kale and feta fatayer

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For the dough:
1 cup room temperature water (plus more as necessary)
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
15 ounces (about 3 cups) all purpose flour

For the filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
16 ounces washed and dried kale leaves (from about 2 big bunches)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons minced parsley
8 ounces crumbled feta (Bulgarian feta works particularly well, but you can use any kind)


  1. Make the dough: Combine the 1 cup water, yeast, and sugar in a big mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer. Let it sit for about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the salt, olive oil, and flour to the water and stir to start forming it into a dough. If the dough looks a little dry as it comes together, gradually add a little more water, about 1/2 tablespoon at a time. The dough ball should be very soft and sticky, but not soupy. If the dough becomes too wet, add a little more flour to compensate (about 2 tablespoons at a time).
  3. Knead until the dough ball passes the window pane test. It should come together into an elastic ball that has a smooth surface. Kneading should take about 5-15 minutes by machine with a dough hook, or 10-20 minutes by hand. Pay more attention to the dough’s consistency than the time you’ve spent kneading.
  4. Place the dough in a bowl, cover it, and let it rise at room temperature for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. It will rise noticeably. While you’re waiting on the dough to rise, prepare the filling.
  5. Make the filling: Heat a large stockpot over high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the 2 tablespoons olive oil, followed immediately by the kale leaves. Use tongs to keep the leaves moving for about 5 minutes, until they’ve wilted dramatically. Spread out the wilted kale in the bottom of a colander and let it cool down for a few moments while you work on the onions.
  6. Cook the 1 tablespoon olive oil and the onion in the same stockpot over medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes, until they soften and slightly brown.
  7. Once the kale is cool enough to handle, use your hands to wring it out until it is very dry.
  8. Combine the dry kale, browned onions, lemon juice, salt, parsley, and feta.
  9. Assemble and bake: Once the dough has finished rising and the filling has been made, preheat the oven to 400° F.
  10. Divide the dough into 10 to 12 equal pieces.
  11. Shape each piece into a smooth ball.
  12. Roll out each ball into a piece that’s 1/8 inch thick. Feel free to lightly flour your work surface, but avoid using too much flour or the fatayer will pop open while they cook.
  13. Wet the edges of each circle and then place a generous spoonful of the filling in the center of each disc (about 1/4 cup, depending on the size of your circles—pace yourself as you go).
  14. Fold three “corners” into the center and hold them together with one hand while you use your other hand to pinch the sides shut. If you can manage it, try to press as much air out of the pies as possible before you seal up the last side. Don’t worry if they look a little wrinkly and deflated, because they will puff up a bit in the oven.
  15. Place the finished pies on a few parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving a couple inches between them.
  16. Bake the pies for about 25 to 30 minutes, until they turn golden-brown and are cooked through. Serve warm or at room temperature.