1 packet dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour + more for kneading
Pinch of salt + more for garnish
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons butter, softened
4 cups vegetable or canola oil, for frying (or 1 32-ounce bottle)
First, make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, add yeast, sugar and warm water. Mix with a fork to submerge all the yeast and allow to sit for about 15 minutes until it gets foamy and bubbly. That's when you know the yeast is activated.
In another bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Add eggs and lemon zest and gently mix the eggs into the flour.
Add the flour and egg mixture to the yeast mixture and use a dough hook to begin mixing everything. You may have to use a spatula to push flour into the mixture. Continue mixing for a few minutes until the dough comes together and starts to look smooth and forms a ball.
Add butter, a few teaspoons at a time. If it's too sticky, add some more flour, up to 1/4 cup. It should look mostly smooth.
Knead the dough by hand to see how it feels. Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for a few minutes. You may need to add more flour (perhaps up to ¼ cup), to get a smooth, just slightly sticky dough. When done, form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and place in a warm spot until it doubles in volume.
While dough is rising, make the filling: Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a skillet and on medium heat sauté onion until lightly browned, about 5-8 minutes. Chop the rainbow chard more finely and remove any large, hard stems, if present. Add chopped chard to skillet and sauté until wilted. Add raisins and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for another minute until raisins plump up. Remove from skillet and put into a bowl; add crumbled feta and toss to combine.
Check on the dough and once it's doubled in volume, punch it down and turn it onto a lightly floured board. It will feel a bit oily; that's ok. Roll it out to 1/4 inch thick. Use a round 2-inch cookie cutter to cut circles (or use the top edge of a glass if you don’t have a cookie cutter).
Top each dough circle with 1 tablespoon of filling. Then top with another dough circle, crimping or folding the edges, making sure there are no holes and it is sealed very well. You can also use some water to help seal the edges. When done, place on a baking sheet.
Fry donuts: Bring oil to about 360-365 degrees F. A candy thermometer is highly recommended to ensure proper temperature! Once oil is hot enough, slowly place 2-3 sufganiyot in the hot oil. Fry one side for about 2 minutes, until golden brown, and then gently flip to the other side and fry for another 1-2 minutes until golden brown and puffed. When done, remove from oil and place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately. Repeat until all donuts are fried.
Recipe and photo by Samantha Ferraro, The Little Ferraro Kitchen