Potato Knish

My workplace in Saint Paul is less than a block away from Cecil’s Deli. ‘Twas lunchtime one day at work, and  I was looking at their menu when I came upon a term I didn’t recognize – knish. I asked my co-workers about knish and then looked for photos online. I stumbled upon a recipe and just happened to have all of the ingredients, so I put it on my list of things to make and post on my blog.

Potato Knish

Potato knish 1



  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 1 1/2 lbs (about 3 medium) russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp non-dairy spread (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg yolk and 1 tsp water for finishing egg-wash


Note: This recipe has a lot of steps, and is kind of hard to visualize at times. If you have any trouble following the steps, I recommend clicking the link to the original recipe at the end of this post – it has some helpful pictures.

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, vinegar, and water. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  2. Knead the dough for about a minute until it becomes smoother. Place dough back into the large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until you can pierce the potatoes quite easily with a fork. Drain the potatoes, then transfer them to a large bowl.
  4. Add the olive oil and non-dairy spread to a large skillet over medium heat. Once the mixture has started to bubble, lower the heat to medium-low. My stove-top seems to run hot, so I pulled the heat all the way back to low. Add the onions and cook, stirring pretty frequently, until they’re caramelized. (I ‘m not great at caramelizing onions, but just remember to keep the heat pretty low, keep some grease in the pan, and stir a lot, and they should turn out okay.)
  5. Once the onions are finished, add them to the potatoes with the salt and black pepper and mash.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Now the fun part – putting the knish together. Divide the dough in half, and sprinkle some flour on whatever surface you’ll be using to roll out the dough.
  8. Roll the first half of the dough into about a 12 by 12 inch square, and add half the potato filling, placing it into a log shape near one edge of the dough. Carefully roll until the filling has been securely wrapped in dough, then tuck in the edges on the ends.
  9. Twist the dough into three about equal parts, and close off one end of each section – this will be the bottom of the knish.
  10. Squish each knish into a round shape and seal the top, or leave it open – the choice is yours. I left the tops of my knish slightly open.
  11. Repeat steps 8-10 with the second half of the dough, then place all six knishes onto the prepared baking sheet. Mix the egg yolk and water, and brush each knish with the egg wash.
  12. Bake the knishes for about 45 minutes. My egg wash was too thin and the knishes did not brown up well, so I re-made the egg wash, brushed them again, and broiled for a few additional minutes.
  13. Let the knishes cool before handling or eating.

While the caramelized onions were tasty, I think I will add some herbs and/or spices to the potato mixture next time.

Source: Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen


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