Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Pam R

eGCI Demo: Knishes

Recommended Posts

Other than to say "thank you" and "wow," I'm essentially speechless. :smile:

:blush: thanks

I'm so glad you showed the stretch technique, warts and tears and all. It's great to know that even if there are tears all along the edges, it will still roll up to a beautiful log. I'm sure if I hadn't seen it myself, if mine started tearing like that, I'd have figured it was screwed upl

I don't think I've EVER made a stretch dough that didn't tear in at least one place - I always want to get it THAT much thinner ... and it tears. But the great thing about using a stretch dough is that you roll the dough around the filling several times, so holes almost always gets covered in other layers of dough. If not, it patches really well. No sense in pretending otherwise :wink:

Those look great Pam. Next time you come to Israel, you can come over and give me a lesson.

You have no idea how happy I would be to come over and give you a lesson! I'm available for private lessons.... no fee, just cover the flight :wink:

They made them this way and sold them still warm if you were lucky...we would run home, cut them open and pump in the yellow mustard.   :wub:

I forgot about the mustard thing! We used to have a customer - from Memphis. She was the first person I ever knew who would eat her knishes with mustard. I thought it very odd!

The perfect combinations for me:

Potato knishes - sour cream

Kasha knishes - naked

Cheese knishes - sour cream and strawberries

Meat knishes... I always thought naked but I'm thinking these would be good with mustard.

Any other good condiments I'm missing out on?


Edited by Pam R (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow Pam, amazing kinshes! 

There used to be a Kosher bakery on W. 181st where I grew up.  Real old school place(might still be there) called Greenblats or Greenbaums, cant remember which now.  They made them this way and sold them still warm if you were lucky...we would run home, cut them open and pump in the yellow mustard.  :wub:

You're probably thinking of Gruenbaums. It's still there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am new to this technology so I hope that this works.

First of all my compliments on your knish instructions. It is lovely and descriptive, and it brought back some great memories for me.

I come to this a little late but I do have some items of interest to add to this topic.

I am also from Winnipeg and we do indeed have some fine jewish food.

My Baba (grandmother) taught me how to make knishes and she used a white cotton or linen sheet to stretch out her dough, this seems to prevent some tearing, it isn't a perfect solution but it helps. It also helps to roll up the knish.

Also she made 2 kinds of knish dough; one similar to the recipe above and the other was a sour cream dough which is delicious.

The following is the recipe for her sour cream dough, it is made in the same fashion as the standard dough and well worth trying:

Baba's Sour Cream Knish Dough

This is my favourite knish dough, I apologize for the lack of greater description, but I am ashamed to say that haven't made it since since my Baba and I used to make them together over 13 years ago.

Dough:

1 egg

1/3 cup shortening

2 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups flour

salt

Combine in cuisinart or mixer. Let rest in refrigerator. Roll out and stretch on a lightly floured sheet as you would regular knish dough.

Filling:

1 carton dry cottage cheese

1 egg

1 Tbsp. sugar

salt

This is good with potato filling too.

Bake at 400ºF 25 min.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am new to this technology so I hope that this works.

Welcome to eGullet Laurel!

I am also from Winnipeg and we do indeed have some fine jewish food.

That's what I'm saying.. :wink:

My Baba (grandmother) taught me how to make knishes and she used a white cotton or linen sheet to stretch out her dough, this seems to prevent some tearing, it isn't a perfect solution but it helps. It also helps to roll up the knish.

My Baba did the same thing. I've only done it on material a couple of times, and haven't noticed that much of a difference. I'd love to know if other people find it helps.

The great thing about the stretch dough is that there are so many layers, the tearing gets covered up :biggrin:

Thanks for the recipe - once Passover is over I'd love to try it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great demo! With due respect to Yonah Schimmel's, Katz's et al, does anyone remember Izzy's Knishes on the boardwalk in Long Beach, NY?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pam - not only is your demo fabulous but it makes the idea of doing a stretch dough seem possible. Have you thought about working it up into an article for one of the major food mags?

Hope you survive the Passover rush.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They don't seem that much different from the typical round knish in NY -- at least superficially. I think most in NY I've seen appear to have an eggwash and are open topped. The knishes at most places aren't as flaky, while the knishes at Yonah Schimmel's have a very light, delicate pastry shell. Honestly, I think that makes them rather terrific. I'm interested to try this recipe.

The square knishes are just hockey pucks in my limited experience.

Interested to hear if NYers think my assessment is correct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They don't seem that much different from the typical round knish in NY -- at least superficially.  I think most in NY I've seen appear to have an eggwash and are open topped.  The knishes at most places aren't as flaky, while the knishes at Yonah Schimmel's have a very light, delicate pastry shell.  Honestly, I think that makes them rather terrific.  I'm interested to try this recipe.

The square knishes are just hockey pucks in my limited experience.

Interested to hear if NYers think my assessment is correct.

I never got a chance to try Yonah Schimmel's on my trips to NY. The closest thing I tried was at Zabars - but it was different. The dough is loosely related, but thicker and ... doughier without the flakiness. There was much less filling. You're right, they should be flaky. Perhaps Yonah's are closer to mine.

I think a lot of it has to do with producing large quantities. Stretching the dough by hand until you can see through it results in several layers of very thin crust, producing the flaky, still thin shell. I couldn't say whether companies producing the quantities needed for some of the outfits in NY would still be producing them by hand.

And of course, some thing are just better home-made :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made some potato knishes last night using your pastry recipe. (I made up my own potato filling to my tastes, but it's similar using russetts, caramelized onions, salt, pepper, and mustard.) I closed the tops of some and left the tops open on others. I prefer them with the tops open. Here's a picture:

knish1.sized.jpg

I liked the pastry. It was more delicate than some. I think I would like it better with a different fat, though. I'm a little sensitive to the chemically flavors of most vegetable oils. (I used canola.) I think I would like it better with schmaltz or a light olive oil, maybe. Not sure how that would affect texture.

I don't know that Shimmel's pastry is flaky at all, but it is VERY thin and delicate. I don't know that it's better than yours, just a little different. It'd be more similar if I stretched your dough really thin and made fewer wraps. I do think it could benefit from an eggwash just to add a little color.

I'm going to play with the recipe and compare to some others. I haven't tried the one from Roden's book yet, which she claims is exactly like the pastry in NY delis. I was pissed that the 2nd Avenue Deli cookbook doesn't even have a pastry. They just make potato balls and coat them in breadcrumbs for the home cook. How lame is that? That book has been a big disappointment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, hey, I found this photo of a kasha knish from Yonah Shimmel's on Eggbeater. You can see how thin the pastry is around the filling, which appears to be a mix of kasha and potato.

http://eggbeater.typepad.com/.shared/image..._june_05_99.jpg

I'm going to do a big batch of knishes and probably give them out or sell them with pastrami tomorrow. I want to do some other flavors, but I don't like the idea of just mushrooms or just cabbage inside the pastry. Is it lame or heretical to make pretty much everything a mix of potato and mushroom, kasha, cabbage, or cheese?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I want to do some other flavors, but I don't like the idea of just mushrooms or just cabbage inside the pastry.  Is it lame or heretical to make pretty much everything a mix of potato and mushroom, kasha, cabbage, or cheese?

Kasha :wub: - good lookin knish - on my list for the next trip to NY.

I'm not sure I understand the question. .. you want to make all of the knishes with a mixture of potato, mushroom, kasha, cabbage and cheese?

For mushroom, I just mix fried mushrooms with my standard potato/onion mix. Kasha - cooked and then mixed with some potatoes and lots of fried onion. Cheese - I use dry cottage cheese (or pressed cheese) mixed in a stand mixer with a paddle, so it breaks up the curds. Add to that an egg (1 egg for every 1 1/2 lbs. of cheese or so), some salt and a little sugar. No potato. I don't care for cabbage (as a filling) - so I never do them - but would you cook it up and then possible add some potatoes/onions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was my plan. I'm actually going to skip cabbage and cheese, though, and just do pototo, mushroom, and kasha knishes. I made a double batch of the recipe and 10 lbs of potatoes. I'll bake and finish them in the morning. I should have pictures tomorrow.

Thanks again for this recipe. It's definitely better than most of what's in cookbooks. I'm sure come fall I'll be looking up your soup course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I think I've reached a plateau. Latest pic:

http://www.extramsg.com/modules.php?set_al...=view_photo.php

knishes_1.sized.jpg

A few lessons learned. Take them in the spirit of constructive criticism and an attempt to further knish making....

Pam, I think your recipe is a little too wet. I've ALWAYS had to add flour to get it to come off the bowl of the mixer. I think a 1/2 C additional flour is needed. We're both in the PNW, so it can't be the moisture around here. Maybe your flour is drier, but I've had this result with both Gold Medal AP flour and Bob's Red Mill unbleached bread flour.

I've found that stretching from the ends results in lots of tears and an uneven stretch. If you pick up the dough from the middle and stretch away from the center, then picking up from progressively closer to the edges where it's still thicker, you can get a virtually untorn sheet that is much more rectangular. And it's still plenty thin.

I usually go with about 4 lbs of onions that I fully caramelize for 8 lbs of potato. That comes out to about two heaping cups of caramelized onions. I also add about 1/4 C of a whole grain mustard for a little tanginess.

I think leaving one end open helps them maintain their shapes and, frankly, is prettier. But I think they're less likely to crack. I usually reserve about a teaspoon of caramelized onions per knish and top them about halfway through the cooking.

Letting the potato mixture fully cool to room temperature makes the process much easier. If the potato is still steaming at all then the dough will get wet and break easier and be harder to close, roll, and shape.

I make big ones only because customers like something substantial and it keeps the check averages higher. ;)

Now to perfect rugelach.


Edited by ExtraMSG (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A few lessons learned.  Take them in the spirit of constructive criticism and an attempt to further knish making....

Of course! Different takes and opinions always helpful. But I do prefer not leaving one end open :wink: .

Pam, I think your recipe is a little too wet.  I've ALWAYS had to add flour to get it to come off the bowl of the mixer.  I think a 1/2 C additional flour is needed.  We're both in the PNW, so it can't be the moisture around here.  Maybe your flour is drier, but I've had this result with both Gold Medal AP flour and Bob's Red Mill unbleached bread flour.

Sorry - I'm not in the PNW at all. I'm in the middle of the continent - and it's generally pretty dry here. There's no doubt that making the dough in different places will require some tweaking of liquid/dry contents. Did I neglect to mention this? :blink: My apologies. (by the way, I use Robin Hood AP flour)

Keep on stretching! They look great.

Rugelach ... one day. Maybe we can perfect them together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, I think I must have just saw that you were host of Vancouver, BC, and Western Canada and assumed you were in BC. Sorry. That makes more sense, then.

No matter what, it's a great recipe and class, and was a huge help.

If you ever get down to Portland, OR, look me up! I'll buy you a pastrami sandwich and knish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing the pictures with us.

And if I get to Portland I'll take you up on the offer :wink:.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Learned something new about making potato knishes: don't pack the potato too tightly. I was trying to make them look perfect and I thought I figured out this cool method of making a well and pushing the potato outward from the inside, then filling in the hole with extra potato. The potato expanded in the oven and often split the dough. Less handling is better. I just need to make them look right on the first try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sent this posting to a friend of mine who grew up in Fort Washington area and this was her reeply:

knew the place well - it was located just off the NE corner of W 181 and St Nicolas Ave. The bus stop were I waited for the bus to go up to George Washington HS was in front of the bakery I along with many others would stop in there before getting on the bus to buy a Black and White cookie; it was a really big cookie for 25 cents. Next store to them was a Baraccini's Chocolate store where we purchased a good bar of chocolate for 10 cents. Gruenbaum's on St Nich closed down many years ago. They had a second bakery on Ft Washington and West 187th St but that also closed down. Blame in on changing demographics. Where you had a big pocket of German Jews (many Holocaust survivors) has now become a Dominican enclave. BTW Gruenbaum's had delicious fresh rye bread and rugulah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made potato and ground beef knishes for the first time using puff pastry--amazingly easy, and tasty too!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×