Oh, yeah, baby. I had not crafted homemade knish in, well, decades (and never by myself or even as the lead cook). Then a couple months ago I decided to give it a try, since I’m not always great at cooking for myself when I need food. I tend to only cook when others are around. But prepared food is expensive, and take out food more so, so I often eat only one meal a day, and my snacks aren’t the healthiest. So what to do? Well, I love my homemade pizza, but prechopped toppings & pre-grated cheese only goes so far. It wouldn’t be homemade pizza without homemade dough, and that takes a while. I needed quick (or at least easy) finger food. I no longer live close enough to Solly’s in Vancouver where you can buy frozen, ready-to-bake knish, but I could make them myself.*1
So I made some knish a couple months ago, but they didn’t end up with the right texture (the dough baked into more of a hard, crisp shell than is traditional (and good)).
Since then I tinkered with the recipe and the spices, opting for a samosa-inspired filling, but going out of my way to pick up fresh fennel & caraway & cumin seed. I used no caraway or fennel in the first attempt, and relied on powders for the second. Neither gave that sharp, fresh flavor after cooking that fresh cracked seed imparts, so I knew the whole seed would be crucial to my third attempt. I have a 3-day gaming retreat once per month for the last few months, and the need for easy food is particularly high during those days. It’s coming up this week, so this weekend was time to give the knish another try.