’ve never thought of a knish as being like any other food, but now that i see the recipe, it’s kind of like a Jewish (kosher) version of an Indian Samosa with a far different flavor palate. I think I might try this version and the next time give it an Indian twist.

  86. Thank you Deb! I will try these again. They actually came out pretty decent and look adorable but I suspect the dough is something other then flaky. If it was not for your website I would never try something like this in the 1st place. I have hand palm pain from the rolling pin from yesterday but it was worth it.

  87. I worked in a cafe in Seattle after college run/owned by a nice Vietnamese man and staffed by myself and a Peruvian dishwasher/prep cook. We did New York-ish food and knishes were a specialty. There is nothing like a hot knish just out of the oven, especially the ones with creamy potatoes and the onions, yum! The pictures really take me back and you’ve inspired me to attempt these at home. Thanks.

  88. amy

    first time commenting to thank you for all your amazing recipes and time you put into this for us. Made these for supper this evening and served it on-top a big salad with a dijon/lemon dressing. Seriously…so good! The carb/protein balance in these makes them actually pretty health and, as someone else mentioned can be made vegan/gluten free with a few alternates. thanks again and can’t wait for the book!

  89. Reporting in to say that I made these for St. Patrick’s Day lunch and they were delicious. I substituted a generous cup of finely shredded green cabbage for the kale and cooked it with the leeks during their last two minutes. And I finely diced three slices of Canadian bacon in with the leeks to cover the Irish trinity of bacon, potatoes and cabbage. We ate them with some barely sweetened applesauce on the side and a pot of Irish Breakfast Tea.

  90. I have always adored potato knish! Our local kosher market makes the best knish, so I have never been really tempted to make them myself. But these two recipes look awesome! I guess I will hav eto finally make my own.

  91. Candice Taylor

    I had never even heard of Knish before until I saw this post the other day. Then last night, there was Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri on the Food Network. He showcased a Jewish diner and they showed Knish, with meat. These looks delicious. Definitely something to try!

  92. Maryn

    I lived at Mott & Houston for a few years in the 1970s. Three weekly traditions were: Yonah Shimmel for knishes/Sparney’s for pancakes/WoHop for Chinese food. Have lived all over the U.S. since then, but Mott Street is ingrained in my food memory. Thanks for the reminder.

  93. Dana

    Made these for St Patty’s Day.. They are a potato dish. These turned out amazing. I use to get knishes in Miami Beach.. I made mine with sharp cheddar and caramelized onions. Made them one inchers and served as appetizers.. After I eye washed them I ground pepper corns and sea salt on the top.. They were gone in a flash.

  94. Rob

    I’m going to make these for my wife for Mother’s Day. I’m going to adapt the filling using feta, pine nuts, potatoes and ramsens (wild garlic)

  95. Lynna Stewart

    Dang it. I sat down at the computer with the sole intent of pulling up your banana bread recipe (which I’ve used several times, and it’s AWESOME) and then going straight into the kitchen to start mashing bananas. But then I had to read all about (scrolling up to make sure I get the spelling right) Potato Knish, and then, of course, I had to check out Joe Pastry, which I’ve bookmarked, and then I got up and went back into the kitchen. It took me a few moments to remember what I was doing, and to realize that I’m no closer to banana bread than I was a half hour ago.

  96. Jesse

    This may be very silly but if anyone else is on WW and in a similar craving mood, these work out to just about 14 points plus per serving (the original potato version). I am determined to try them now!

  97. Sadie

    I made the leeks-and-kale version, but substituting mushrooms for kale (not the same thing at all, but still tasty!), as my local shop was kale-less. The result being that nearly my entire food intake for today has consisted of knishes and your best cocoa brownies – should I be concerned?? :)

  98. Kelly

    I have been aching to make these all week, but I’ve been really ill. Today I feel just well enough to think about how good they would taste to my newly-returned appetite, but not well enough to actually make them ;___;

  99. Kelly

    (What makes it worse is that I actually have rendered chicken fat on hand, I know it would make the dough completely amazing.)

  100. Mimi

    I love a good knish and would never had thought to make one. Why not on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in New England? My dough exhibited none of the pliancy of Joe or Deb and it was difficult to twist. I made two kinds, one with potato, caramelized onion, cream cheese and kale and another with corned beef left overs whizzed in my food processor. I recommend going big rather than small. Going small makes the dough seem even tougher but if you make them big, the filling helps off set the toughness and even helps you hold in all the goodness. My husband said that the knish of his deli dreams are big ones not little ones. I think these would make an excellent pot luck dish. Thanks Deb and Joe!

  101. karen

    never heard of this until i saw your post. I made the filling with caramelized onions and cream cheese. It was kind of time consuming but so perfect for this lazy rainy morning, they were DELICIOUS!!!

  102. Nicole

    Visited Yonah Schimmel for the first time this fall on a day trip to NYC and got a plain, potato, deliciously unadorned knish. It was insanely simple for something so full of flavor. I don’t know if I have the skill to attempt this myself, but my eyes are happy to see you tried and succeeded. :)

  103. Thu

    Thanks so much for this post and a great site! I’ve been a longtime fan but never commented. I have never had a knish but will have to try it soon. Thank you also for introducing me to Joepastry! I am always happy to have new cooking resources!

  104. Rachel

    I made these as a nice Saturday afternoon project, and it was an amazing (and not at all frustrating) result for about 2 1/2 hours of work (prep, cooking, cleaning, the whole thing!). The dough was beautiful and flaky, really easy to work with, and the filling was amazingly flavorful (though I did cheat on the potato and caramelized onion filling by adding a spoonful of cream cheese). Awesome recipe!

  105. Daniela

    Wondrous. Thank you.

    I made the crust with whole wheat flour and didn’t peel the potatoes (in the red potato version) to up the nutritional value a bit. Both alterations took well. As for nutritional value, we also dipped them in sour cream, so…

  106. Addie

    Deb! been a huge fan of yours for a long time now and this is one of my favorite recipes yet! saturday I had a designated baking day with some friends and we decided to tackle the knish with great success! we combined your two suggestions to make one killer knish double stuffed with regular and sweet potatos, kale, leeks, onions, and garlic. no cream cheese, still completely amazing. they were so delicious and fun! we wait with bated breath for the cookbook! thanks for sharing so many great things.

  107. AJ

    Thank you so much for this – I’m always confounded about what to do with all my leftover mashed potatoes after St. Patrick’s Day, and now I have the perfect tasty solution!

  108. I’m an ex NY’er living in southern California for the past 20+ years. When I first moved here, we were deli deprived. I tried a “chain deli” and to my surprise the waitress asked me, “what’s a knish?” Astounded that she never had one, (she works in a deli, right?) I shouted “Here, take a bite”. We both had a laugh over it. (She declined my offer) In any case, I tried your knish for St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, we are Jewish Americans too ( like a previous poster) who cook corned beef each year, so I thought your recipe would be perfect. It’s a new tradition in our household now. Corned Beef and Knishes.
    The filling of potato/onion was divine. The dough came out too hard and too thick for out tastes. I followed the dough recipe to the T and the next time I make these, I will double the amount of the filling, and roll the dough a bit thinner, making only 1 roll over the potato mixture. The first time, I rolled the dough to the 12 inch by 8 inch size and rolled it like a cigarette. Next time, I will cut the dough in half and only roll it once over the potato mixture. Then I would seal it with the egg wash so it sticks…I’ll let you know how it comes out.
    Thanks for the recommendations to follow Joe Pastry and Peter Reinhart. I’ll check out these blogs.
    Deb, I try and cook something from SmittenKitchen for every holiday. So far, I’ve never been disappointed.
    Anxiously awaiting your cookbook. I’m a fan!

  109. Kate

    Im from New Zealand and I had never heard of these before, I made these for dinner last night. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING I have the whole house converted. But instead of the Kale and cream cheese, I did a Spinach and Feta/Parmesan version so good.

  110. Rachel

    I made these tonight–the old fashioned version. They were delicious, but I also had trouble with the dough. I read the comments and next time will add more water. However, I had trouble both rolling the dough out and getting them knish to stay together in the oven. Should I just have pinched them closed better? The knish were really delicious, so I will try them again, but I didn’t bargin on the dough being so difficult to work with–

  111. Lisa Meece

    I am going to try these! Amazing how many cultures have this type of food–knishes, empanadas, pierogi, samosas, fatayer sabanegh, runzas, fleischbrooks–and I’m sure it goes on and on. You could do a whole cookbook on hand held foods encased in dough. Well, maybe at least one chapter….

  112. Susan

    I finally got to this yesterday (after all my harumphing) and I am finally satisfied that the dough is better than it reads. I used my food processor to sort of cut the egg and oil into the flour first then added water until it came together. I divided the dough and let half rest on the counter (in our cold house) and the other half in the fridge. It was alot easier to roll (very thin) between sheets of plastic (the oil really helps keep it from sticking as much as drier pie dough does) unchilled and I used the plastic to help roll up the potato mixture 2 revolutions. Oh..and the second half of the dough I treated like the rosemary flatbread and flavored it with some cracked caraway and pepper. It was a really nice addition to the knish.

    The filling was a knock off of your second version. I used leftover cabbage from St Pat’s Day instead of the kale (I didn’t have any kale) added the onions and had boiled a couple cloves of garlic in with the potatoes then just drained and mashed both together. I added a blurb of sour cream (and a tbsp of parsley) to the mixture so it wasn’t so crumbly. Wow! So good. We had the second batch tonight with french onion soup for dinner; it went together nicely.

    Thanks for this, Deb. We have a little deli nearby that sells them, but they aren’t as flavorful as I knew they could be. I knew you’d find a solution and inspire me!

  113. Lise

    Wow! They look divine!!! I’m already making additions to them, to make them “mine”! What a fun recipe! Thanks so much for that! Now, I just have to get my own place and BINGO! Move-in weekend dinner? Knish! =D

  114. Becky

    Someone else mentioned this, but we definitely thought the original version (with just the potatoes and onions) needed a little more zing, probably in the way of some lovely bacon. My apologies to the kosher folks . . . It is nice that you can modify these a little to your taste. Thanks for a recipe that’s quite different than what I normally make!!

  115. Steph

    For all those mentioning about adding bacon, there was this Kosher restaurant in downtown NYC (sadly closed) that instead of having bacon burgers, they used fried pastrami in lieu of bacon.

  116. Joan

    I made these today with the following substitutions:
    – Whole wheat flour
    – Chard instead of kale, used the entire bunch (sans stems)
    – All 8 oz of the cream cheese
    – No egg wash

    They were fabulous! I don’t know how authentic they are, though, since I was raised Catholic in Ohio (sigh).

  117. David T

    Just a note on the dough assemblage-

    Don’t worry about it. It is not a fussy dough and will hold together nicely in the oven without overzealous pinching and the like. Especially with a such a non-runny filling.

  118. MFaust

    This is the first recipe on smittenkitchen that I’ve tried despite drooling over the photos for the last couple months. I couldn’t believe how well it turned out; I’ve never had such luck doings tricky things with dough before. David T is right, it is not fussy at all. And wow, did they ever taste good, hot out of the oven with spicy mustard!

  119. Dianne

    I have had this in my queue to cook and finally got to it today. I used russet potatoes and leeks and cream cheese — but I should have read the comments section first because I would have also added cabbage as many have mentioned. I am serving them with bangers (irish sausage), bakes beans, and apple sauce (as per the comments section again). They look awesome and I am so psyched to eat them with some spicy mustard. I have been enjoying your recipes for two years or so now and can tell this will be another homerun (like the zucchini-rocotta galette I love from your recipes). Thank you!!! And, and I halved the recipe and the dough came together perfectly for me. Ovens beeping for me to take them out!

  120. Agnes

    For all those who have had trouble rolling out this dou:you really have to knead it well. I found it crumbly and impossible to roll out, but made the recipe again a few days later and used my kitchenaid to knead it for 10 minutes. Dough was perfect, a dream to roll out. I also found that the traditional method of ‘cutting’ theknishes with the side of my hand works better for me than the twist method detiled here(atleast for making small knishes). Terrific recipe, thanks.

  121. Oh my goodness, I’ve read lots of ur posts but I have to stop now because everything looks so DELICIOUS, mwah! Really, I’m totally hungry now and would love to try every single recipe here, haha!

    xxx

  122. Layla

    I’ve stopped bookmarking your posts, because I realized I’m just bookmarking every single one of them. Ah-mazing!

    I think the day that I make these knish and the carrot cake pancakes on the same day, my husband will want to marry me AGAIN. So, thanks! =)

  123. Michelle H

    I grew up in Miami, or New York South as we used to call it – everyone in North Miami Beach, near where I lived, had either moved from or retired from New York City. A lot of them started Yiddish bakeries and delis, and I misspent a good deal of my youth hanging out in them. I worked at a bank later, and walked two long blocks to a lovely family-operated bakery for my two-knish (about baseball-sized) lunch, still warm from the oven. One was your potato-caramelized onion, and one was cabbage – always! That was 40+ years ago, and I can still taste them! Thank you so much for this recipe – a chance to relive the culinary glory days of my youth!

  124. these are abot to come out of the oven and I am sooooo excited!
    I did add bacon.. heeheehee, and I only needed 1/4 cup of water. Thank you for this!

  125. I made cheesy and buttery potato knish last weekend, I used Non Stick Silpat Half Sheet over the pan so that the knish would not stick on the pan. And it really help because the Non Stick Silpat Half Sheet distributed the heat evenly. To make more unique I served the cheesy and buttery knish in a Wave Spoon Black to each of my family member.

  126. Interesting that in all my travels across the USA, Europe, and Africa, not to mention all the time spent between trips on Long Island, I’ve never tried a knish or for that matter had the opportunity. I’m excited to give this a try, my wife loves potatoes. Thanks for the inspiration!

  127. Kris

    Made them and burned my tongue cause I couldnt wait to taste them… They are so good. I filled them with a mixture out of potatoes, chives, sour cream and spices. Thank you!

  128. Soli

    Thank you for your receipe! It’s so delicious.
    Everybody at home loved it and my kids almost argued to know wich one was going to eat the last knish!

  129. I made these some weeks ago and the recipe for the dough is perfect. Your recipe rocks!! I swapped about a cup of wholewheat flour for the all purpose and it was still really tasty crisp crust with soft tasty filling. Used a filling of potatoes and spinach.Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

  130. Katie Ronald

    Deb, Thank you so much for putting up this recipe! Since you put it up I’ve made it a few times and I’ve gotta tell ya these are easy, delicious, and a new little staple in my favorite dishes to make!!

  131. Ilonka

    Made these on Friday and they were a hit. Not as much work as I thought and I really liked the texture of the pastry. Yay for portable carb-bombs!

  132. Nora

    I finally got around to making these yesterday (I know, seasonally inappropriate… but I love carbs any time of year!) and they are AMAZING. I made the kale variety with purple heirloom potatoes and they literally look like a photo prop for a Martha-worthy lavender-themed photo shoot. Ridiculous (and delicious).

  133. Christine

    I made these this weekend, taking advantage of the make ahead options for the dough and filling (I had kohlrabi greens, mascarpone cheese, and leeks to use with red potatoes as my filling). I have to say they were delicious. And I did burn my mouth :) The dough is denser than I expected, and since I was lazy and didn’t seal mine well, they turned into baby volcanoes in the oven – science experiment meets dinner! Amazingly delicious, a fun dough to work with, and I’m excited about what I could put it in there! My husband suggested an inside out chicken and dumplings, and I thought you could make the package flatter and pizza pockets – I feel like as long as it’s not too wet, it would be amazing. Thanks, Deb, for sharing this, and for sharing Joe Pastry!!

  134. Green

    I’m used to get the square potato knishes they have on the street corners in NYC. My mom was Jewish and she brought me up on lots of foods I can’t get anywhere else. Very simple and satisfying, although it’s been years since I had one, which is why I was looking for a recipe.

    The other thing up there looks like a pasty gone awry, which I thought was interesting. Since I don’t eat eggs any more, and didn’t realize knishes required them, I’ll probably make pasties instead.

  135. Visor

    Had never heard of Knish until I tried one for the first time at Yonah Schimmel’s on a recent trip to New York. Loved them. My daughter adores them. Thanks for the recipe – they look delicious.

  136. Jane

    In the Twin Cities of Minnesota we have had a tradition for many years. The local women’s auxillary of the St. Paul Sholom Home (nursing and assisted living) makes potato knishes to sell during the state fair. They also sell them all year long. They use a strudel type of dough. My mother also used to buy them, many, many years ago, from a lady who made her own stretched dough. Now a days, the auxillary ladies use frozen puff pastry dough. They taste just like the ones my mother used to buy. I have made them this say myself, but would consider trying other recipes, namely yours. BTW, do you have any great recipes for cheese blintzes?

  137. Alexis

    I caramelized the leeks, and it was amazing! The dough was really easy to work with. Great recipe! I made them the night before refrigerated them covered loosely with some plastic wrap and a wrapped snuggley in a towel. I’ll let you know how that turns out. I’m hoping the dough doesn’t dry out.

  138. I had my fingers crossed that you would have a recipe for knishes on here, because everything I’ve ever made from one of your recipes has turned out amazingly, and I’m normally not a very good baker. Thank you for answering my prayers!

    As far as pairings go, I’m amazed that people keep suggesting salads. Pfft! I’m pairing these with a beef goulash, like my grandmother did in the Old Country. IMHO, knishes were meant to mop up meat sauce, not citrus vinaigrette. :)

  139. Nicole S

    I absolutely love knishes and “attempted” to make this recipe over the weekend. The filling turned out great(!), but the dough was another story. It was thick and dry, in other words, the exact opposite of what it should have been. I used all of the ingredients for the dough, but obviously did something wrong. After I was done making the dough, I left it on the counter for a few hours prior to making the knishes. Should I have put it in the refrigerator instead? Sorry if this is an obvious question, but I’m new to cooking.

    Thanks!

  140. deb

    Hi Nicole — The dough should be placed back in its mixing bowl and covered with plastic wrap at room temperature. It keeps in the fridge up to three days.

  141. Tammy

    Made these today. I love the dough. I used the 1/2 cup water and didn’t use flour to roll. The dough tasted great too. What a hit. Thank you so much.

  142. JuneC

    Crrected Post

    hUMMMM Thanks Deb, but when I click on the link (any link in the search) I get a message saying no such address exists…strange.

    Here is the message I get:

    The website declined to show this webpage
    HTTP 403
    Most likely causes:
    This website requires you to log in.

    What you can try:
    Go back to the previous page.

    More information

  143. Kelly Baehr

    I remember my late mother making delicious potato knishes. The dough was as thin as paper. The difference is in the technique for cutting them: instead of the “twisting” motion, she used to use the side of her open hand in a cutting motion, which sealed and cut each knish. What memories! Unfortunately, I failed to get the recipe at the time. Have to give it a try, and perhaps my own grandchildren will remember my knishes some day…

  144. Monica

    Thank you for reffering to Joes blog, I never got my grandma explanation about how to shape the knish, with his photos I got it in a minute!

  145. Farrell

    I made the knish last week and my dough was beautiful to work with. I used about 1/3 cup water. I have noticed that different brands of flour will perform differently. I use King Arthur AP for these. I made small size ones and they were gone within an hour. Now the fun begins with new fillings. Deb, thanks so much for posting this. Looking forward to meeting you in Santa Cruz for your book tour!

  146. Hi! Thank you for this recipe. I write a cooking blog in France, and a woman from New York wrote me to have informations about the knish. But I didn’t know this meal, and I was curious. I finally found your recipe and I thought it was very interesting. I cooked it yesterday and sent the recipe in my blog for tomorrow. French people will know this speciality, though ! Thanks!

  147. graciela.

    Just made these and I had no issues at all. Thanks for adding the note about the water because 1/4C H2O was enough for me. Had I gone to 1/2C I fear I’d end up with a wet dough. The dough turned out flakey and I went with the kale/potato filling, which is amazing! Thanks again for the recipe.

  148. Diane

    Tonight was the second time lately that I’ve made these…..but I cheated! Instead of making homemade dough, I used Pillsbury Crescent Sheets (un-perforated sheets of ‘whack-em’ crescent rolls).

    This time I used golden-brown bacon, sharp cheddar, cream cheese & caramelized red onions & garlic cloves in with the ‘taters!

    Talk about ‘comfort food’! I made a dozen, so I’ll have several morning’s ‘zap & go’ breakfasts ready in the fridge (after I share some with a friend)!

  149. Leah

    Deb,
    First let me say thank you for your blog and cookbook. They both have been making meals more delicious in my house. This recipe was a BIG hit, both my 1 and 2 year olds ate it. Though to confess I did a little riff on the filling- Yukon gold, leeks, cream cheese, and spinach. It was awesome! Thanks again.

  150. Marilyn

    The traditional way that my Eastern European grandmothers made these is with fat from beef chuck. You slowly render very small pieces in a frying pan. When cooked down remove any pieces, add lots of onions and sauté. Add both the fat and onions to the mashed potatoes. No need for butter. They’re neither healthy, nor vegetarian, but they sure are good.

  151. Cheryl

    Neither my husband or I can simply use a recipe the first time without tweaking it a little (or a lot) :). I’d like to make these knishes, but would like to substitute bacon fat for the oil in the dough. Would I use a 1:1 ratio?

  152. JaneM

    Many years ago when I was a kid living in NYC I would frequently leave school at lunch time, go up 1/2 a block to Broadway and visit a deli for lunch. I spent my lunch money (a whole quarter!) for a Coney Island style knish and was in heaven. For months, I have scoured the internet hoping to find the recipe for this particular style of knish to no avail. If you ever run across one, I would be eternally grateful if you could post it. They were to die for!

  153. Emily

    Oh, how I’ve been craving a knish. There’s a Jewish diner less than a block from my house and their knishes were like awful, dense bricks with no flavor at all. Your recipe looks so lovely I decided to give it a try… but the dough I’ve made has strange white spots on it. The only alteration I made was substituting white WINE vinegar for white vinegar (I didn’t realize that I was out of white vinegar until it was too late). No idea whether I should put the filling aside and remake the dough – or take my chances with the spotty dough. Any advice?

  154. Kiki

    As a native New Yorker living in Paris there isn’t a whole lot that I miss food wise from my hometown. Good deli is really what I crave. I miss my trips to Katz’s and a hop around the corner to Yonah for their kasha knishes. THANK YOU for this recipe! Made it the other day and OMG it takes exactly like theirs! I am now a truly happy transplant! Any thoughts of a kasha knish recipe? : )

  155. Suzi

    We’ve never even heard of knish before, but thought they sounded delicious. We made them last night for dinner (kale and leek because it’s healthy, of course), and they are delicious! I was wondering if they would turn out after my “wrapping” stage, but they ended up beautiful! Thanks!

  156. cyril robinson

    Knishes are delicious and nutricious. As Jewish kid, I remmemberliving in the West Bronx where on Tremont Avenue there were kosher butchers, dairy and a delicatessen where the tables held bowls of half-sour pickles and tomatoes you could eaonest as much as you liked You gave your order to white-aproned waiters who if they didn’t like your order would shout back. That’s nothing for a 12-year old boy to meat on your bones and he would order what he thought you should eat.

  157. Julie

    A great alternative is to use some french fried onions. It gives a great flavor to the filling and removes the need to add salt to the potatoes (in my opinion). It also is a quick solution instead of caramelizing the onions. My brother LOVES these. I made them for him once using french fried onions (he is a potato fiend). Anyway since I made them for him four months ago he has been begging me to make them again and even forced me to lug my stand mixer and food processor out to his house and teach him. Super delicious!!! :D

  158. Thanks for this! I did the dough in my stand mixer and it was perfectly easy to roll out. I let the dough blade knead it until it was quite smooth. 45 minutes to cook the onions was the perfect amount of time for perusing Joe’s version and reading the looooong list of comments over here. Lucky! They are in the oven now…8 minutes to a burned tongue!

  159. Maria

    Great recipe! It was a hit in my family! I love your website by the way, please continue the good job! And my tongue is burned from the potatoes… Yikes.

  160. Evan

    I am not usually the cook in my house, but I have been picking up duties and your website has helped me a lot. This delicious recipe was perfect, and I will definitely be making these again! Thank you.

  161. Susan

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been on a knish recipe search for a few years, always looking for the right combination that will yield me a knish that tastes just like my Grandmom always made for us. I chose to pinch off smaller sections so that they were bite-sized because that’s how Grandmom made ’em! My quest has finally ended thanks to your delicious and oh-so-easy recipe! I can’t wait to make them again!!

  162. Dawn

    I’m making dashi knishes for a JewAsian fusion dinner tonight! I have a test batch of slightly malformed knishes in the oven but so far, so good! Thank you!

  163. brynababy

    My grandmother had hands of gold and she made a sweet knish filled with creamy rice and white raisins. the dough was transparent and she served the hot knishes with cold sour cream. You could die from the exquisitness of it. I would love to find such a recipe.

  164. Just made these! They were delicious! I did about 2 1/2 cups of flour and the 1/2 cup of water and the dough was quite easy to work with. None of them opened up in the oven either. I will definitely add this to my holiday dinner menu! Thanks!

  165. Monte

    We just had the potato and onion knishes. They were absolutely FANTASTIC! Having grown up in NYC, knishes were readily available. These Old Fashioned knishes remind me of the knishes from Brighton Beach and all the other Jewish deli’s I frequented. My Debbie aced the project and I loved em!!!

  166. Shan

    If I knew these little gems were so fun & easy to make I would have been making them all the time! WHEW! Glad these slipped past me all these years! Incredibly delicious (I used chx fat and made the traditional version) and the instructions made it a cinch. Thank you! I had to barricade myself in my office while they cooled in order to keep the roof of my mouth intact. Hopeless I tell you.

  167. Ashley H.

    I found out my boyfriend has never had a knish/didn’t know what they were. So, I did what any Brooklyn born Jewish girl would do – I made them for him right then and there. They were quite tasty and he became a believer of the carb loaded goodness that is the knish. I was a little disappointed in my “shell” though, it was a bit too crunchy and not as flakey as I hoped. Did I bake them for too long? Did I work the dough too much? I think I added a little less egg than I was supposed to – was that where I went wrong?? Please help!

  168. Eve

    Made these for my cooking group – none of whom are Jewish or knew anything about knishes and they loved them!! It was my first time making knishes even though I grew up in Toronto with lots of great delis. They turned out just like your pictures, but I made mine a bit smaller.

  169. Bridget from Cali

    Love the history. I’m in the square fried knish camp. On the West Coast that is what they served in deli’s around here, but your baked round ones are beauties. I can’t wait to make ’em. As far as I’m concerned, pastry and potatoes are a match made in heaven. (When you add in onions and broccoli that simply puts the whole thing in overdrive.) I am a card-carrying starcheterian — that’s a vegetarian who heavily favors potatoes, pasta, bread, rice, etc. I will skip the meaty options suggested, but I am okay with dairy and the different veggies. Diet wise, half a knish is probably best for my waistline. Of course. I’d rather eat a huge one on splurge day! God bless you all!

  170. Nusara

    I am Thai, have a Jewish boyfriend. I have just finished baking the potato knish. It only requires 1/4 cup of water. I love the flaky crust. Your instructions are very precise. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe.

  171. Anthea

    I make a batch of these every few months, bake them till they are a few minutes under-cooked and then freeze them. Love having such a treat in the freezer for those (frequent!) nights when I don’t want to cook but want something homemade. when my now husband and I were first dating, we would go out for knish and salad in a small French/german bakery/cafe in Rochester, MN, so this brings back fond memories!

    One change is that I make a lot more filling (i just made them tonight and used about 42 oz potatoes, 1 onion and 2-3 cups chopped fresh spinach). Somehow this still fits into the recipe’s quantity of dough — i cut the dough in half and roll each half into a rectangle about 18×8″. All this to say that I get 16 knish per batch, and find that 1 knish is enough for dinner, even with my good appetite. Thanks for a total keeper. This and your mushroom bourguignon (served with your Spaetzle!) are true staples in our house!

  172. It’s blogs like this that simultaneously make me want to quit blogging (because how could I possible measure up to the likes of you with your witty charm and talent) and go into the kitchen and whip up a batch of knishes! Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and that I’m so happy that my cousin Carla (a fabulous baker) turned me onto your site, and that you are simply awesome. And I AM going to make these knishes (even though I know my mother-in-law will say that they aren’t like the ones they all love and adore from Calgary, Canada!)

  173. Hin

    I didn’t have baking powder, so, the substitute for baking powder per teaspoon is 1/4 tsp baking soda, and then I added another 1/2 tsp vinegar to up the acidity activity in the dough. It worked out BEAUTIFULLY.

  174. Tanya

    I tried these tonight, they were delicious. I also added mushrooms and spinach to my filling. Only needed 1/4th cup of the water so I guess you just have to eyeball it. Great recipe!

  175. Mira

    I made these last night and was surprised how easily they came together. I made half with potato, onion, and kale and the other half with potato, green onion, peas, and curry powder. Delicious! Froze to use as a quick grab for lunches.

  176. Rachel Abrams

    I could easily spend the whole afternoon reading these delicious comments. What a great bunch of folks! I grew up in NY so I know knishes quite well and I’m going to give it a try, once I scroll way back to the recipe. They’re unheard of over here in the UK, so I plan to distribute far and wide and maybe we’ll have a UK knish festival before long! Thanks Smitten Kitchen – you’re terrific.

  177. Dick

    I sold knishes when I worked at a stand at Playland in Rockaway Beach, in the summer of 1965. We ordered them by the box of about 30, frozen, so we just had to put them on the grill to heat them up and sell them. They were 100% potatoe, as far as I can remember, we they were served as a finger food with mustard. They were rectangular, abut 3 x 5.

  178. sara bat

    i just made these for a hanukkah party and i am here to say that if you follow the recipe, you will not fail in producing some excellent knish. dumb but important for those of us who don’t bake often: use parchment paper, not wax paper.

    thanks for all the fantastic recipes and happy hanukkah!

  179. Sheryljkt

    I love this recipe. I make these one third the size and use them for appetizers. Serve with some mustard or ketchup, delicious. Works every time. Happy New Year.

  180. Nicola

    HiDeb, as a Londoner who had a Russian grandmother who taught me the basic recipes from there. A knish here is filled with kasha or potato and onion wrapped in a flour and water dough and fried!!
    Your recipe looks really yummy and will be giving it a go this week.

  181. Laura M

    They look so adorable. I wonder if I could fill them with something else like pulled pork, enchilada filling etc. etc. But of course not call them knish. Maybe puffballs?

  182. Laurie Heyman

    A belated thank you for your blog on Knishes. After stumbling across JoePastry’s knish site, I’ve had knish on the brain for about 6 months now. His dough recipe and technique cannot be beat. My daughter is a very picky vegetarian-i.e., no onion, so I have developed a potato knish without onions-Yukon Gold potato, butter, a little garlic, chopped spinach, mozzarella cheese. I make knish about every 2 weeks now. The best are potato, caramelized onion, spinach and sliced mushroom. Yum! Also I make a Kasha Knish with kasha, spinach, feta cheese, as well as a Spanakopita Knish (spinach, scallions, dill, feta cheese, pine nuts).

  183. Laurie Heyman

    A quick note about freezing-many recipes call for them to be frozen prior to baking. I have found that these can be baked, cooled and then frozen. Pop them into the oven, 350 degrees F for 20 minutes and voila! Hot Knishes!

  184. Elizabeth

    The Man in My Life prefers curly kale (which I dislike) and eats lacinato kale (which I love) under duress. Since he loves potatoes, this seems a fine way to serve lacinato kale “well-disguised. But I have enough lacinato kale to feed a team of football players. Can frozen (chopped and blanched) kale be used successfully in the knish if it’s well-thawed and drained?

  185. Rose

    Thanks a lot for rocking up my party Deb! BBQ yesterday featured this awesome treat and the cherry browned butter bars, both with huge success! I made the knish dough with olive oil, didn’t have vegetable, dough turned out a bit stiff, non elastic. When twisting and snipping it I wasn’t able to seal it because of lack of elasticity. Would it have been down to the olive oil?

    1. rose

      Believe it or not, but I already made a second batch today and yes, olive oil seemed to have stiffened the dough, since today’s one is fantasticaly smooth and pliable. 1/3 cup of water for me worked best too, previously use only 1/4. I can see a bright knishful autumn coming ahead! Thanx for the great post Smitten Kitchen!

      1. deb

        I’m so glad you figured it out because I could not! I’m also happy to know this if someone else asks. Glad it all worked out in the end.

  186. Emunah

    I made these knishes for Purim two years ago and gave them out to everyone in my shaloch manos. They were a huge hit! I’ve been waiting to make them again ever since.

    Now I am ready to make them for the holidays and wondering how they freeze? Can you advise?