Knishes the Old Fashion Way

Helaine Norman Recipe

By Helaine Norman knish

30 (makes about 50)

I've been making these for about 40 years. They make a wonderful make ahead appetizer and made larger are good as an accompaniment with a soup to round off a meal. I prepare them ahead and freeze them before they are actually cooked. They taste even better after frozen and can be baked in the oven and ready in about a half hour.

pinch tips: How to Measure Ingredients


5 c
all purpose flour or whole wheat flour (for a differnt taste)
1/4 c
1 pinch
3/4 c
eggs, beaten
1 can(s)
lukewarm water
onion, chopped
1 Tbsp
schmaltzz or 1/4 cup parve margarine or 1/4 oil
2 c
left over cooked beef (processed in the food processor or used browned ground beef
1 c
mashed potatoes (not instant)
salt & pepper to taste
1 clove
garlic mashed (optional)
2 c
chicken, cooked and processed in food processor
1/2 c
mashed potatoes (not instant)
salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbsp
chicken gravy
onions, chopped
1/2 c
schmaltz or oil
2 c
mashed potatoes (not instant)
salt & pepper to taste
1 or 2 pkg
cocktail size or regular hot dogs cut to size of cocktail size

Directions Step-By-Step

Tip 1: Make the fillings first, even a day or so ahead so they will be all ready to put into the dough.
Tip 2: These are even more delicious after frozen at the point before baking. Bake them when they are fresh or while still frozen.
Tip 3:Do not thaw them after freezing. Bake them frozen.
Tip 4: Anything too good to throw away can be made into a filling.
Note: Schmaltz is rendered chicken fat, but olive oil works especially if you add some good dry chicken soup mix to it for extra taste.

Sift dry ingredients together. Add rest of ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Dust a bowl with flour lightly. Turn it upside-down to remove excess. Put dough in and covery with damp dish towell, cloth or plastic wrAp. Let stand 15 minutes. Knead in mixer with dough hook JUST UNTIL ELASTIC. Work with 1/4 of the dough at a time keeping remainder covered. Fill one part of dough before rolling out nex part. Roll out (with rolling pin) and stretch dough into rounds about 20 inches in diameter, or as rectangular as possible.Make them as thin as possible. (The thinner the better tasting and the more knishes you can make.) Brush dough with oil, or melted butter or margarine. Put line of filling 1 to 1 1/2 inches from edge (and one inch thick) across width.

Roll envelope style twice. Cut away this part from remainder and repeat untl used up. Brush with oil, or butter or margarine. Place seam-side down on liberally oiled (or my preference is to use parchment lined pans). Mash each roll with the palm of the hand to make it slightly flatter on top. Cut slits on top of the log about 1 1/2 inches apart to indicate where to finish slicing (and to make it easier to slice) once the logs are finished baking.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven about 45 minutes, or until golden brown. May turn once during baking, if desired. Serve as an appetizer or as a soup accompaniment or even with a salad as an entree. This pastry dough yields about 60 knishes so make plenty of filli
Potato: Saute onions in fast or olk until golden. Blend with rest of ingredients. Yield 30
Beef: Saute onions in choice of fat or oil until golden. Combine all together. Yield 30
Chicken: Combine all ingredients. Yield 30
Hot Dog: Just use them as is.

About this Recipe

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Marcy Galvan Marcy_Galvan
Oct 29, 2013
I am in the process of making Knishes.....I watched my Ma make them 40 yrs ago and I know her filling which included pretty much what you put in except greevin (minced rendered chicken skin and cooked onion) she would save roasts and meat for a month...I have made knishes only once because I couldn't find a Ma put in oil as you do and I just couldn't find a similar recipe until now..(bless you!)and I just couldn't get the dough right....I like pastry dough better than potato as she made both..I found another site that had pictures so I am borrowing your recipe and looking at the pics.....I will ask my brother to be the taste tester cause he is a good cook and would know our Ma's recipe.....Thank you again....I will let you know how they come out!
Helaine Norman knish
Oct 29, 2013
Do let me know how the knishes turn out. It is just as well you leave out the "gribinees" since it is pure saturated fat!:) It does make it taste more delicious though I must admit! Unfortunately, I am now on a gluten free diet due to gastro problems and can't eat anything with flour any longer. It has made a huge difference in how I feel though I miss baking the same way I used to. I am trying to learn to bake gluten free (difficult:(). Good luck.

P.S. I am now married to a Israeli who grew up eating burrekas. The dough is a simple puff pastry/philo dough with the same fillings. Frozen dough makes it easy. Not bad, although not the same dough as what I am sure you remember.