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Khachapuri

This traditional Georgian (like the country) cheese bread was truly a staple of my childhood. Khachapuri was a dish my grandmother grew up with and she definitely passed on her love for it to me. When I think of the holiday season, I think of how the smell of freshly cooked bread and baked cheese seemed to fill our entire house, and how no one could ever make it without stealing a pre-dinner bite when my grandmother wasn’t looking. Having lived so far from home for the past four years, the holidays are always something I eagerly anticipate and thinking about this dish just makes me all the more excited to see my family! Makes two large or four small breads.

Details

  • Preparation Time: 02:00
  • Cook Time: 00:50
  • Cuisine: Georgian
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 1/3 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon instant active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed to about 100°F
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups feta cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups grated fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 4-6 large eggs
  • Egg wash, as needed for finishing

Preparation

  • 1Make the dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt to combine. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the mixture looks crumbly, about 1 minute.
  • 2Add the milk and water and mix the dough on low speed for 4 minutes. Raise the speed to medium and mix until the dough is very smooth, 2-3 minutes more.
  • 3Transfer the dough to a large, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 1 1/2-2 hours, until the dough is puffed (it may not fully double in size).
  • 4Divide the dough as desired: Cut into two even pieces for larger, more share-able Khachapuri, or into four even pieces for smaller, individual Khachapuri.
  • 5Pat the dough into an oval shape with your hands. On a lightly-floured surface, roll out the dough, maintaining the oval shape, into an oblong oval about 1/3-inch thick.
  • 6Pick the dough up from the ends and transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently stretch the dough when you transfer it to help elongate the oval a bit.
  • 7Crumble the feta cheese evenly over the dough, leaving about 1 inch around the edge on all sides. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the feta cheese.
  • 8Working your way around the bread, fold the excess dough up and over the filling to create a little wall and encase it. Gently pinch the ends of the oval to help seal. Cover the breads with a piece of plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick spray, and let the bread rise for 30 minutes–1 hour.
  • 9Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Brush the edges of the dough with egg wash. For small Khachapuri, crack an egg on each piece, in the center of the bread. Transfer to the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, the cheese is melted and lightly golden and the egg white is set but the yolk is still runny, 30-35 minutes.
  • 10For large Khachapuri, transfer the breads to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove the breads from the oven and crack three eggs evenly over the center of each bread. Return to the oven and continue to bake for 25-30 minutes more, until the bread is golden, the cheese is melted and the egg white is set but the yolks are still runny.
  • 11Let the Khachapuri cool for 5-10 minutes before serving warm.