Khachapuri (Georgian Feast Bread)

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Khachapuri (Georgian Feast Bread)

star rating (2) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

The European Georgia is, nestled between Russia and Turkey (north of Armenia, west of Azerbaijan), with borders on both the Black and Caspian seas. Though one never thinks of the former Soviet Republic as by any means tropical, citrus fruits and tea are actually grown in Georgia. The country's traditional mainstay crops, however, are wheat and grapes, both of which have been raised there for over 6,000 years. Thus it's no surprise that Georgia is known for its bread, and in particular this cheese-filled loaf.

Darra Goldstein's award-winning book, The Georgian Feast, was our inspiration for the following. Georgians make this bread into a large loaf for special occasions, but street vendors also sell it in smaller, tart-sized diamonds, or "beggars' purses."

Dough
1 cup (8 ounces) milk, scalded*
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder OR 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 1/4 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Filling
2 cups (8 to 10 ounces) Monterey Jack, sharp cheddar or Muenster cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) ricotta, cottage cheese, or goat cheese
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, if needed**
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground pepper (freshly ground is best)
1 teaspoon paprika

*Heat milk until small bubbles form around the edge, and the occasional wisp of steam is evident.

**Cheese varies greatly in salt content, so taste before adding salt.

Dough: Heat the butter and milk in a small saucepan, or in the microwave, till the butter has melted. Put the malt powder, coriander and salt in a medium-sized bowl, and pour the hot milk over them, stirring to combine and to dissolve the malt or sugar. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.

Add the instant yeast and flour to the milk mixture and stir to form a shaggy mass. Set this rough dough aside for 30 minutes.

Knead the dough until it's smooth -- in a bread machine set on the dough cycle, about 2 minutes in a food processor, 6 to 8 minutes by electric stand mixer, or 8 to 10 minutes by hand. Put the dough in a greased bowl, turn it over to coat the entire surface, and cover the bowl. Let the dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it increases in size by at least one-third.

Filling: If you have a food processor, use it -- it's ideal for this filling. Cube the hard cheese, add the soft cheese, and process until well-mixed but some chunks remain. Add the eggs, flour and seasonings, and pulse just to mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to use.

If you don't have a food processor, grate the hard cheese, and beat in the soft cheese and eggs. Continue beating, adding the flour and seasonings. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Shaping and Baking: After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half (you'll be making two loaves), and cut a small (1-ounce) piece of dough off of each half. Round all four pieces of dough into balls, and let them rest, covered, for 15 minutes.

Roll each large ball into a 10- to 12-inch circle. Place one circle into a lightly greased small pie tin, 8- or 9-inch round cake pan, or onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Dollop half of the cheese mixture into the middle of the circle, and pull the dough up around the cheese, folding and pinching it, and "pleating" it into a topknot. Leave a small hole in the very center of the knot, and place the small ball in this hole. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Cover the loaves and let them rise for 45 minutes or longer -- they'll look puffy, but not doubled in size. If the pleats have opened, pinch them shut.

Bake the loaves in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes. When finished, the loaves will be golden brown, and the middle should feel set. Tent the loaves with aluminum foil after 15 minutes if they seem to be browning too quickly. Remove the loaves from the oven, and allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Slice the bread into wedges, and serve it warm, or at room temperature. Yield: 2 round loaves.

Nutrition information per serving (1 wedge, 1/6 of bread, 105 g): 270 cal, 13g fat, 12g protein, 26g complex carbohydrates, 1g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 73mg cholesterol, 436mg sodium, 137mg potassium, 92RE vitamin A, 2mg iron, 213mg calcium, 186mg phosphorus.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XI, No. 6, Autumn 2000 issue.

Reviews

1
  • star rating 02/23/2012
  • sartania from KAF Community
  • I was surprised when I came accross this reciept but I do not think this is the real Georgian Ckachapuri, because I am from Georgia and I have eaten ckachapuri many, many times. First of all Georians never put any seasonings except salt, and every part of Georgia makes it different way. This is my way how I make it. Crust is very important as well as cheese. The best flour to use is King Arthur bread flour as I found it more flavorful than AP flour but you must to ferment the dough long to get most of flavors out of it. Here is how I do it. This is in baker's % so you can make as much as you like. 100% KAB flour 60-65%[ I like 65%] room temperature Water 0.5-0.6% Instant yeast 1-2% suger or honey 1-2% olive or vegatable oil 1% melted Butter 1.5-2% salt Procedure Combine water, yeast, suger oil and butter add sifted flour. I am using KitchenAid stand mixer with spiral hook on speed 1. Mix for 5 minutes and turn off. Wait 20 minutes and add the salt to the dough and knead for another 10-15 minutes. Get the dough from mixer and make a ball, place in bowl and put immediately in refregirator for at least 24 hour max 48hours for bulk fermentation. After 24 hours take the dough out from the fridge divide and ball (for 12" pie use 300-350 dough ball) you can leave the dough ball(s) at room temperature for 2-3 hours at this point before baking but I found that it develops more flave by putting them back in to fridge for another 12-24 hours. In either way you have to give them to warm at room temp for 2-4 hours depending on your kitchen temp( I like this crust for pizza also). Shaping is simple just open the dough ball by spreading it for 8" by hand or roller put the cheese ball ( as Georgians use a specific cheese for this bread I am trying to duplicate the flavor of it by combining 60% fresh Mozzarella ( I like trader Joe's brand) 20% riccotta, 10% feta and 5% mild pavalone, 5% withe havarti or mexican fresco blanco. Grate all cheese and add 1 egg per pie, 1T spoon withe farina to absorb moisture from cheese) in the middle and close the edges use the roller to make it round 11-12" long. Live floured for 5-10 minutes. Transper to the wooden peel brash with egg wash. You can add some grated mozzarella or pavalone on top just little bit and open the dough with your finger to let the air escape while it is baking You can bake this on pan but it would be much more flavorful if you use stone preheated at 500-550F for an hour or more on the middle reck. I bake It for 5-8 Minutes You can use broiler for last 1minute of baking to brown it more. Remove from oven put on cooling rack and brush with butter when still hot. Wait for 5-10 mitutes and serve.
  • star rating 02/10/2011
  • RobinGordon from KAF Community
  • It turned out beautifully. A more mild cheese would go well with it too. I'll be posting a photo to facebook.
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