The secret of a perfect knish is in the oil used.
The Russian and Ukrainian traditions are closely intertwined in one history. A lot of recipes are similar and well-known in both countries. The name of bread can be different, but technology is the same. I want to share with you one of the bread recipes: Knish, which is a traditional kozak’s bread. It is well-known in some parts of Russia and also it is baked in different regions of Ukraine. I can say that it is the most delicious bread you can have together with soup, which is usually served for dinner.
You don’t need a special form for baking the knish. It is enough to have a dripping pan. The secret of a perfect knish is in the oil used. You should use exactly sunflower oil. If you substitute it with olive oil or any other kind, you will not get that special taste that makes the knish so unique.
Makes: 1 loaf
Prep time: 15 min
Rise time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Bake time: 40 min
1 ounce active yeast
20 oz whey
2 teaspoons salt
3.3 lbs flour
1 medium egg
2 ounces fresh dill
2 oz sunflower oil
3.5 oz water
- Heat the whey on medium heat. Meanwhile, combine the yeast with the warm water. When the whey is hot, but not boiling, add the mixture of water and yeast and stir it very carefully.
- Sift all the flour.
- Start adding little amount of flour into the wheat mixture. You should get a liquid mixture the same you get when you make pancakes. Cover it with a towel and leave it for 40 minutes. Not less. The mixture should increase twice in size. The dough will form a hill in the bowl.
- Combine this mixture again very carefully with the egg and the sunflower oil. Stir it carefully and add more flour. The dough should not stick to hands. Cover it with the towel and leave for 35 minutes more.
- When the dough is read, knead it in a little layer of flour. Leave it for another 40 minutes.
- After that, make a flat flapjack and put chopped dill and salt in the middle of it. Roll the dough and make three small incisions as you seen on the picture. Put it on the greased baking sheet and leave it for 10 minutes to rest.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and put the knish in for 10 minutes. Then, decrease the temperature to 300°F and bake for 35 minutes more. Check if the knish is ready with the help of a toothpick. When the bread is ready, switch off the oven and leave the knish for 3 minutes and then take it away.
As I said before, there are different kinds of knish. Dill makes this bread really special but it is not important to put fresh dill. You can substitute it with dry dill too. Also you can make knish without dill at all. In this way you will get ordinary bread but with a special shape.
Knish continues to be fresh even after 1 week. This kind of bread is very delicious when it is dry as well. You can use small pieces of the bread with your salad or with the soup too.