Sunday, November 05, 2006

Gluten-Free Knishes: Mission Accomplished

gluten-free knish[Edited 3/09 to add: Chebe mixes are no longer kosher certified! What a bummer. I will have to rework this recipe using a dough made from scratch.]

I've written before about my fear that I would never get to eat the Eastern-European Jewish foods I grew up with again when I went gluten-free. Kasha varnishkes, matzo balls, challah, potato knishes. I found gluten-free recipes online for most of the foods I missed, but the one thing I couldn't find anywhere was a recipe for a gluten-free knish. When I started this blog, I gave you my word that by the end of October I'd create a knish recipe. Well, I'm 4 days late, but consider this mission accomplished: A delish knish!

This recipe gives instructions for rectangular knishes, which are the easiest to make. However, if you're interested in making them round, simply use a 3-inch biscuit cutter to make circles instead of rectangles, and follow this diagram for folding.



1 7.5-ounce package Chebe All-Purpose Gluten-Free Bread Mix
2 large eggs
2 tbsp oil or softened margarine
5 tbsp milk, liquid milk substitute, or water
3 tbsp oil or beaten egg, set aside


1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped finely
1 large baking potato
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 large onion
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a baking sheet thoroughly with cooking spray.

Dough Instructions:
Using a fork or a dough mixer, blend the contents of the Chebe mix packet in a bowl with 2 tbsp oil or softened margarine and 2 eggs. Add 5 tbsp of milk, milk substitute or water while continuing to mix. Knead dough with hands until all ingredients are fully blended and the dough is smooth. Roll dough into a ball. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch or less. Using a knife or pastry scraper, cut into 5x7 inch rectangles (Scraps of remaining dough can be kneaded together and re-rolled to create additional rectangles).

Filling Instructions: Peel potato, cut lengthwise and then into 2-inch slices. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Add potato pieces to the water, and boil until tender. Turn off heat. Drain potatoes and return to pot. Mash thoroughly. Add chopped spinach to potatoes, and mix until combined. Cover with lid to keep warm.

In a frying pan over low heat, add butter, oil and onion. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until soft, then remove cover and cook until the onions begin to turn golden brown. Remove from heat. Add onions to mashed potato/spinach combination, as well as pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Stir in one egg. Use wooden spoon or masher to combine.

To Assemble: Using a pastry scraper, carefully transfer each rectangle of dough to the greased baking sheet. Place a small amount of the mashed potato mixture (approximately 2-3 tablespoons) in the center of each rectangle, arranging it so that it there is at least a 1 1/2 inch perimeter of dough around the filling on all sides. Make absolutely sure that no filling or liquid gets on the perimeter of the dough, as it will keep the knish from sealing. Fold dough over widthwise (shorter side to shorter side). Use a fork to crimp the edges of the dough. Make sure all edges are sealed, and patch any holes with small scraps of dough.

Brush the 3 tbsp of oil or egg you have set aside over the top of each knish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Eat while hot or warm. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers and reheat in the oven (without defrosting). Makes 5-6 knishes.

Rectangular Knish:

gluten free knishes
Round Knish:

round gluten-free knishes


professor said...

These look awesome! I'll have to consult with Marvin, my knish guru, and then try them out.

Shauna said...

Congratulations! I'm going to have to try these. I still remember the first time I ate a knish, at the deli counter at Zabar's. Ah.

Flamenco Mom said...

Wow, your knish looks great! Oh, how I miss eating those.

Allergic Girl® said...

great job! how about gluten-free matzohs? ;-)

Gili Warsett said...

Mazel Tov! I'd eat at your gluten-free deli. This could be your calling.

Mike Eberhart said...

Once again, you have created some fantastic looking foods! More recipes to try for me. One thing I have found lately is I am aquiring more recipes to try than days to try them in :)

Renegade Kosher said...

It's out! You're famous! ^^

Anonymous said...

While there would have to be some changes to the recipes, since Kisses Knishes used wheat flour, which obviously cant be used here, do you have any of those wonderful Kisses Knishes recipes you could post? p.s. while they aren't traditional flavors, the blueberry tofu (as well as the chocolate tofu, apple tofu, pineapple tofu cranberry (or was that apple cranberry) tofu Kisses Knishes were great.

Sea said...

I am so making these this week! Amazing! And I've never had knish, having been GF since the age of three, so I'm even that much more excited to try them. :)

burekaboy — said...

oy, you're killing me with knishes! love them. have you had them with kasha? they are popular that way in the prairie provinces.

gluten-free, yet! LOL. great post :)

Sea said...

Ok, tonight I made them at last, and we enjoyed them with lentil soup and sweet potato fries. DH is gobbling them up as I type... It's a very good recipe, and I highly recommend it. Love the chewy crispiness of the outer dough and the soft, warm filling. These are going to be a regular in my house. Thank you for sharing them with us!

Valerie said...

This evening I made gluten-free dairy-free knishes, based pretty closely on this recipe. They came out fantastic!! Possibly the single yummiest gluten-free food I have ever eaten.

Here are my notes about what I changed in the recipe:

1) I was feeding 2 adults, 1 teenager, and 1 child, so I doubled the recipe.
2) Whenever the recipe mentioned oil, butter, or margarine, I used that amount of canola oil. (Eg. 1 tablespoon of margarine became 1 tablespoon of canola oil.)
3) I used Pacific rice milk as the milk.
4) I defrosted a 10-ounce package of frozen spinach and then used about half of that as the spinach for the doubled recipe. (That is, if I hadn't doubled the recipe, I'd have used about 1/4 of the package of spinach.) Fresh baby spinach would definitely have been better, but frozen is what I had on hand.
5) When I followed the instructions and rolled out the dough to 1/4 inch thick, I would have only have had enough dough for 2 or 3 knishes from the doubled recipe. I had to roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick, and even then I only had enough dough to make 9 knishes, not the 10-12 that the doubled recipe in theory should have made.
6) The dough was easy to handle. I didn't need to use a pastry scraper to handle it -- I could just pick up the rectangles and move them around with my hands.
7) I rolled out the dough between two layers of parchment paper, which was annoying because the parchment paper was seriously insistent on folding itself up into tons of wrinkles underneath the dough.
8) I baked the knishes on non-stick cookie sheets, with no spraying with oil required.
9) I started boiling the potatoes first, then mixed up the dough while the potatoes cooked.

Wow were they good!!!! Thanks Isaiah for creating this recipe!!

K Allrich said...

Your knishes look delish. ;)

I'm wondering: do you think they'd translate to egg-free? Tapioca, potato and spinach I can do. Eggs? Not so much.


ByTheBay said...


Unfortunately I am fairly confident that this knish dough would not work without eggs. It is hard for me to imagine an eggless dough that can be rolled that thin, and folded and tucked... all without ripping. There are doughs that are more pliable and durable than others - tapioca, for instance - But you'd probably have better luck creating an egg-free tapioca-based dough for use in a pizza crust (something that can be rolled out with a rolling pin or just pieced together from crumbles, and then just left alone... as opposed to something that can withstand this kind of manipulation). But who knows... Maybe it's worth a shot. I am working on creating my own tapioca bread recipe, so when I have the chance I'll give it a shot with an egg replacer and let you know how it works!

K Allrich said...

Thanks so much for your response. I thought it might be worth a shot.

Chebe is basically tapioca starch, if I remember correctly. I am allergic to flax seed, unfortunately, so I have been experimenting with Ener-G Egg Replacer - using half liquid and half light olive oil (instead of all liquid); and now I'm thinking, I'll try adding some xanthan gum to give it viscosity.

I would love a good knish! :)

Thanks, again. Hope you're feeling good.



Anonymous said...

I need to try these. I miss the good Jew Food I grew up on...

Sonya said...

We love this recipe! We use Glutino's Gluten-Free Pantry Perfect Pie Crust Mix; we can find it in stores locally and it is hechshered. We made mini knishes for our twin daughters' Simchat Bat, and I just made passable Hamantachen by adding a cup and a half of sugar. (The prune ones are the best; the filling works well with the dough flavor.) Bake the cookies for just 11 minutes though.

Thanks for a versatile gluten-free rollable dough recipe!

ByTheBay said...

Thank you so much for letting me know, Sonya! Because I keep kosher more strictly and Chebe's mix is no longer kosher-certified, I haven't made these in ages. I keep meaning to make a recipe from scratch for the dough. But I will definitely try using a kosher gluten-free pie crust mix, or using my own from-scratch pie crust mix, next time.

Did you use my hamantaschen dough recipe? Glad you got to enjoy both knishes and hamantaschen! Chag sameach!

hava said...

just found you today, and glad that i did! i'm opening a Jewish deli in Olympia WA and we have an event this weekend that we're promoting our deli for. problem is, it's passover, so i need to make my knishes gluten free. this was on our timeline of future investigation, as we have had SEVERAL requests for gluten free products and have the intention of fullfilling an entire gluten free friendly menu - my question is... can i use pamela's all purpose gluten free bread mix instead? it's also tapioca based, for the most part?