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Share gratitude for the season of Rosh Hashanah with these tasty Potato Knishes

By Paula O'Brien
Special to The Union

Rosh Hashanah is coming up Sept. 25 – 27. Time to start planning the celebration menu.

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year festival. It is marked by the blowing of the shofar and begins the ten days of penitence culminating in Yom Kippur. Enjoy this time for reflection to examine the past year and plant “seeds” for the next one. It is also a time to come together in gratitude and share the abundance of delicious food that such an event inspires.

There are types of food, such as apples and honey, that are served because apple trees and bees are hardy and strong, while still producing something sweet and delicate. The Hebrew word for “beets” and “remove” are similar so eating beets symbolizes removing all obstacles and negativity from one’s life for the new year.

Other ingredients, like dates, pomegranates and leeks also have symbolic traditions, so besides being incredibly yummy additions to your Rosh Hashanah menu, they also hold important meaning. Round and circle-shaped foods connotate “coming full-circle” and the cycle of life and can also be quite popular this time of year. Rosh Hashanah is a time to prepare those traditional family favorites, using recipes passed down over the years.

Be sure to stop by BriarPatch Food Co-op to find ingredients for your holiday and make it memorable and delicious. We hope you will enjoy our recipe for traditional Jewish baked dumplings known as potato knishes. Shanah tovah everyone!


Makes 12

What better way to celebrate Rosh Hashana than to make some knishes? Feel free to vary the classic potato filling based on your palate and pantry. Sharing “hugs and knishes” with friends and family is tasty and fun.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

¾ tsp. kosher salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil or schmaltz

3 Tbsp warm water

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp. white vinegar

2 large Russet potatoes (about 1 ¼ lb), peeled/cut into 6ths

3 Tbsp sour cream

Kosher salt

2 Tbsp. butter or schmaltz

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

2 stems fresh thyme (optional)

Fresh-ground black pepper

1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water

Make Dough:

Combine dry dough ingredients in large mixing bowl, and wet dough ingredients in medium bowl. Make well in dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into center; stir to combine until dough ball forms.

Transfer dough to clean work surface; knead about 1-2 minutes to fully incorporate all flour. Return dough to bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes to one hour at room temperature.

Make Filling:

In large skillet, combine butter or schmaltz and olive oil over medium heat. Once melted, add onion, thyme and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and stir occasionally until onions are golden/caramelized, about 50 minutes. Remove from heat and take out bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

To large pot, add steamer basket and water to just below basket level. Bring water to boil; add potatoes and cover with lid. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Remove steamer basket and drain water. Transfer potatoes back to pot, add sour cream. Mash until fairly smooth, some lumps are fine. Stir caramelized onions into potatoes and salt and pepper to taste.


Preheat oven to 375°, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough in half, place one half back under plastic wrap. Re-knead to re-incorporate any oil that may have come out of dough while it rested.

Shape half of dough into a rectangle and roll it out into a large rectangle (about 1/8” thick, 6” wide and 12” long – or longer if possible). The dough’s not particularly sticky, but if you need to lightly flour the work area, go ahead.

Shape half the filling into a 2”-wide log. Lay it on rolled-out dough, about 1-2 inches from bottom edge. Lift this 1-2 inches of dough up/over filling log, roll it away from you until you get to the other edge of the dough…like rolling sushi. Adjust the dough/filling log so the seam is on the bottom and filling evenly distributed.

Trim dough ends even with filling. Lightly indent dough/filling log with the dull side of a knife about every 2 inches so you have six equal pieces; use sharp side of the knife to cut pieces.

Gently press the filling inward, stretch dough over filling on one end and pinch to seal. Set the knish with this end down on a clean work surface. Press cut dough in towards center on the upward-facing end; you’ll have a slight indent with some filling showing.

Repeat this process with remaining knishes and then the entire process with the second half of the dough.

Place knishes on prepared baking sheet and brush with egg and water mixture. Bake until golden, about 45-50 minutes, turning pan halfway through. Let cool 30 minutes before serving.

Note: Dough can be left in fridge 3 days before filling and baking. Bring to room temp before using.

Find more recipes by BriarPatch Food Co-op at https://briarpatch.coop/recipes/

Paula O’Brien is the editor of The Vine, a quarterly magazine published by BriarPatch Food Co-op.

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