Organic Georgian Khachapuri Cheese Bread
Khachapuri is as Georgian as it gets. Travel there and you will get Khachapuri as a starter, as a side dish, and as the main meal for lunch everywhere you go. It is rich, flavorful, and oh so good!
This pastry is small, personally portioned, and can differ quite significantly in different parts of the country. The bread itself is made from yeast, stuffed with all kinds of cheeses, and sometimes a runny egg. This dish is not complicated and the batter can be made in advance, so the final steps on the day of cooking are pretty easy and fast. There is even a short cut – if you are not crazy about making yeast dough from scratch and spending hours letting it rise over and over again, you can use raw pizza dough from your favorite local market. Let this info be our secret though. Using pizza dough won’t be quite as good as if it was made from scratch, but it’s definitely the next best thing and a lot faster.
We prefer organic cooking and will include organic ingredients where possible, but you are welcome to use substitutes if so desired.
This recipe makes four individual Georgian breads.
Khachapuri dough product list:
- 3 ½ cup of organic unbleached all-purpose flour (can use organic bread flour)
- ½ cup of organic whole milk
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tsp of Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp of organic dry active yeast
- 1 tbsp of organic white sugar, coconut sugar or sugar in the raw
- 1 tbsp of organic grapeseed oil
Products for organic cheesy filling:
- 1 ½ cup of organic farmers curd (European style works best)
- 1 ½ cup of organic shredded mozzarella
- 1 ½ cup of organic Feta cheese
- 4 whole organic eggs
- Some organic unsalted butter
How to make bread batter:
Take a stand mixer bowl and put your dry yeast, sugar, salt, and flour. Stir all the ingredients until just combined. Next pour milk into one pot and water into another and heat them separately to almost boiling. Then pour both liquids into the stand mixer bowl to be combined with dry mixture.
Hook attachment on your mixer is the best tool for the task as it can gently knead the mass. It’ll take some time to get the batter firm, but stretchy, so don’t rush and let all the products combine and bond together by kneading slowly. The yeast needs some time, sugar, and warmth to start living, hence the heated liquids.
Add a spoon of grapeseed organic oil and continue kneading for a little bit longer.
Take plastic or wooden bowl, as long as it’s not metal, and place the kneaded mixture in it. Cover it with a clean towel, put the bowl some place not cold, and let it be for about an hour. Little warmth helps the dough rise, so it can be warm, but not hot. Check it from time to time to see if it’s getting bigger. If it’s rising, it means the yeast is working and you are going to have some delicious bread. You should find the batter doubled in size after about 60 minutes.
Take away the towel and press the dough down with your clean fingers. Then put the towel back and keep the bowl where it was for about half an hour longer.
While the dough is finishing rising, you can prepare the cheesy filling, which involves combining all three cheeses together in a bowl.
If you are ready to make the bread right away, you can proceed. Otherwise you can refrigerate your dough overnight. Adding more time will allow the bread to be even better, so it’s even encouraged.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit – this dish enjoys some serious heat.
Take the fluffy dough from its bowl and spread on a lightly floured work surface. Cut it in 4 equal parts. Take each part and shape it round, about 10 inches wide. The take two sides and pull them slightly towards each other to make the signature boat-like shape. Make sure the corners attach by pinching the batter together.
Prepare a cooking sheet that’s large enough for 4 Khachapuri, which should not touch. Use two sheets if you feel that one is a little tight for all of them. Line them with paper and oil a little bit. If you are using two sheets, bake one at a time, unless you can keep them both at the same level, on the middle rack.
Once you have your four Khachapuri breads sitting on the baking sheets, place the cheese mixture right on the bread boats.
The sides of the breads should be protected from direct heat, so you can wash them with egg wash or use butter.
Bake this delicacy for 12-16 minutes or until the dough starts changing color and becomes just slightly golden. Take the baking sheets out, but don’t turn off the over. Place one carefully cracked egg right in the middle of cheese. You can press the cheese with a spoon to make a small round valley for eggs. Place a few small pieces of butter (optional) into cheese.
Let the breads cook for another 4-6 minutes. This time depends on the heat of your oven and on how runny you want your eggs to be. After 4-6 minutes the egg might seem too runny for you. If that’s the case, cook a little longer, but keep an eye on them to avoid overcooking. Keep in mind that if you take the bread boats out when the eggs are still very runny, they will continue hardening while being on top of the hot cheese.
You should serve your masterpieces right away, while they are still hot. Some people prefer to leave the egg as is, while others stir it together with the cheeses. This step is up to you and it’s delicious either way. Actually, some recipes don’t call for eggs all together; it’s really up to personal taste.
While Khachapuri bread is best when it’s just fresh out of the oven, don’t be afraid to store it for a few days. Just make sure you refrigerate it as it has milk products and eggs in it. Keep it wrapped in plastic wrapper and heat it up in the oven or microwave before serving again. We hear people even freeze this traditional Georgian delicacy, but we don’t think it tastes as good as fresh.
Vegetarians can also make this bread even if it will taste a little bit different. Cow’s milk can always be substituted with nut milks, eggs don’t have to be used, and instead of cheese you can work with plant-based cheeses that can also be grated or curded.
Enjoy and don’t be afraid to experiment!