Knish is an Eastern European snack consisting of usually potatoes and meat filling in a doughy crust and can be either baked,grilled or deep fried. Made popular in USA by the Eastern European immigrants, a Kentucky Knish version has also come up. Knishes can be made round rectangular or square with filling completely covered or peeping out.
For this months Baking Partners Challenge by Swathi Knish was tried out by Yours Truly. That too a vegan knish from here with a tofu filling from here and in 3 different shapes.
Mashed Potatoes: 1 cup
Oil: 1 tbsp
Salt: 1 tsp
All Purpose Flour: 3 cups
Baking Powder: 1 tsp
Cold water: 1/2 cup (+ 1/4 cup)
Oil: 1 tbsp
Chopped Onions: 1 cup
Tofu: 1.5 cup mashed
Fresh Parsley: 1/4 cup
Garlic Powder :1/2 tsp OR Garlic cloves: 2-3 minced
Black pepper: 1/4 tsp or as per taste
Salt: 1 tsp +/- as per taste
Other spices : as per taste
In a big bowl, beat together mashed potatoes, 1 tbsp of oil and 1 tsp of salt.
Add the flour and baking powder and mix well.
Mix in water and knead into a soft and smooth dough. More water might be needed depending on how moist your mashed potatoes are.
Let it rest in a bowl or counter covered with a cloth or plastic wrap for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the filling.
Heat oil in a deep pan and saute oinions and minced garlic until transparent.
Add the scrambled/grated/mashed tofu along with parsley, salt and other seasonings.
Incase going for garlic powder, add that also at this stage. Mix well and let it cook for another minutes or few more until almost done.
We can go with whatever filling we want. Traditionally mashed red potatoes with caramelized onions is used with meat added for nonvegetarians.
Once the dough is ready divide into 4 portions. Work with one portion while the others are resting.
Shape 1: Cylindrical Round : Source : JoePastry
Roll out the dough as thin as possible into a rectangle.
Place a mound of filling on the dough on the longest side .
Enclose the filling with the dough. This should not be either too tight as it might burst out while baking.
Continue rolling up to get 2 + layers of the dough. The more you roll more flakier you will get the snack. This is the reason why the dough should be rolled out as thin and possible.
You can stop once you get as much layers as you want and trim off the excess (to be used later) using a pizza cutter.
Now decide how big you want you knish. I went for bite sized ones. So select an appropriate length, give it a pinch with your fingers to mark it.
Give it a twist.
Then using a pizza cutter/knife or even your palms ,cut it off.
You'll get a small sausage like dough piece. Pinch the ends shuts to enclose the filling.
Place it on the counter/palm and push it down with your palm to form a cylinder.
Place it on greased/lined baking pan and press the top down with your finger to keep the center from puffing up in the oven.
Repeat the process with the rest of the dough and make other cylinders.
Shape2: Crimped Round:Source: JoePastry
This is another way of making knish.
Roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. With a cookie cutter, cut out circles.
Place the filling on top of a circle and press it down with with another dough circle on top.
Press the edges lightly to let the air out.
Fold the edges and press to crimp. Then place the knish on the baking sheet with the crimped side down. So that we get a smooth top.
Continue with the rest of the dough circles
Shape 3: Rectangular:
Roll out the dough as thin as possible. Cut into rectangles. Place 2-3 tbsp of filling in the middle.
Fold the sides in first
and then the ends.
Place the folded side down on the bakingsheet.
Bake in a preheated oven at 175C/350F for about 20-25 minutes until the top turns golden.
Serve with your choice of dip.
A simple recipe which can be tweaked as per our convenience and availability of ingredients for fillings. Some authentic recipes contains eggs along with potatoes to make it more rich and moist but this vegan dough is also tasty. In case you are too tired to make your own dough, use any bread dough freezing in your refrigerator. Traditionally potatoes are part of dough or filling, but its upto you to choose otherwise and create yet another tasty pastry.