A Recipe for Potato Knishes

A Typical Jewish Baked Dumpling and Free Info on How to Render Fat

The Jewish love their knishes and a knish is a dumpling filled with some delicious foods, such as potato,meat or cheese. They are baked or fried and a traditional serving at Hannukah, but can be eaten anytime of the year. Knish vary in size from the small bite size to the larger ones, that are served as a meal.

The are pretty easy to make and similar to the Middle Eastern "Meat and Cheese Pies" which are filled with spinach, potato, meat and cheese. Both of the recipes are pretty simple. This recipe uses the Middle Eastern dough recipe with the Jewish filling. A delight for all to enjoy.


Instructions for the Knish

Ingredients for the Dough

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • dash of salt
Place the flour on the table and make a well in the middle. In the middle add in the yogurt, oil, egg, salt and baking power. With a fork start stirring the flour with the inside ingredients gradually. Mixing more and more of the flour at a time. After all the flour and other ingredients are mixed together take some warm water and add enough to make a smooth ball.

Knead the bread for five minutes more until the dough is pliable and soft. Cover the ball with some more olive oil and place a bowl on top of the bread ball. Let the dough rise for 2 hours or until doubled.

Potato Filling
  • 3 large onions
  • 1/4 cup of ghee or butter
  • 1/4 cup of rendered chicken fat
  • 3 pounds of potatoes
  • Salt and Pepper to season
Place the fat and the butter in a large skillet and saute the onions until lightly golden brown. Place the potatoes in a sauce pan with water and bring to a boil. Boil them till they are soft. Drain the potatoes and add the onions to the potatoes and any oil left and mash. Season with salt and pepper
Cheese Filling
  • 3 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of butter or ghee
  • 12 ounces of cream cheese cut up
  • 2 pounds of dry-curd cottage cheese
Saute the onions in the butter until golden brown. Once the mixture is cooled, add in the cream cheese and the cottage cheese. When thoroughly mixed, chill in the refrigerator.

How to render fat

You can purchase chicken fat at the market and make your own. It is called schmaltz. Place the chicken fat and some skin with a little water in a frying pan. Cook this over low to medium heat, until the fat is liquid and the bits have shrunk in size. The bits of fat should be crunchy and small. Strain the fat and place in the refrigerator.

How to make the Knish

Divide the dough in to two pieces. Take the one piece and roll out very thinly into a rectangle. Add a thin rope of filling on the dough and roll up and seal. With a knife cut the dough into individual knishes, around 2 inches long. Bake in a hot oven at 425 degrees until lightly brown. This should take around 20 minutes.

Note: Alternative ways to fold - roll out the dough in a rectangle and using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into sections. In the middle of the dough place the filling and fold the dough over. With a rolling pin, roll the dough flat. fold again on both sides and on the ends and roll with the rolling pin. Brush with some egg wash.