Thursday, November 7, 2013

CKCA – First Responders in New York Knish Crisis!

An equipment fire at the Gabila knish factory in Copaique, Long Island in late September has led to an unprecedented national knish shortage. 

The fried, square potato knish that is Gabila’s signature item is well known from Coney Island to the street corner carts of New York City and had been sold at every deli and Costco in between.  Who doesn’t love to indulge in a warm and crunchy crusted treat smothered with deli mustard! 

Sadly, due to the fire, there are currently no Gabila square knishes available anywhere.  While many desperate knish cravers have tried, these 18th century Eastern European delicacies cannot even be found on EBAY!

As first responders in the Jewish Food World, we at the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts (CKCA) feel it is our duty to step in. We have proudly developed our own POTATO KNISH RECIPE, published here and available on our website for all those suffering from knish withdrawal.  

Inspired by the iconic Gabila's version, our knish was developed by our resident Jewish baking expert Lynn Kutner and can be fried or oven baked, depending on preference. While making a knish from scratch may not be as easy as walking into your favorite deli and ordering one to go, we assure you the rewards of a homemade knish are worth the extra effort. 

Yes, a good knish is hard to find. Fortunately Gabila's plans to start making their iconic version by Thanksgiving. We wish them the best.  

“Gabila’s” Style Potato Knish
Developed by Lynn Kutner


2 1/2 cups AP flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric(I used 1 1/2)—optional
2 eggs
1/2 cup tap water
2 Tablespoons oil

1 ½ pound Idaho or Russet Potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 large onion, diced and sautéed until golden
salt and pepper to taste

1 egg
2 T water


Combine flour, salt and turmeric in a bowl.  In another bowl beat eggs with water and oil.

Make a well in the center of the flour, pour in egg mixture and work until a nice soft dough forms.

Knead for one minute, then wrap in lightly floured plastic wrap.  Allow to rest in refrigerator for a minimum of one hour (or longer).

Cut the dough in half, refrigerate one half.  Roll out thin on a lightly floured pastry cloth (or other surface, which will require a bit more flour).  Then stretch a bit more with the your hands, being careful not to make holes.  The dough is nice and elastic, and stretches easily.  Each half of the dough makes 8 knishes.
Fill with cooled potato filling:

Potatoes are mashed with onions that have been sautéed in oil until golden brown, salt and pepper.  Potato mixture should be on thick side.  If you feel that your potatoes are too thick, add a spoonful or 2 of water. This much knish dough takes about 3 cups of mashed potato--about 1 1/2 to 1/3/4 pounds. 

To Bake:

Preheat oven to 350- 375 degrees, oven rack high in the oven.
Brush knishes with egg wash(1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water).
Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden.

To Fry:

Heat 1/4 to 1/3" oil in a skillet.  When the oil is ready( test by placing the handle of a wooden spoon in the oil.  If the oil bubbles around the wooden handle, it is ready) Caution: You will have to adjust the heat, so that the oil doesn't get too hot.

Using bone dry utensils (to avoid dangerous spattering--Water should
 never come in contact with the oil.) , place a few knishes in the oil at a time.  Do not crowd the pan. When the first side is brown, turn carefully, and brown the other side.  The knishes take about 1 minute per side.

Remove, and place on paper towels to drain.  Then proceed with the next batch.

Once cool enough to handle, shmear with deli mustard and enjoy. You'll want for knish no more.


  1. Replies
    1. Oh my, we missed your comment, did you make the knishes? This recipe has become an all time favorite! Thanks for your comment!