Ajarski Khachapuri

If you've ever been to the Republic of Georgia, you may’ve seen khachapuri bakers working in front of their infernally-hot wood-fired ovens. They are serious, focused men, and they eat seriously: their lunch can be a giant, quadruple portion of this delicious, filling bread, washed down with a bottle of simple red wine. Mixed with our Organic Edison, this bread is particularly rustic and toothsome.

Nika Franchi

Prep Time

30 minutes

Bake Time

30-35 minutes

Total Time

4-5 hours

Yield

Two 400-gram "boats"

Ingredients:

For the dough:

1 cup (110g) Organic Edison flour

1 cup (115g) Glacier Peak flour

½ teaspoon (3g) instant dry yeast

1/3 teaspoon (2g) sea salt

1 scant cup (170g) warm water

For the filling:

1½ cups (200g) feta cheese, preferably sheep's milk, mashed or coarsely grated

1½ cups (200g) fresh mozzarella cheese, preferably buffalo, coarsely grated

3-4 tablespoons of water or more, at room temperature

2 pats of butter

2 whole eggs (optional)

Baker's Notes:

Feel free to double, triple or quadruple this recipe if you are as hungry as the Georgian bakers or if you are expecting company for dinner.

 

* Not everyone likes eggs in their khachapuri, so although this step is very traditional, it is optional. If you are using eggs, we recommend breaking them, one at a time, into separate cups to make sure the yolk stays intact. If you accidentally broke the yolk, try with another egg. You will basically be making sunny side up on top of your khachapuri.

 

** Do not wait for the egg whites to turn completely opaque to take the breads out of the oven. If you do that your yolk will be cooked through, and that's not desirable. Better undercook than overcook!

 

Instructions:

To make the dough:

  1. In a bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the water, sea salt, yeast and the two flours. Mix with a paddle attachment on medium speed for about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead on low-medium speed for about 5 minutes, until the dough has come together into a ball and is supple. The dough will be quite soft.
  3. Lightly spray the dough ball with vegetable oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size. This will take about 3-4 hours, depending on how cool or warm your kitchen is.

To make the filling:

  1. Combine the two cheeses in a bowl and mix well. Start adding water a little bit at a time, mixing well between additions. The filling should be soft and have the consistency of cottage cheese.
  2. Cover, set aside, and begin shaping the bread.

To shape:

  1. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into two equal portions of 200 grams each. Shape each portion into a ball and let rest under a tea towel about 10 minutes.
  2. Gently flatten and roll one dough ball into an oblong disk about ½" thick. If it springs back, let rest while you repeat the procedure with the other dough portion. Alternate between the two disks until you've reached the desired size.
  3. Divide the cheese filling into 2 equal portions. Take one portion and put it in the middle of one oblong disk, spreading slightly toward the sides and ends. Do not spread all over your disk, you want most of the filling to be in the middle.
  4. Start rolling one side of the disk towards the middle and slightly over the cheese to make one wall of the "boat."
  5. Repeat with the other side until the ends of the two rolls meet. Tightly pinch the ends together to form a boat. Carefully transfer the boats onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let proof for 15-30 minutes while the oven is heating.

To bake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F with the rack placed in the middle. Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Rotate the sheet 180° to ensure even baking and bake for a further 10-12 minutes, until the bread is almost ready.
  2. Take the breads out of the oven, make a "dip" in the cheese with the back of a tablespoon and break an egg into each* (see Baker's Notes).
  3. Put the bread back in the oven for 4-5 minutes: you want the whites to cook but the yolks to remain runny** (see Baker's Notes).
  4. Take the bread out of the oven, add a little pat of cold butter to each khachapuri and serve immediately, piping hot. Eat by breaking pieces of the bread and dipping them into the egg-butter-cheese mixture. Enjoy!

 

Baker's Notes:

Feel free to double, triple or quadruple this recipe if you are as hungry as the Georgian bakers or if you are expecting company for dinner.

 

* Not everyone likes eggs in their khachapuri, so although this step is very traditional, it is optional. If you are using eggs, we recommend breaking them, one at a time, into separate cups to make sure the yolk stays intact. If you accidentally broke the yolk, try with another egg. You will basically be making sunny side up on top of your khachapuri.

 

** Do not wait for the egg whites to turn completely opaque to take the breads out of the oven. If you do that your yolk will be cooked through, and that's not desirable. Better undercook than overcook!

 


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