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Ari Schor’s Potato Knishes

Ari Schor

Chef, Beba

Verdun Qué.

A luxurious, delicious knish is a great vessel for caviar.

Potato knishes topped with caviar




  • 2 yellow onions, about 200 g (7 oz), minced
  • 25 g (2 tbsp) schmaltz
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp salt
  • 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, about 600g (1 ⅓ lb), peeled, 2.5-cm (1-inch) dice


  • 350 g (3 cups) flour
  • 5 g (1 tsp) baking powder
  • 4 g (½ tbsp) salt
  • 100 g (½ cup) schmaltz
  • 1 egg
  • 10 g (2 tsp) white vinegar

To finish:

  • 60 g (¼ cup) butter, frozen
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100 g Kaluga Queen (or other top-quality) caviar


Combine onion, schmaltz and 1 tsp salt in a skillet on medium-low, and sweat, stirring occasionally, until well caramelized — about 60 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a saucepan; add water to cover and 1 tbsp salt. Bring to a boil on high, lower to a simmer and cook until just tender. Strain, return to the pot, add the onion mixture and mash until homogenous. Chill in the refrigerator.

For the dough, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well. Combine schmaltz, egg, vinegar, salt and 120 ml (½ cup) warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment. Mix on low for 2 minutes. Add dry mixture to wet; mix on medium for 15 minutes. Dough should be very soft, elastic and a little greasy. Wrap with cling film and set aside to rest for 2 hours.

On a large work surface, roll dough into a rectangle of approximately 100 by 50 cm (40 by 20 inches). It should be very thin and nearly translucent. Divide filling into equal halves and form a log out of each, along the short sides of the rectangle. Grate the frozen butter over the dough evenly. Cut the rectangle down the middle to form two squares. Starting from the outside edge, roll each side into a cylinder. Then stretch each one lengthwise and, with the edge of your hand, make seven evenly spaced crosswise indentations to divide each log into eight segments. Use scissors to cut between them. Stretch and crimp the dough to form 18 turretshaped knishes. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with egg. Transfer to the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour before baking.

Preheat oven to 230°C (450°F).

Transfer knishes to middle rack and bake until golden brown — 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Serve topped with caviar.

MY FIRST KITCHEN JOB WAS AS A DISHWASHER, prep hand and chicken-plucker at a kosher catering company in Winnipeg. I don’t recall ever making knishes there, but I do remember that I much preferred learning about my culture working in that kitchen than through religious studies. Fast-forward to Beba, where I was recently trying to find a way to put caviar on our menu, and thought: why can’t I make a luxurious, delicious knish, a great vessel for caviar that also speaks of who I am? There is no better way to reinforce our identity than through the food we prepare. –A.S.

Photos by Virginie Gosselin