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Ok, so I have to be honest. This post isn’t healthy in any way. Skip this recipe altogether if you’re looking to get in a bikini this week. But some days, some moments, we need a little internal warmth. Bring on, the potato knish.

I’ve been reading recipes from Smitten Kitchen for a while now, and she feels very much like me – a woman who likes to cook in her little city kitchen. Check out the about page, while small, her kitchen is beautiful and I want it!

When I was perusing the site on Sunday, I wanted something baked. I stumbled upon “Potato Knish” and read the novel of a recipe. Why not?! I thought. I had kale, I love cream cheese – let’s do this! Plus – use my dough hook, sold. So off to the grocery store I went, and I cooked all afternoon.

Worth it? You better believe it. I am copying the recipe verbatim because modifying scared me greatly. Good luck! Take your time! Enjoy 🙂


 Red Potato, Leek and Kale Knish – 6 servings

What You’ll Need for the Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water

What You’ll Need for the Filling

  • 1 1/2 pounds medium red potato (about 3 to 4), peeled and quartered
  • 1 big leek (about 1/2 pound), white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced (you’ll clean the grit out in a moment)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 generous cup lacinato kale ribbons (about 3 ounces or 1/4 to 1/3 bundle), tough stems and ribs removed and leaves cut into strips (you’ll wash it in a moment)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

What You’ll Need to top the Knish

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon water

What To Do

Make dough: Stir together your dry ingredients in the bottom of a medium/large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, vinegar and water. Pour it over the dry ingredients and stir them to combine. Once the mixture is a craggy, uneven mass, knead it until smooth, about a minute. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Set it aside for an hour (or in the fridge, up to 3 days) until needed.



Cook potatoes: Put potatoes into a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until soft, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare leeks and kale: Fill a medium bowl with very cold water and drop in leek rings. Swish them around with your fingers, letting any sandy dirt fall to the bottom. Scoop out the leeks and drain them briefly on a towel, but no need to get them fully dry. Do the same with the kale, but you can leave the leaves to nearly fully dry, patting them if necessary, on the towels while you cook the leeks.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and oil and once they’re fully melted and a bit sizzly, add the leek slices. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook leek for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Raise heat back to medium, add the kale ribbons and cook until they wilt, about 5 minutes.


Transfer mixture to bowl with potatoes, add the cream cheese and mash together until combined. Stir in salt and many grinds of black pepper and set filling aside.

Assemble knish: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

If your dough has sweated some beads of oil while it rested, fear not, you can just knead it back into an even mass. Divide the dough in half. On a well-floured surface, roll the first half of the dough into a very thin sheet, roughly in the shape of a 1-foot square, but really, no need to be rigid about it. For moderate size knish (smaller than the traditional “doorstops” but still hefty, about 3 inches across), create a 2-inch thick log from half your potato filling across the bottom of your dough. Roll the filling up in the dough like you were rolling a cigarette (which, of course, we would never), but not too tight. A tiny amount of slack will keep the dough from opening in the oven. Keep rolling until the log has been wrapped twice in dough. Trim any unrolled length and add it to the second half of the dough; it can be used again. Repeat the process with the second half of your dough and second half of filling; you might have a small amount of dough leftover.



Trim the ends of the dough so that they’re even with the potato filling. Then, make indentations on the log every 3 to 3 1/2 inches (you’ll have about 3, if your log was 1 foot long) and twist the dough at these points, as if you were making sausage links. Snip the dough at each twist, then pinch one of the ends of each segment together to form a sealed knish base. Use the palm of your hand to flatten the knish a bit into a squat shape and from here, you can take one of two approaches to the top: You can pinch together the tops as you did the bottom to seal them; indenting them with a small dimple will help keep them from opening in the oven. You can gently press the dough over the filling but leave it mostly open, or pinch it shut!

Bake knish: Arrange knish on prepared baking sheet so that they don’t touch. Whisk egg yolk and water together to form a glaze and brush it over the knish dough. Bake knish for about 45 minutes, rotating your tray if needed for them to bake into an even golden brown color.


As Deb says, don’t bite in too early! You’ll burn your precious mouth. You can serve with spicy mustard or sour cream, but I ate mine as is.


While I need to work on my egg washing skills… I am in love, and these bundles of joy totally warmed my soul!