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Ajarian Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread) - Bring Back Delicious

Dipping Torn Off Pieces of Georgian Adjarian Khachapuri

The fact that my Armenian friends didn’t tell me about this recipe for Ajarian Khachapuri as soon as they met me (as in, right after they said their name), is disappointing. I’ll admit, I was a bit hesitant after seeing a couple pictures online. You really have to dig a little deeper to find good recipes for this bread. There’s a few recipes that are commonly duplicated that simply don’t work. However, I had a carton of 18 fresh eggs, I buy my flour in bulk from Costco, and I have a penchant for perfection, so I hunkered down and made round after round until we hit perfection.

Cheesy, crunchy, melty perfection.

Ingredients

Makes 2 extra-large Ajarian khachapuri (each serves 2 people) or 4 medium (personal size, roughly 9″x4″ each)

  • 500 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1.5 tsp Kosher salt
  • 10 g (1 T) unsalted butter, plus extra for topping
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 10 oz mozzarella, shredded
  • 4 oz muenster, shredded
  • 4 oz feta, crumbled
  • 2 fresh eggs (for 2 extra-large loaves) or 4 eggs (for 4 personal sized loaves), (old eggs have thin whites, which are more likely to drip off the bread in the oven)

Steps

Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk until mixed well.

In a microwave bowl, combine the butter, water, and half and half. Microwave until it’s warm to the touch, but not hot, and the butter is melted.

If it’s too hot, let it cool or you’ll overheat the yeast and the dough won’t rise.

Switch to the dough hook attachment. Add the liquid ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix on low for 1 minute. Scrape down the flour that accumulated on the sides of the bowl and continue mixing for another minute. Repeat as needed until the dough has been mixed for 6 minutes.

Remove the dough hook, leaving the dough in the mixing bowl. Cover the top of the mixing bowl tightly with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes. (The ideal temperature is 73 degrees.) The dough should double in size.

If the dough does not rise at all, stop and redo the recipe from the beginning. Make sure the yeast is fresh and you don’t overheat the liquid before adding it to the dough.

If the dough has risen but it has not doubled in size, give it a little more time until it does. Move the mixing bowl to a warmer location if it’s too cold. Keep in mind you can’t really rush this step by putting the dough in a hot location. The yeast will go through the sugars in the dough too quickly and the dough will collapse.

Scrape the dough out onto a generously floured surface. Kneed for about 30 seconds, then return the dough to the mixing bowl seam-side down.

This step redistributes the yeast, which makes it less likely they’ll run out of sugars and stop fermenting. The second round of fermentation also helps develop the gluten structure in the  bread so the texture is finer and more consistent.

Removing Proofed Dough From Mixing Bowl For Georgian Adjarian Khachapuri

Cover the top of the mixing bowl tightly with plastic wrap and leave it in a warm place for another 45 minutes to double in size.

Bulk Fermenting Georgian Adjarian Khachapuri in a Mixing Bowl

Meanwhile, place a large pizza stone in the oven then preheat the oven to 500 F.Pizza Stone Left In The Oven For Georgian Adjarian Khachapuri

Pizza stones can break if you put them in an already hot oven. Actually, if you have the space, you can just leave the pizza stone in your oven all the time!

Some other recipes recommend using a baking sheet flipped upside down. However, I haven’t been able to get this to work without burning the bottom of the bread. A pizza stone is much butter at transferring heat without burning the bottom of the bread.

 

Once the dough has doubled in size again, scrape the dough out onto a generously floured surface. Kneed for a few seconds to deflate the dough, then use a bench scraper to cut the dough into 2 equal sized portions if you’re making extra-large loaves or 4 equal sized portions if you’re making personal sized loaves.

Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until the dough reaches it’s limit. It will be about 5″ if you’re making 4 loaves or 10″ wide if you’re making 2. Let the dough relax for 5 minutes, then roll it out again. This time, it should be relaxed enough to get to 7″ (4 loaves) or 14″ (2 loaves) wide.

Combine mozzarella, muenster, and feta cheeses in a bowl and mix well. Split the mixture in half (2 loaves) or in quarters (4 loaves) and spread it out on each piece of dough. Leave a 1-2″ border around the edges. This will give you a crust that’s slightly cheese inside. It’s not much of an issue to have a lot of cheese rolled into the crust, but we really want to have most of the cheese in the middle of the bread so we can dip and scoop it using pieces of torn off bread.

Use a pizza peel to transfer the loaf to the pizza stone. (Use quick jerks to get the pizza peel under the loaf and to slide the loaf onto the pizza stone.)

If you don’t have a pizza peel, Amazon has you covered. If you’re in a pinch (or impatient like me), a piece of heavy paper or a manila folder works fine!

Bake at 500 F for 9 minutes (extra-large) or 7 min (medium). The bread should be a very light golden brown.

Don’t crowd your pizza stone. A 16″ pizza stone is only big enough to cook one extra-large or 2 medium loaves a time.

Open the oven door and quickly crack the egg in the middle of each loaf of bread. As long as you’re using fresh eggs, the sides of the bread will be high enough to keep the egg from running off the sides.

Cracking Egg Over Georgian Adjarian Khachapuri With Muenster Feta And Mozzarella

Continue to bake for 5 more minutes. At this point the egg will be over easy and the bread should be a medium golden brown.

Freshly Baked Georgian Adjarian Khachapuri With Over Easy Egg

Remove the bread from the oven. If you would like to cook the egg a little further, quickly cover the bread with aluminum foil. You won’t be able to fully cook the yolk,  but you will be able to get the egg to over-medium.

Top with a pad of butter and enjoy immediately.

Adjarian Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread)
 
Serves: Makes 2 extra-large (each serves 2 people) or 4 medium (personal size, roughly 9"x4" each) khachapuri
Ingredients
  • 500 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1.5 tsp Kosher salt
  • 10 g (1 T) butter
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 10 oz mozzarella, shredded
  • 4 oz muenster, shredded
  • 4 oz feta, crumbled
  • 2 fresh eggs (for 2 extra-large loaves) or 4 eggs (for 4 personal sized loaves), (old eggs have thin whites, which are more likely to drip off the bread in the oven)
Steps
  1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk until mixed well.
  2. In a microwave bowl, combine the butter, water, and half and half. Microwave until it's warm to the touch, but not hot, and the butter is melted. (If it's too hot, let it cool or you'll overheat the yeast and the dough won't rise.)
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Add the liquid ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix on low for 1 minute. Scrape down the flour that accumulated on the sides of the bowl and continue mixing for another minute. Repeat as needed until the dough has been mixed for 6 minutes.
  4. Remove the dough hook, leaving the dough in the mixing bowl. Cover the top of the mixing bowl tightly with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes. (The ideal temperature is 73 degrees.) The dough should double in size. (Having trouble? Check the Notes for troubleshooting tips.)
  5. Scrape the dough out onto a generously floured surface. Kneed for about 30 seconds, then return the dough to the mixing bowl seam-side down. (This step redistributes the yeast, which makes it less likely they'll run out of sugars and stop fermenting. The second round of fermentation also helps develop the gluten structure in the bread so the texture is finer and more consistent.)
  6. Cover the top of the mixing bowl tightly with plastic wrap and leave it in a warm place for another 45 minutes to double in size.
  7. Meanwhile, place a large pizza stone in the oven then preheat the oven to 500 F.
  8. Once the dough has doubled in size again, scrape the dough out onto a generously floured surface. Kneed for a few seconds to deflate the dough, then use a bench scraper to cut the dough into 2 equal sized portions if you're making extra-large loaves or 4 equal sized portions if you're making personal sized loaves.
  9. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until the dough reaches it's limit. It will be about 5" if you're making 4 loaves or 10" wide if you're making 2. Let the dough relax for 5 minutes, then roll it out again. This time, it should be relaxed enough to get to 7" (4 loaves) or 14" (2 loaves) wide.
  10. Combine mozzarella, muenster, and feta cheeses in a bowl and mix well. Split the mixture in half (2 loaves) or in quarters (4 loaves) and spread it out on each piece of dough. Leave a 1-2" border around the edges. (This will give you a crust that's slightly cheese inside. It's not much of an issue to have a lot of cheese rolled into the crust, but we really want to have most of the cheese in the middle of the bread so we can dip and scoop it using pieces of torn off bread.)
  11. Use a pizza peel to transfer the loaf to the pizza stone. (Use quick jerks to get the pizza peel under the loaf and to slide the loaf onto the pizza stone.)
  12. Bake at 500 F for 9 minutes (extra-large) or 7 min (medium). The bread should be a very light golden brown. (Don't crowd your pizza stone. A 16" pizza stone is only big enough to cook one extra-large or 2 medium loaves a time.)
  13. Open the oven door and quickly crack the egg in the middle of the loaf. As long as you're using fresh eggs, the sides of the bread will be high enough to keep the egg from running off the sides.
  14. Continue to bake for 5 more minutes. At this point the egg will be over easy and the bread should be a medium golden brown.
  15. Remove the bread from the oven. If you would like to cook the egg a little further, quickly cover the bread with aluminum foil. You won't be able to fully cook the yolk, but you will be able to get the egg to over-medium.
Notes
Dough Tips
If the dough does not rise at all, stop and redo the recipe from the beginning. Make sure the yeast is fresh and you don't overheat the liquid before adding it to the dough.

If the dough has risen but it has not doubled in size, give it a little more time until it does. Move the mixing bowl to a warmer location if it's too cold. Keep in mind you can't really rush this step by putting the dough in a hot location. The yeast will go through the sugars in the dough too quickly and the dough will collapse.

Pizza Peels and Pizza Stones
Some other recipes recommend using a baking sheet flipped upside down. However, I haven't been able to get this to work without burning the bottom of the bread. I recommend waiting until you have a pizza stone before you try this recipe. A pizza stone is much butter at transferring heat without burning the bottom of the bread.
Pizza stones can break if you put them in an already hot oven. Actually, if you have the space, you can just leave the pizza stone in your oven all the time!

If you don't have a pizza peel, Amazon has you covered. If you're in a pinch (or impatient like me), a piece of heavy paper or a manila folder works fine!

 

Ajarian Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread)

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