(Georgian Cottage Cheese Bread)
6 large cheese breads
About this Recipe
Khachapouri are a popular street food in Georgia, prepared in a stone oven or over an open fire. You could certainly cook these boats on a pizza stone over a grill on medium-high heat, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- 3¼ cups (485 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp (12 g) granulated sugar
- 2¼ tsp (1 pkg) instant dry yeast
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 cup (250 mL) hot water
- ½ cup (125 mL) 1% or 2% milk
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
- 3 cups (285 g) coarsely grated mozzarella or Swiss cheese, or a combination
- 1½ cups (210 g) crumbled feta cheese
- 1 (10 oz/300 g) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed
- ½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 large eggs (optional)
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
Step by Step Instructions
For the dough, place the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment. In a separate bowl, combine the water and milk and check that it is about 105°F (41°C). Add this liquid all at once to the flour, then add the oil. Mix at low speed until most of the flour is absorbed and then increase the speed one level and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. The dough will stick at the bottom of the bowl but clean the sides of the bowl as it mixes. (If mixing by hand, follow the above instructions, but mix the dough in a bowl until it becomes too difficult, then turn the dough out onto the counter and knead by hand until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.)
Transfer the dough to a clean ungreased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter until doubled in size, about an hour.
For the filling, stir the cheeses together and work the spinach in with your fingers, breaking it into smaller pieces. Melt the butter with the garlic in the microwave or a small saucepan over low heat and set aside, re-melting the butter if needed. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into six pieces. Roll out a piece of dough into a circle about 10 inches (25 cm) across and just over ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. Lightly brush the dough with garlic butter (1) and sprinkle an even layer of cheese on top, using one-sixth for each one. Roll up the dough from opposing sides (2), stretching the dough a little and rolling in some of the cheese as you go. Stop rolling when there is a 2- to 3-inch (5 to 7.5 cm) gap in the centre (3). Pinch the ends of the dough together to create a wide boat, or a canoe more specifically. Place the “canoe” on the baking tray, open side up (4). Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough (three per tray), cover both trays with tea towels and let sit for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Bake the khachapouri for 20 to 30 minutes, until the dough has browned and the cheese has melted and is bubbling a little. If you want to serve this bread with an egg on top, remove the khachapouri at the 15-minute mark and break an egg in the centre of each one. Return the bread canoes to the oven and bake until the eggs are set to your liking. Brush the remaining garlic butter on top and sprinkle with green onions.
Serve the khachapouri hot. They are best the day they are baked, but they can be reheated in a 325°F (160°C) oven for 15 minutes.