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When You Knish Upon a Star

The first time I ate a knish, or even really heard of a knish, was on a trip to New York with my confirmation class. My (very brave) Rabbi takes the 12th graders every year to do a Jewish tour of New York City. We ate at many, many iconic delis and restaurants and visited the infamous Zabar’s.

This trip awakened something in me, a love of all things deli. Being from the Chicago suburbs, I don’t even know where I would have begin to look for a knish bakery and now living in Southern California, there are definitely no knish bakeries around.

This is one of those recipes where you can customize it to be whatever you want it to be! Want make them dairy free? Take out the cheese. Want to make them with a more Mexican flair? Add cumin and coriander to the potatoes!


1 ½ Cup flour

1 Teaspoon kosher salt

½ Cup water

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil


10-12 Red potatoes

½ onion

1 ½ Teaspoons seasoned salt

½ Teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 Egg yolk

½ Cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

To prepare the dough, pour the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour the water into the well and stir until a dough comes together. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and let sit for at least 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting, start to prepare the filling by peeling the potatoes and placing them in a pot of salted boiling water. Cook for 10-12 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, chop the onion into small pieces and cook until translucent in a pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat, about 10 minutes

Drain the potatoes and mash with a potato masher until there are no lumps. Stir in the seasoned salt, pepper, cheddar cheese, onion, and egg yolk.

Divide the dough 8 even balls. Roll the first ball into a seven inch circle and place ½ cup of the potato mixture in the center. Pinch and fold the dough tightly around the potato mixture, leaving it open at the top.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Mix an egg with 1 teaspoon water and brush over the top of each knish. Bake for 35 minutes.

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