Mrs. Stahl's Potato Knishes


From Laura Silver, author of Knish - In search of the Jewish Soul Food
"Fannie Stahl's granddaughters summoned recovered memories to bring this recipe to life. Toby Engelberg, who sold her knishes in the Bay Area for a while, enlisted the help of her elder cousin from New York, Sara Spatz, who, as a young woman, worked in her grandmother's shop in Brighton Beach. I was there to learn. What struck me most was the aroma. It filled the kitchen as soon the skins were peeled from the first onions, and lingered long after the last tray of knishes had cooled."


3 1⁄4 cups flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup lukewarm water

Potato filling:
6 lbs. russet or new potatoes
1 cup oil
1⁄4 cup salt, or to taste
1 1⁄2 tsp. pepper
8 cups raw thinly sliced onions


Turn on oven on low until dough is ready. Mix flour, sugar and salt. Add oil and water. Mix with a spoon until the dough pulls together, or use a food processor or stand mixer (with a dough hook). Turn out on board and knead, incorporating all pieces. Knead until dough is one piece and is smooth and glossy. Turn off oven. Oil dough and place in oiled, covered bowl. Place in oven until ready to use. Let rest at least 2 hours; the dough should barely rise if at all. Keeping the dough overnight in the refrigerator is fine. Bring back to room temperature before use.

Potato filling:
Scrub potatoes and peel except if the new potatoes have very thin, unblemished skins. Boil about 20 minutes until knife tender and drain. Mash with a potato masher. Add oil, salt (not adding all at once and tasting as you add) and pepper and mix. Stir in the onion.

Assembling and Baking:
Vegetable oil and flour as needed
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll out about half the dough on a lightly floured counter or table top. Roll with handle-less, rod-style rolling pin out from the center until dough is thin enough to see through, about 1/16-inch thick.

Oil top edge of dough with a pastry brush. Place 2-inch diameter line of filling about 2 inches from top edge. Pick up top edge and drape over filling. Brush oil on dough in a 2-inch strip on the bottom edge of the filling. Pick up the dough with filling and roll again onto the oiled dough, compressing the filled dough as you turn it. Repeat until the dough covers filling three to four times, being sure to always brush oil on the dough first. Use a knife to separate the filled potato knish log from the remaining dough. Cut off edges of filled dough. Cut the filled roll into pieces about 6-inches long and coil each piece like a snail, tuck the remaining end into the bottom of the coil.

Alternatively, place stuffed roll of dough onto ungreased cookie sheet, and slash with a knife crosswise every 2 inches. Leave an inch of space between each roll or coil of dough.

Bake 20-25 minutes until knish skin is browned and knishes are cooked through. Start knishes on lowest oven rack and raise to top rack after about 10-12 minutes. Let knishes cool in pan. If cooked in long rolls, cut them into individual pieces.

Knishes can be reheated in the oven or in a skillet on the stove top.
Makes about 18 knishes


Recipe: kosher, parve, side dish