Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread)

I guess October is shaping up to be an Eastern European and Near East kind of posting month for me!

It all started when my co-worker (who also happens to be Russian), Sasha, let me borrow her cookbook, Culinaria Russia!  It describes foods from not only Russia but Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.  I then started telling my German neighbor, Inga, about this cookbook and she invited me to come along to her favorite International Market, Arash where I discovered Lebni cheese which made me feel nostalgic and longing for food like I had in Armenia

Food with history, Food that has some soul!

I know, I know…bear with me, let’s blame it on the changing seasons and how I just want an excuse to spend all day in my kitchen, OK?

So – to my delight, Arash also carried two ingredients that this bread called for; drinking yogurt (matsoni in Georgia) and sulguni cheese!

Print this Recipe!

Khachapuri

Taken from Culinaria Russia

Dough (have all ingredients at room temperature)

1 c. drinking yogurt (recipe calls for full-fat but I could not find that)

1 egg

1/4 t. baking powder

pinch of salt

3 to 3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Filling

1 lb. sulguni cheese (or half cream cheese/half mozzarella), grated

1 egg

1 T. butter salt

butter for frying or brushing if baking

Combine all of the dough ingredients in a stand mixer and knead with dough hook until a slightly tacky ball forms.  Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

While the dough rests, grate the cheese and combine the filling ingredients.

Once rested, separate the dough into 4 balls, roll each ball into a circle about 8 inches in diameter.

Place a generous amount of the cheese filling in the middle of each piece of dough and fold the edges of the dough up and over the filling, completely covering it.

Press the dough ball flat with the palm of your hand so that all cheese is covered and uniform.

The recipe says to fry the bread in butter, flipping once to cook both sides.

I did this but also tried baking one of the prepared breads (after brushing with butter) at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.  Neither one puffed up tremendously like the picture in the book but they were both delicious.

I preferred the baked one.

This was super easy to make and tasted great with soup.

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