Khachapuri – Cheese Bread

Imeruli Khachapuri

-IMERULIAN CHEESE BREAD-

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 10–15 minutes

Makes 1 large bread to serve 6 people

For the dough:

200 g/7 oz/generous 11⁄2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour

1⁄4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

125 g/4 oz/1⁄2 cup low-fat natural yogurt

1 egg yolk

pinch of lemon salt

40 g/11⁄2 oz unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 tsp sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing

For the filling:

125 g/41⁄2 oz/generous 3⁄4 cup feta cheese (preferably Turkish), crumbled

125 g/41⁄2 oz/generous 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese (buy pre-grated cheese as the balls of mozzarella are too moist)

To serve: melted butter, to serve

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Perhaps the most iconic of all Georgian dishes, there are as many varieties of cheese bread as there are families in Georgia.

To make the dough, sift the our and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) into a large bowl and set aside.

In another large bowl, place the yogurt, egg yolk, lemon salt, melted butter and sun ower oil and mix until combined.

Tip the sifted our mixture into the wet ingredients and bring together to form a rough dough with your hands, then knead gently until it is smooth and pliable. If the dough sticks to your hands, add a touch more our.

Lightly grease a clean bowl with sun ower oil and transfer the dough to it. Set aside, covered, for around 30 minutes to allow the dough to rest.

Because this is not a yeasted bread, the dough will not rise during this time.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7 and lightly our a shallow 23 cm/9-inch round cake pan.

Once the dough has rested, lightly our a work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Use your hands to atten the dough into a rough circle, then use a rolling pin to roll it into a large round, around 5-mm/.1⁄4-inch thick and roughly the size of the prepared cake pan.

Combine the 2 cheeses for the lling in a bowl, then pile the mixture into the centre of the dough circle, leaving a clear 5-cm/2-inch border of dough around the lling.

Now, working as fast as you can, bring the sides of the dough up over the lling to meet at the top and press the edges together to seal the dough and enclose the cheese. Gently pat the dough to smooth it as much as possible.

Invert the sealed dough ball into the prepared cake pan so that the seam is now on the bottom. Press the dough down to atten it and spread to the edges of the cake pan; this will ensure that the cheese is spread evenly inside the bread once it is baked.

Place the bread in the preheated oven and leave to cook for 10–15 minutes, until golden brown. Place on a serving platter and brush with the melted butter. Slice into 6 generous pieces and serve warm.

Supra: A Feast of Georgian Cooking

Published by Pavilion Books on 13th July 2017 RRP £20.00

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