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Adjaruli Khachapuri: Georgian Cheese Bread

Adjaruli Khachapuri: Georgian Cheese Bread

Khachapuri - Georgian Cheese Bread

Adjaruli (Acharuli) Khachapuri is a traditional Georgian canoe-shaped bread filled with a generous amount of cheese and topped with an egg. It’s as decadent as it is delicious.

If you like cheese and bread (trick question, I know), then you’ll to love khachapuri. Really, what’s not to like.. carbs and fat? Khachapuri is best enjoyed straight from the oven when the cheese is piping hot, bubbling, and oozy. The egg and cheese are stirred together to form a most decadent and delicious combination. Just slice off a piece of bread, scoop up some cheese and egg mixture and enjoy. Fair warning, khachapuri may induce a food coma, but totally worth it. Perhaps best to share with a friend.

Khachapuri is traditionally made with a Georgian cow’s milk cheese called sulguni (which is sour and moderately salty with an elastic consistency). No sulguni to be found where I love though (Philadelphia), so I used a combination of Greek (sheep’s milk) feta, which imparts a nice brininess, and a soft (Italian) Tallegio, which imparts a fruity tang and melts well. Though, you could easily experiment with other combinations of cheese. Add herbs or even chopped spinach. There are many possibilities.

As for the dough, I went with a long, slow 48-hour fermentation. First I made a starter (a combination of flour, yeast, and water) and let it develop for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Thereafter, combined the starter with my remaining dough ingredients and let if rise on my counter for 24 hours. A bit of work, but I’m incredibly happy with the end result — an airy, chewy dough with a crispy exterior.

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RECIPE NOTES

  1. Cheese Choices: Traditional Adjaruli Khachapuri uses a mixture of cheeses, commonly Sulguni and Imeretian. If these are hard to come by, the suggested combination of Greek feta and Taleggio works. You can also explore using mozzarella or any cheese that melts well and pairs nicely with saltier cheeses.
  2. Starter Importance: Using a starter gives the dough a distinct flavor and better texture. It’s essential not to skip this step if you’re aiming for an authentic taste.
  3. Dough Handling: When rolling out the dough, ensure it’s not too thin to hold the generous cheese filling. The boat shape is iconic for Adjaruli Khachapuri; pinching the ends well ensures the cheese stays inside while baking.
  4. Egg Topping: The egg is traditionally a bit runny, providing a rich, creamy dip for the bread. However, if you’re not fond of runny yolks, you can bake it a bit longer.
  5. Serving Immediately: Adjaruli Khachapuri is best enjoyed hot, right out of the oven. This ensures that the cheese is molten and the bread soft.
  6. Pairing: While this dish is rich and can stand on its own, it pairs beautifully with a fresh salad or some pickled vegetables to cut through the richness.
  7. Reheating: If you have leftovers (which might be rare!), the best way to reheat Adjaruli Khachapuri is in the oven or a toaster oven to maintain the crust’s crispiness.
  8. Customization: While the traditional filling is cheese, you can get creative! Consider adding sautéed spinach, mushrooms, or even some cooked sausage for a different take.

What is Adjaruli Khachapuri?

Adjaruli Khachapuri, often referred to as Georgian cheese bread, is a culinary gem hailing from the Adjara region of Georgia. It’s a boat-shaped bread filled with a mixture of cheese, and its crowning glory is a raw egg and a generous dollop of butter added right before serving. As the hot bread arrives at the table, diners stir the egg and butter into the molten cheese, resulting in a creamy, rich mixture that’s scooped up with pieces of the bread’s crust.

Rooted deep in Georgian culinary traditions, Adjaruli Khachapuri is often associated with hospitality and celebration. While variations of Khachapuri can be found throughout Georgia, with different shapes and fillings, the boat-shaped Adjaruli is arguably the most iconic and visually striking among them.


Step By Step Guide to Making Adjaruli Khachapuri – Georgian Cheese Bread


Preparing the Starter:

    • In a bowl, combine the flour, water, and yeast. Mix until combined.
    • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.

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Preparing the Final Dough:

    • In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the final dough.
    • Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead until it’s soft and elastic (5-10 minutes).
    • Place the kneaded dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let it rise at room temperature for 24 hours.
    • Divide the risen dough into two equal portions.

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See Also

Sweet Potato and Chorizo Frittata

Assembling and Baking:

    • Preheat your oven with a pizza stone to 500°F (260°C) for at least 1 hour.
    • On a floured surface (preferably on a pizza peel), roll one portion of the dough into an oval shape.
    • Add 2 to 2 1/2 cups of the cheese mixture over the dough, leaving a half-inch border.
    • Fold the dough lengthwise from both sides towards the center, overlapping over the cheese, forming a boat shape. Pinch the ends to seal.
    • Carefully transfer the khachapuri onto the hot pizza stone and bake for 12-13 minutes or until golden brown.
    • Remove from the oven and create a well in the cheese. Crack an egg into this well. Brush the exposed dough with egg yolk.
    • Return to the oven and bake for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the egg white sets but the yolk remains runny.
    • Remove from the oven, add a pat of butter on top, and swirl together the cheese, egg, and butter.

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Serving:

    • Tear off a piece of the crust and use it to dip into the molten cheese mixture. Enjoy your Adjaruli Khachapuri hot!

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Khachapuri - Georgian Cheese Bread

Adjaruli Khachapuri: Georgian Cheese Bread


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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Linda Schneider
  • Total Time: 48 hours 41 minutes
  • Yield: 2 large khachapuri 1x

Description

Adjaruli (Acharuli) Khachapuri is a traditional Georgian (the country, that is), canoe-shaped bread filled with a generous amount of cheese and topped with an egg.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Starter:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant/active yeast

Final Dough (enough for 2 large khachapuri):

  • 390 grams/13.5 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 90 grams/3 ounces starter from above
  • 210 milliliters/7 ounces lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Filling and Toppings:

  • Flour for dusting
  • 4 to 5 cups cheese, shredded/crumbled (combination of Greek feta and Taleggio suggested)
  • 2 whole eggs (1 for each khachapuri)
  • 1 egg yolk (for brushing the dough)
  • Butter for serving (garlic and herb butter suggested)

Instructions

  1. Preparing the Starter:
    • In a bowl, combine the flour, water, and yeast. Mix until combined.
    • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  2. Preparing the Final Dough:
    • In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the final dough.
    • Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead until it’s soft and elastic (5-10 minutes).
    • Place the kneaded dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let it rise at room temperature for 24 hours.
    • Divide the risen dough into two equal portions.
  3. Assembling and Baking:
    • Preheat your oven with a pizza stone to 500°F (260°C) for at least 1 hour.
    • On a floured surface (preferably on a pizza peel), roll one portion of the dough into an oval shape.
    • Add 2 to 2 1/2 cups of the cheese mixture over the dough, leaving a half-inch border.
    • Fold the dough lengthwise from both sides towards the center, overlapping over the cheese, forming a boat shape. Pinch the ends to seal.
    • Carefully transfer the khachapuri onto the hot pizza stone and bake for 12-13 minutes or until golden brown.
    • Remove from the oven and create a well in the cheese. Crack an egg into this well. Brush the exposed dough with egg yolk.
    • Return to the oven and bake for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the egg white sets but the yolk remains runny.
    • Remove from the oven, add a pat of butter on top, and swirl together the cheese, egg, and butter.
  4. Serving:
    • Tear off a piece of the crust and use it to dip into the molten cheese mixture. Enjoy your Adjaruli Khachapuri hot!

Notes

  1. Cheese Choices: Traditional Adjaruli Khachapuri uses a mixture of cheeses, commonly Sulguni and Imeretian. If these are hard to come by, the suggested combination of Greek feta and Taleggio works. You can also explore using mozzarella or any cheese that melts well and pairs nicely with saltier cheeses.
  2. Starter Importance: Using a starter gives the dough a distinct flavor and better texture. It’s essential not to skip this step if you’re aiming for an authentic taste.
  3. Dough Handling: When rolling out the dough, ensure it’s not too thin to hold the generous cheese filling. The boat shape is iconic for Adjaruli Khachapuri; pinching the ends well ensures the cheese stays inside while baking.
  4. Egg Topping: The egg is traditionally a bit runny, providing a rich, creamy dip for the bread. However, if you’re not fond of runny yolks, you can bake it a bit longer.
  5. Serving Immediately: Adjaruli Khachapuri is best enjoyed hot, right out of the oven. This ensures that the cheese is molten and the bread soft.
  6. Pairing: While this dish is rich and can stand on its own, it pairs beautifully with a fresh salad or some pickled vegetables to cut through the richness.
  7. Reheating: If you have leftovers (which might be rare!), the best way to reheat Adjaruli Khachapuri is in the oven or a toaster oven to maintain the crust’s crispiness.
  8. Customization: While the traditional filling is cheese, you can get creative! Consider adding sautéed spinach, mushrooms, or even some cooked sausage for a different take.
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Resting Time: 48 hours
  • Cook Time: 16 mins
  • Category: Baking
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Georgian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 khachapuri
  • Calories: 650
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 1100mg
  • Fat: 28g
  • Saturated Fat: 15g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 72g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 30g
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