Khachapuri – Georgian Cheesy Flatbread

For the month of September my secret recipe club assignment was Karen’s blog Karen’s kitchen stories . Karen loves a challenge and she is a master bread baker .As you may already know, I LOVE baking bread so going through her archives was a real treat. I honestly lost count of how many recipes I bookmarked but when it came down to choosing this month’s recipe the kids decided on these 4 Tangelo, Date, and Almond BiscottiAdjaruli Khachapuri – Georgian Cheesy FlatbreadBlack Bottom Mini Cheesecake Brownie Cups, doughnut muffins

It was so hard to pick just one so I ended up making 3 out of the 4 recipes but only managed to photograph this one!

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I have to say that all three recipes turned out beautifully and the kids could not stop raving about them. They had the flatbread for breakfast and took some with them to school in their lunch boxes. The biscotti and muffins were the perfect companions for an after school cup of tea or glass of milk (Jana loves tea, Ibrahim can’t live without milk!)

Adjaruli Khachapuri (I am still trying to figure out how to pronounce that!) is a traditional Georgian boat shaped flatbread.The bread traditionally  has melted salty cheese and a soft cooked egg or sometimes two in the middle hollow part of the “boat”.It is justifiably considered to be one of Georgia’s most famous national dishes. The name Khachapuri has its origins in the words “Khacho ” meaning cottage cheese / cheese curd” and “Puri” meaning bread.

Khachapuri reminded me of our own cheese fatayer . They look the same but the cheese filling and the size are different

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khachapuri is served hot and traditionally served topped with a runny egg and s0me butter. The butter and egg are mixed together with a fork and then you tear off pieces of the bread crust and use it to eat the egg and cheese mixture.

These cheese breads can be small enough to serve one for breakfast or large enough to be shared as an appetizer or even as a meal.
Different regions in Georgia make different variations of khachapuri, they differ in the way they shape the bread and in the ingredients they add to the cheese.

I stuck to the original recipe with two minor exceptions: The cheese traditionally used for khachapuri is a local, fresh, cow’s milk cheese. Feta cheese or havarti cheese are common substitution for the traditional soft cheese, so I combined some feta with mozzarella for a beautiful, cheesy, flavor and texture. My second change was skipping the eggs on top. This recipe makes 4 large boats to two huge ones and the idea of dealing with leftover runny eggs was not an appealing one so I topped two of the boats with tomato slices (following Karen’s advice) and we topped the other two with mint and pitted olives (not very traditional but heavenly none the less)

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ADJARULI KHACHAPURI

Makes 2 Khachapuri.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) bread flour (you may need an extra 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup warm milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vinegar (personal addition to eliminate any egg smell in the bread)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ounces shredded Muenster cheese (you can use feta cheese or havarti instead)
3 ounces crumbled mozzarella cheese
For the topping
Thinly sliced tomatoes
Mint leaved
Pitted black olives

Melted butter to brush the bread

Instructions

 

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Add the milk and olive oil and stir together by hand with the dough hook or large spoon.
  3. Knead with the mixer (can also be kneaded by hand) until smooth and tacky, but not too sticky.
  4. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, one to two hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F with a baking stone, if you have one. If you don’t place a baking sheet upside down and heat it in the oven
  6. Divide the dough into 4 parts, and roll each out on a lightly floured piece of parchment to a rectangle.
  7. Tightly roll the sides toward the middle so that you have about a well in the middle. Bring the top and bottom together to form a “boat” as in the photo. You may need to moisten the dough as you roll it so it won’t unroll in the oven.
    Note: My bread did unravel a bit during baking, so I spread out the melted cheese a little to cover the exposed edges, next time I will go back to my own shaping technique that I use for cheese fatayer
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  8. Fill both “boats” with cheeses. Add your toppings if you are using them.
  9. Place the breads, parchment included, on the baking stone or on a sheet pan.
  10. Bake for about 6-10 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown.
  11. If you wish to add the egg, add it now on top of the cheese and bake for three to four more minutes, until the egg has set.
  12. If the top of the bread is not golden brown, brush it with melted butter and place it under the broiler for a couple of minutes
  13. Remove from the oven and serve hot or warm.

 

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