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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Acharuli Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese and Egg Bread)

Acharuli Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese and Egg Bread)
I'm incredibly intrigued by this month's Bread Baking Babes featured bread. Aparna is our host kitchen of the month, and she has chosen Acharuli (Adjaruli) Khachapuri, or Georgian Egg and Cheese Bread. Apparently Khachapuri, described as a "warm, gooey cheese-stuffed bread that oozes and drips with heart-stopping goodness" by the website Gudaturi, is one of the most popular dishes in Georgia. Apparently each reason is famous for a different variety of this bread. The The boat-shaped Adzharuli that is filled with salty cheese and topped with a raw egg and butter hails from the southwestern Adzharian province.

I made this very last-minute and didn't use the correct (traditional) type of cheese. Not that I could easily get my hands on a soft sheep's milk variety, but Saveur uses a mix of Muenster and Feta that looks like it might be a fairly good substitute. I actually thought that I still had some feta around, and was going to mix it with mozzarella...but apparently it was eaten sometime between when I made the bread and the last time I looked. So I had to improvise. I used mozzarella and Parmesan instead. It was good, but it didn't give me that soft gooey filling.

Acharuli Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese and Egg Bread)
But hey, that just means I'll have to make a couple of adjaruli khachapuri again very soon. Darn. Here's a video that I found showing how one is supposed to look. I'm intrigued by the way the dough in the center is pulled out after baking because it is "unwanted".
I'd probably just save it (or leave it) and use it for extra dipping. Speaking of dipping, here is another video that shows the proper way to eat this bread. Yeah, I'm definitely making it again. I'm thinking a soft farmer's cheese will work nicely...although it'll probably be goat or cow. Oh, and after watching that video, I used only a yolk in my bread (not the whole egg).

Acharuli Khachapuri (Georgian Egg and Cheese Bread)
This torpedo-shaped flatbread is filled with melty cheese and a warm, runny egg that are perfect for dipping the warm bread in.
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Acharuli Khachapuri
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 90 minutes (largely unattended
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Keywords: bake bread entree vegetarian soy-free nut-free cheese eggs Georgian

Ingredients (serves 2-4)
    for the dough:
    • 2/3 cup lukewarm water
    • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
    • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 210 grams (~1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons) bread flour + more as needed
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    for the filling/topping:
    • 2 1/4 cups (14 ounces) shredded Muenster cheese - see notes
    • 1 cup (6 ounces) crumbled feta cheese - see notes
    • 2 eggs (whole or just yolks)
    to finish:
    • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, divided
    Combine water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl and let sit until foamy, 5-7 minutes. Add flour, oil, and salt and using a wooden spoon, mix until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, 5-10 minutes; the dough will be somewhat slack and tacky. Lightly oil a bowl and set the dough inside; cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot until it has doubled in size, ~45 minutes.

    If you have one, set a pizza stone on a rack in the center of your own. Preheat to 500° F for 20 minutes.

    Combine both types of cheese in a bowl. Punch the dough down, then divide it in half.

    Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper and press one portion of the dough into a circle that is about 1/8" thick. Fold the two edges in and press to seal, then flip the dough over. Press our into an oval, then roll the two long edges in to form a "boat", pinching the edges together. Let sit 5 minutes.
    shaping acharuli khachapuri dough
    Use your fingers to press down and out, making the center of the "boat" wider (2'-3" total). Use a fork to dock the center of the dough (between the edges). Mix the two cheeses together and place half of the mixture into each boat.

    Use a pizza peel to lift the parchment paper up and transfer it to the pizza stone in the preheated oven. Bake until the bread is golden and the cheese is melty, 12-14 minutes, then crack an egg into the center of each boat (or separate each egg and just add the yolk to the center). Return to oven until the egg is slightly set, 3-4 minutes.

    Remove from oven and place each one on a plate, then set 1 tablespoon of the butter on each portion. Serve immediately.

    You can switch up the types of cheese you use in the filling. Traditionally a soft sheep's milk cheese was used, so if you have some, use it (or maybe another variety of soft, salty farmer's cheese). I used some mozzarella and Parmesan because I had them in the fridge, but they don't really achieve the desired results. Measurements might vary depending on the type of cheese you use. Basically, you want enough to pile it into the center of each portion of dough - so that it's mounded slightly above the height of the dough (since it will bake down).

    If you're cutting each one in half so that you have 4 servings, I would use 4 eggs (or yolks)...because each person really deserves their own glorious golden pool to dive into.

    -slightly adapted from Saveur
    Acharuli Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese and Egg Bread)

    January 2016 Bread Baking Babes Badge - Adjaruli (Acharuli) Khachapuri
    This month's Bread Baking Babes challenge is Acharuli (Adjaruli) Khachapuri, as chosen by the BBBabes host kitchen of the month, Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen.

    Would you like to bake along and earn your Bread Baking Buddies badge? It's easy! Simply make Acharuli Khachapuri in your kitchen, and then send Aparna your link (more info in her post) by the 28th of the month. I hope you'll join us!

    Check out this month's Bread Baking Babes posts (updated as posted):