I came across this recipe when visiting one of the blogs featured in my long list of interesting sites that I have linked. Before this, I had never heard of this flatbread nor did I ever eat such a speciality. I must say that this dish litteraly blew me off my feet, therefore I warmly thank Melissa of "The Traveler's lunchbox" for having shared this precious Nigella Lawson (source: "Feast") recipe with us!...
"Khachapuri" (Hachapuri) is a traditional dish served during feasts in Georgia in the Caucasus. It is a flatbread filled with contrasting cheeses (salty, mild, dense, light, stringy, soft, etc...). There are several types of "Khachapuri" and this cheese one is called "Emuli khachapuri".
In fact, it is a bit similar to the Italian Calzone or even Foccacia. "Khachapuri" is a very filling, rich and hefty dish that is absolutely cheesaliscious! Although it uses a big amount of cheese, this flatbread is in no way sickly; it is quite mild and creamy tasting, thus having a slight sharper twist to contrast with the overall non-agressivness of it's filling...
To resume my impressions, I would just simply put it that way: "Khachapuri" is a wonderful dish to which I pay a lot of respect for it's simplicity and incredible capacity to make you reach new blissful horizons and travel whilst sitting at home!!!...
Yields 10 servings
700g Plain white flour
500g Plain whole-milk yogurt
2 eggs (~50g)
50g Unsalted butter, softened
1 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Baking soda
Filling (see remarks):
200g Ricotta cheese
200g Fresh Mozzarella (preferably buffalo milk Mozzarella)
600g High-quality Feta (preferably Greek or any real Feta)
1 egg (~50g)
1. In a large bowl, stir together the yogurt, eggs, butter and salt.
2. Begin adding the flour, a cupful at a time, stirring or working with your hands to form a silky, soft dough.
3. Knead in the baking soda.
4. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly for a few minutes - this activates the gluten in the flour and will make the dough less prone to tearing when you form the breads.
5. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least twenty minutes, or up to a day.
6. For the filling, chop or mash all the cheeses together in a bowl. Stir in the egg.
7. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F). You can either make six small hatchapuris or one large one. To make a large one,
8. Separate the chilled dough into two equal parts.
9. Roll one of them out on a well-floured surface to a circle approximately 1/2-cm (1/4 inch) thick and transfer it to a baking sheet.
10. Spread the cheese in the center to within an inch of the edge.
11. Roll out the second piece of dough in the same manner and place it on top of the cheese. 12. Fold in the edges to seal in the outside of bread, curling them inwards to form a roll of dough.
13. Press down on the roll with the tines of a fork, sealing the two layers together.
14. Slightly shape/pat the bread so that it is perfectly shaped.
15. Transfer the bread to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
16. Cool the hachapuri slightly to let the cheese set, but eat warm.
Add as much flour as is necessary to bring the dough to a kneadable consistency - it should not be overly sticky.
To make six small khachapuris, divide the dough and the cheese into six equal parts. Using your hands, press each piece of dough out into a rough circle about 8 inches in diameter. Mound a sixth of the cheese into a fat disc in the center and start bringing the sides of the dough up around it, pleating them as you go (you can moisten the pleats with water to create a better seal). You should have a gathering of dough at the top when you finish - twist this around itself to seal. Now pat this cheese-filled dough ball out until it is about 1/2-inch thick.
I used 200g Ricotta, 300g Mozarella, 350g Feta, 150g Gruyère (matured) and one egg for the filling.
Bake for about 10-15 minutes. You can also cook this bread in a heavy skillet on the stovetop until both sides are golden brown.
If you wish, you can brush the top of the khachapuri with egg glaze; that will give it a nice colour.
Eat warm with a nice salad and toasted walnuts.
(Georgia -Pic by Sopho Nadareishvili www.trekearth.com)