One of the especially enticing recipes that came across my inbox numerous times over the past few years was Khachapuri or Georgian Cheese Bread.* Actually, sometime at the start of the shutdown, Daughter and I were out shopping and stopped for lunch at a Georgianish restaurant for lunch. Well, it did not quite look like those I’d seen circulated on-line, but it was really good. Lots of melty cheese with crusty, warm bread.
*A note – some people consider Khachapuri to originate in Armenia.
A few weeks ago, I remembered the pizza dough waiting to be used in my freezer. I also had a package of grated mozzarella cheese. Why not give that Khachapuri a try. My friend “Google” showed me a variety of recipes made with pizza dough; this is the one I chose – https://themintytomato.com/khachapuri-georgian-cheese-bread-with-pizza-dough/. I think I preferred this recipe because the edges/crusts are stuffed with more cheese. If you’re good with yeast dough, there’s got to be recipes totally from scratch; I liked the short cut. And it used something waiting in the freezer. It’s not that difficult to make and well worth it.
Khachapuri. Preheat the oven to 425 fahrenheit. Let the pizza dough* rest on the kitchen counter for about an hour. Next, divide it into three pieces. Flour the counter or a large cutting board and roll out one piece of dough at a time into a rectangle about 6-7 inches x 9-10 inches and about ¼ inch thick. Stretch the corners of the dough as needed.
*The bakery departments of many supermarkets have a small cooler with readymade pizza dough.
You need about 2-2 ½ cups of shredded mozzarella and 1 cup of crumbled brie cheese. Spread some of the cheese along each side of the dough rectangle. Roll each long side over the cheese creating a raised edge or crust. Pinch and twist the opposite ends on the short side to create a dough boat. Repeat with 2 other pieces of dough. Using a spatula, carefully transfer dough boats onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
Spread the remaining mozzarella evenly into the wells of each boat. Divide the brie* into thirds and crumble on top of the mozzarella. Brush the rims with 1 tbsp of melted butter and sprinkle with grains/seeds (or everything bagel topping) if desired. Bake for 15-17 minutes til the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling slightly. Take Khachapuri out of the oven; using a teaspoon make a small well in cheese in the center of each boat. Add 1 egg yolk+ in each of the cheese wells and return to the oven for another 2-3 minutes. (Oops, I broke the yokes, better luck next time.) The yolks will remain wobbly. When you take them out of the oven you can add 2 tbsp of unsalted butter broken into pieces on top of cheese.
*Constant Companion and Daughter thought the brie taste was too strong; they recommended using farmer’s cheese in its place.
+A day or two later, I was baking something that required egg whites, so I had them on hand. Otherwise, they can be used in an omelette, or better yet, meringues.
Khachapuri make a filling dinner, serve with a lovely salad.
Look forward to trying the recipe!
Let me know how it comes out …