Thursday, July 10, 2008

reruns no. 3 — return of the knish

quite a while ago, i posted a recipe for basic potato knishes in which the dough i used was more of a softer (somewhat) bread-like one — and not the more calorie-laden flaky pastry type casing. while there is nothing wrong with the former knish dough used in the original posting, most people want one which is almost pastry-like.

for those unfamiliar with these typically jewish appetizers or snacks, knishes can be formed from doughs of several types: a flaky pastry one, a puff pastry one, a short crusted one (mock puff pastry), a paper thin strudel type one, or as i posted a more bread-y type.

for this 'recipe rerun', and as requested by several people, i am posting two additional recipes. both are great, quite easy to make and result with fantastic finished knishes. the recipes come from the prolific and well known jewish cookbook author, norene gilletz — a fellow canadian. check out her site and recipes :)

the recipe for potato-onion filling can be found in the original post i did. you can use whatever fillings you like as long as they do not "run" while baking. popular fillings are potato, buckwheat (kasha), mushroom, various vegetable and even meat ones.

flaky pastry dough for knishes
aka flaky ginger ale pastry

this is a very easy-to-put-together and always successful dough, especially if done in a food processor. it can be frozen for later use. its success is in the use of a carbonated liquid for the 'wet' ingredient. see the recipe for options.

makes enough for 12 knishes (recipe can be doubled)

dough ingredients:

1 c plus 1 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 c frozen margarine* (1 stick), cut in 8 pieces
1/4 c cold carbonated beverage** — ginger ale or 7 UP or carbonated water
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar

*margarine is used in order to adhere to jewish dietary laws as these are often served at meals with meat; you can try butter but i can't guarantee results as i've never tried it.
**do NOT use regular water or diet drinks

filling ingredients:

see here


before starting, take note that you will not (most likely) need ALL of the wet ingredients, so do not be overzealous and add all of it at once or you'll have a mess and a ruined recipe. you've been forewarned! :)

if you cut the margarine into 8 pieces and put them on a plastic wrap lined plate, they freeze within an hour or so. if you freeze the whole block, it takes much longer.

in a food processor or bowl, combine the flour with the frozen margarine.

process it with pulses or use a pastry cutter in the bowl to make a crumbly mixture. you don't want any chunks.

in a small pyrex, combine the carbonated drink with the vinegar.

slowly add the wet to the dry a tablespoon at a time until you get a somewhat (rounded) ball of dough. if using the food processor, turn it on and steadily add the liquid and process until it JUST starts to make the ball.

discard the remaining wet ingredients.

take the dough and divide it equally in half on a floured board.

make two discs and wrap them in waxed paper or plastic wrap. you can do this directly on them.

refrigerate the dough discs or freeze them. if refrigerating, wait a good 2 1/2 to 3 hours for it to fully chill to make rolling easy. you can leave them overnight.

defrost, if frozen, until pliable and still cold.

forming your knishes:

for this dough, make an 8" x 12" rectangle only. it doesn't sound quite big enough but it is.

make sure your counter is well floured and don't be too rough with it. flouring the dough is essential to success here. i also find rolling it out between two pieces of parchment or wax paper the easiest and cleanest method; your dough doesn't stick to the rolling pin.

if you cannot get an exact rectangle that is 8 x 12, use your hands to shape the borders.

take the appropriate amount of filling (it should measure about 1.5 to 2 inches in width and run the length of the piece of dough) and place it evenly along the long side of the dough, leaving about a 1/2" border or so just before the filling. leave about a 1/2 inch border on either side also.

carefully roll it up fairly tightly. use the wax paper as a guide and tool as such:

grab the bottom edge of the waxed paper and pull it up and over to cover the filling.

continue rolling using the paper to guide the direction and correct the tension.

use the wax paper to tighten the roll as necessary. continue rolling until you get to the top edge.

why use wax paper and not just roll it without? the dough is delicate when rolled thinly. it makes rolling very easy and lowers the risk for screw-ups.

seal the edges lightly!

the finished roll .....

preheat your oven to 350F.

now the fun part: cutting the dough. traditionally, this is done with the side of your hand and NOT a knife. it is done in a sawing motion back and forth. this serves to seal the knishes.

as you do this, you will fuse the edges.

cut the knishes with your hand equally into 6 pieces per disc of dough. make a rough "guess-timate" with your eye before going ahead and making them too large.

place the cut knishes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. you can seal up the tops and press them in slightly.

bake the knishes (no egg wash) for about 40 minutes or until nicely golden. keep an eye on them.

golden brown and completely delicious! :))

* * * * * * *

warm water knish dough

makes enough for 24 knishes

this recipe makes a very pliable and easy to work dough. it uses eggs and warm water and is like a strudel dough which is very thin. you need a large (11 c) food processor to make the full recipe. if you have a small one, make 1/2 recipe at a time or 2 batches.


2 eggs
1/2 c oil
1/2 c warm water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2.5 c all purpose flour


in a food processor, put the eggs, oil and water. mix until blended.

add the remaining salt, baking powder and flour and process ONLY JUST until it is blended. do NOT process it for longer or it will not work: you do not want to develop the elasticity of the gluten.

remove the dough and cut it in 4 equal sections. cover the pieces you are not working with and keep them apart from each other or they will fuse together again. best to keep them on a lightly floured plate or plates.

take one piece of dough and flour it well all over. coax the dough, on a well floured board or counter, into a rough rectangle.

roll out the dough, keeping the shape of a rectangle, as thinly possible. you should be able to see your hands underneath it.

again, place your filling along the long side of the dough keeping a 1/2 inch border.

roll up the dough and cut it using a sawing motion with your hand as in the previous recipe.

place them on an oiled or lined sheet & bake your knishes at 350F for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden.


n.b. for both recipes, you can freeze your unbaked knishes and bake them directly frozen at 350F for about 3/4 of an hour. i can't guarantee 100% perfection with the potato filled ones, though. potatoes don't tend to freeze well.

thanks norene!


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

They look really delicious! I'll have to try them once...



sara said...

you know i love all your posts b.b. but when they are about pastry-like things you show such a love for details, such a good taste and you're so precise that i simply stay speechless in front of my screen. i'm sure these are the best knishes in the whole world!!!!!

burekaboy — said...

rosa - i have a feeling you'll like them :))

sari - what can i say...maybe i took too many pictures :o go make knishes and tell me what you think :)) i know it's not 40 C now -- no excuses for you!!

Mallory Elise said...

dddddddddddddaaaaaaaaammmn! those are a lot of photos, so detailed! do you own a bakery?

haha! I found you by googling english recipes for brigadeiros, know its old post, but am gunna link it to my post im doing on em. so eh, obrigada!


~~Louise~~ said...

Absolutely AMAZING!! I adore knishes. I can't stand it. I must give them a try when the weather cools down. Thank you so much for the wonderful time effort and detail. Another keeper...

TopChamp said...

How many recipes do you have involving fizzy drinks? This is the second I have spotted....

pepsakoy said...

Hi there..thanks a lot for paying my blog a visit ( I was so surprised to see your comments )..I was about to let you know and thank for the interesting recipe but you were quicker than Me!! lol..
Anyway, I also tried your knish (the first recipe) today.. it came out good and I really like to make something I've never tried before..bad thing is that i dunno if I've done or get it tasted correctly! Thanks again!

burekaboy — said...

apologies all for the GRAND delay in replying...

mallory elise - LOL. yeah, lots of pictures, huh? no - i don't have a bakery only a very busy kitchen. will check out your post for the brigadeiros. thanks for the comment and visit.

hi louise - knishes are certainly well liked! :) thanks for the kind words - hope you enjoy them; they're quite easy to make at home.

TC - haha, yeah, it's a bit crazy. i think i've done like 4 but that's it for the carbonated drinks (for now!).

pepsakoy - well, thank YOU for trying out the cake recipe (twice!) plus the great pictures. i'm impressed, you even made the knishes. i'm sure they came out fine - if you do try them again, use the first dough in this post here because that is the more popular way people like them (in terms of the dough).

pepsakoy said...

Burekaboy,Thanks again for your messages and advice..I actually wanted to try the flaky pastry dough recipe but I didn't have time to leave it in the fridge as stated (cuz I decided to make knishes after I read your post!),so I chose the easier one..I'm sure with a flaky dough, it would be (even more) terrific...but now I've found lots of other interesting things ( from your blog, of course)that i wanna give them a try !! I'm making your tahinli today..please have a look at my blog if you have time and your comment would be priceless to me..

burekaboy — said...

pepsakoy - no problem, glad to help.

i saw them - they look FANTASTIC. excellent work for a first try ;) hope you enjoy the other things you try, too!

jill elise said...

I just found your post the other day, and it's been sitting open waiting for me to try it. I did, except I made it gluten-free (way easier than I was anticipating!) and I had to move out of the kitchen in order not to eat them all. This will definitely become a staple in my house! Thank you!!

Check out my post (with full credit to you) here

burekaboy — said...

jill elise - hey, mazal tov on being able to convert this to GF. that's amazing. i'm SURE your version will get lots of attention amongst those who cannot enjoy regular knishes. thanks for the link and letting me know about it. i just saw your post - great pictures! wish you the best for the new year. try the knishes with different fillings, too!

jill elise said...

Thank you!!!!! I might even try them with the eggy crust sometime, too!

burekaboy — said...

jill elise - you are most welcome. i saw you're cooking up a storm with that dough! great ideas for the GF crowd. all the best for the new year :))