Megrelian Khachapuri Recipe
Yields 2 khachapuri of 23 cm diameter
5 g active dry yeast
80 g milk, lukewarm
5 g sugar
170 g plain whole milk yogurt
30 g egg
300 g bread flour, sifted
75 g melted butter
5 g salt
- In a cup, mix the yeast, milk, and sugar, and let rest for 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fit with the paddle attachment, add the yeast mixture, yogurt, egg and 2/3 of the flour, and mix on medium speed until homogeneous. Add the rest of the flour, melted butter, and salt, then mix again for 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place until doubled in volume, for about 1 1/2 hours. I usually keep the bowl on the stovetop, with the oven on on low heat.
- If you have time, punch down the dough, cover, and let rise to the same level again (the second time is usually a bit faster).
Yields 1 khachapuri of 23 cm diameter
200 g fresh mozzarella
100 g Bulgarian feta
flour (to roll the dough)
1/2 (about 315 g) of the yeast dough
150 g cheese curds
- Slice the mozzarella, and let rest on paper towels for 10 minutes to drain out some of the moisture.
- In a bowl, crumble the mozzarella and the feta, mix, and rectify the seasoning.; the mixture should be quite salty (but not inedible!).
- On a floured surface, roll the dough to a 28 cm diameter disc (it doesn’t need to be perfectly round). Add the cheese mixture to form a 15 cm diameter disc in the center.
- Wrap the dough around the cheese mixture, and pinch the extra dough in the center, like you would wrap a handkerchief around a package, shaping it like a drawstring pouch. Lift the whole pouch by the neck, and cut off the extra dough (where the string would be). Be sure to cut off a generous amount of dough: otherwise, the folds in the dough will create areas that contain too much bread and not enough cheese (see picture below).
- Flip the dough, flatten with the palm of your hand, and roll to a 23 cm diameter disc.
- Place a dish filled with water on the bottom rack of an oven heated to 225 C / 450 F, and a pizza stone on the middle rack.
- Transfer the khachapuri to a floured pizza peel. If you don’t have a pizza peel and stone, use a baking sheet. (In a city where pizza parlors of every kind, many boasting wood-fired ovens, can be found in nearly every neighborhood, I don’t find myself making pizza at home very often anymore.)
- Crumble the cheese curds on top, and immediately slide the khachapuri onto the pizza stone.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. You could finish the bread under the broiler for a couple minutes, but in my experience it’s not necessary.
- Let rest for 5 minutes, slice and serve.
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