Khachapuri (ხაჭაპური) – Georgian cheese bread

Khachapuri – Georgian cheese bread – is probably one of the most famous and loved by all pastry dishes in Georgian cuisine.  There are many variations of it in Georgia, but I’ll start with my favorite – Mengrelian Khachapuri.  It is from the west part of the country and is a true cheese paradise.

Recipe below makes 2 large oven trays of cheese bread

Hachapuri_final

What you will need (step by step photos how to roll Khachapuri are below):

Dough

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 table spoon active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 table spoon sugar
  • 1 tea spoon salt
  • 4-5 cups of flour
  • ½ cup oil (I use cooking olive oil)

Cheese filling and topping

  • 3 lbs (Around 1.5 kg fresh Mexican cooking cheese (photo for reference below.  I buy Queso Panela at Costco, this is very similar to the Georgian fresh cheese – Chkinti Kveli)
  • 2 lbs (900 gr) Fresh Mozzarella cheese (I use 2 packs of BelGioioso)
  • Salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tea spoon oil

Slightly warm up milk in a small pot.  Remove from the stove top and place in a large bowl, add active yeast.  Mix well and leave for 5-10 minutes.  Then add sugar, eggs and salt and mix well.  Start adding flour slowly, first mix with wooden spoon, then with hand (or with dough mixer) for about 5 min. Dough should be quite fluffy, almost sticking to your fingers.  Once you get the right consistency, start adding the oil, mix well. Sprinkle dough with flour, cover with damp baking paper and kitchen towel.  Leave for 1 hour, preferably in a warm place (I put in next to the oven) to double or even triple in size.  Voila!

Separately take both sorts of cheese and grade it thoroughly, add salt to taste and mix well.

Queso Panela

Once dough in ready, split it in 2 parts.  Make a small ball with each, sprinkling with flour and leave to rest for 5 min.  preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Sprinkle the baking tray with a bit of flour or use baking paper.  Start rolling the dough to ¼ inch thickness.  Take slightly less than half of the cheese mix and place it in the middle of the dough. Then start closing the dough, leaving just a small gap in the center, then roll it to ½ inch thickness in a similar shape as the baking tray.  Roll it up gently in order to pick it and move to the baking tray, then flatten the rest to the shape of the baking tray.   Mix in a small bowl 1 egg yolk and ½ tea spoon oil.  Brush the ready to bake pastry with the mixture using baking brush.  Sprinkle with hand full of cheese mix and place in the oven for 25 minutes.  Once its golden brown with small spots of fried cheese on top, take it out, move to the wooden tray and cover with clean kitchen towel to rest for 5 min.   Repeat same with the second portion or freeze both the dough and cheese for baking later.  Serve any time during breakfast, lunch or dinner.  There won’t be much leftovers!

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