Guest Post: Homemade Potato Knishes by Overtime Cook

by Erin

Being out of town this past weekend, although very fun and much needed, prevented me from doing any weekend cooking/baking. So I am pleased to present to you Miriam, from Overtime Cook, as my guest blogger for today! I enjoy that she somehow finds time to spend in the kitchen making delicious things (like her chocolate strawberry cream cups) and to blog all about it despite having a full time job (which I can relate to being a graduate student doing full-time research). Thank you, Miriam, for sharing one of your delicious creations on my blog!


There are certain foods that I’ve grown up with, eaten a thousand times, bought in freezer aisles and pizza shops, yet always taken for granted. The first that comes to mind is the simple Potato Knish. As a Jewish girl from New York, I’ve grown up eating knishes. I have enjoyed them at Yankee Stadium and at birthday parties, but it wasn’t until recently that the somewhat radical thought occurred to me. I can make those.

I had this idea that it would be difficult, that my homemade knishes wouldn’t rival those I’ve eaten in the pizza shops of my youth. That I was crazy for attempting this. But I had to try. Turns out? It’s pretty simple. And ooh, so delicious!

If you aren’t from New York, and haven’t been lucky enough to taste an authentic Potato Knish, they are basically pockets of almost, but not quite flaky dough, filled with different delectable fillings. The most popular (at least from what I have taste-er, seen) is potato. (Carbs wrapped in carbs…you kind of know they are going to be delicious!) They work as a quick snack, a delicious party treat, or even a side dish at a festive meal. No matter how you serve these delicious treats, you will impress and delight people.

Making homemade knishes basically consists of throwing a couple of ingredients together in the mixer to form a delightfully light and easy to work with dough. Next, roll it out real thin (think of it as working your biceps-yay for exercise!) and cut it into squares.

The size of the square isn’t very important or exact. Do you want small knishes for a crowd? Cut ’em small. Need large ones to use as a part of your meal? Make them big. Or make some of each. Don’t forget you’ll need a couple little knishes for sampling when they come out of the oven. To make sure they are good, obviously.

Next, make the filling. Here, I used potato. It’s a classic, and it’s absolutely delicious. Scoop a bit of the filling onto the dough square. Again, this depends on the size of the squares. Fold up two of the corners, bringing them to the center. Like so.

Next, repeat with the other two corners. Real simple, see?

Now you have an important decision to make. You can leave the knish just as you see above. It’s slightly modern, definitely pretty. But I chose to go with a more traditional look. I flipped it over, tucked the corners under, and rolled it a little to make the circle nice and even. Then you brush it with some egg, sprinkle on some sesame seeds, and an agonizingly long time in the oven later, you have a delicious treat, homemade in your own kitchen. What can beat that?

Don’t those look gorgeous- even professional?




4 cups all purpose flour

1-3 Tbsp sugar

1/2 Tbsp salt

8 oz (2 sticks) butter or margarine

1 cup lukewarm water

2 tsp baking powder

3 large egg yolks


2 large onions, finely diced and sauteed in vegetable oil

5 large Idaho potatos, cooked, peeled and mashed

2 eggs

1/2-1 Tbsp salt (to taste)

1/4-1 tsp black pepper (to taste)


1 egg, lightly beaten

sesame seeds, for sprinkling


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all dough ingredients. Beat well until a light dough forms. Set aside. Meanwhile, beat together all the filling ingredients, until smooth.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line 2 cookie sheets.
  3. On a floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thickness (or as thin as you can get it without holes forming in the dough.) Cut dough into squares or rectangles, size depending on the desired size of the knish. (See above.) Scoop a small amount of filling mixture into the center of the dough. Bring the corners together to form a pocket around the filling. Turn the square over, fold the corners under, and roll between your palms to create a neat circle.
  4. Place circle on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. When all knishes are formed, brush beaten egg on top of each knish, then sprinkle sesame seeds over them.
  5. Place in oven and bake 30-40 minutes for smaller knishes, and up to an hour for larger knishes, until they appear light golden brown.
  6. Enjoy!

Some notes:

  • This recipe freezes beautifully. I just served these to my entire extended family after a week in the freezer, and nobody had a clue!
  • You can change up the filling by adding spinach to the sauteed onions, you can make a cheese filling- get creative!

Source: Adapted from this authentic Jewish cookbook.

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Miriam @ Overtime Cook September 28, 2012 - 6:45 am

Freida- it should, but I can’t say for sure as I haven’t tried it. Try using a bit less oil than the amount of margarine it calls for.

Frieda September 27, 2012 - 12:03 pm

Hi Miriam.

I really try to make my recipes as healthy as possible….. do you think it would work if I substituted oil instead of margarine in the potato knish recipe??

Sherry in Union, KY September 9, 2012 - 5:16 pm

Thank you for the recipe. I made these for dinner tonight for my husband and boys. They turned out to be more work than I had anticipated, but they were enjoyed. I ended up with a lot of filling leftover, probably because I went overboard on the potatoes. The recipe calls for five large Idaho potatoes, and I was thinking of those enormous baking potatoes, so I used too many smaller ones. I am on a strict diet right now, so I chose not to partake, but I did freeze some of them for the near future.

Michelle December 21, 2011 - 9:49 pm

These are beautiful!!

Joan Hayes@chocolate and more November 7, 2011 - 3:16 pm

Saw the link over at Overtime Cook, I can’t wait to try and make these! I lived in south Florida for 10 years and these were always a favorite but now living in rural Georgia, I can’t even find a good bagel!

Learning Girl October 18, 2011 - 3:38 pm

I must try these! I got into Smackin’ Good frozen knishes when desperate on vacation once, but they were so loaded with calories and sodium it was unbelievable. I like homemade versions of fast food so I can actually control what goes in.

For a healthier version, I want to try a kasha filling. I’ve liked kasha knishes from the knish store… Miriam, any idea how I should prepare the kasha? Also sweet potato, which I’d prepare the same as the regular potato, maybe even mix the two for a lighter flavor. Mmmm.

Miriam @ Overtime Cook October 19, 2011 - 10:39 am

Hi Learning Girl,

I’ve never made Kasha filling, so I can’t give you a recipe for it. If you’re looking for healthier, try making a vegetable filling-add a small amount of mashed potatoes for texture.

I’m glad you like the recipe- please let me know how it comes out!


Miriam @ Overtime Cook October 18, 2011 - 11:40 am

Thanks everyone! I’m so glad you all like the recipe- and a little surprised at how uncommon they seem to be out of New York! Makes me wonder what kind of awesome regional food I’m missing from other parts of the country!

Paula October 18, 2011 - 10:59 am

I’ve never eaten a knish, of any kind. You make them look easy to make and even easier to eat. Must try these sometime.

spiffycookie October 18, 2011 - 11:12 am

Same here! She has inspired me

Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray October 18, 2011 - 10:53 am

What a fantastic guest post–Miriam, I am physically restraining myself from walking out of my office and buying a knish from the guy on the corner because these look so freakin’ good. I may have sort of a thing for carbs, especially when they’re joyfully united with other carbs…

Mel October 18, 2011 - 10:31 am

Mmm… what’s better than carbs wrapped in carbs??? These look delish and easy enough to make!

Bianca @ South Bay Rants n Raves October 18, 2011 - 10:08 am

Those look great. I think even an amateur like me could whip these up. As a New York native I totally appreciate this recipe. Thanks!

Jennifer @ Mother Thyme October 18, 2011 - 9:21 am

These look amazing! Thanks for sharing this beautiful guest post!

spiffycookie October 18, 2011 - 9:33 am

Don’t thank me, thank Miriam :-)


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