Khachapuri, I’m addicted!

Remember Georgian khachapuri I baked a while ago? In my family there is never enough of Caucasian pies (actually – any pies!). These pizza-like delicious things have made there way into the Soviet and Russian kitchen alright and now there’s even a delivery service of Caucasian pies.

I will present you an amended recipe from a local journal I picked up in Syktyvkar only for the sake of its photos and this very recipe. I’m actually going to get back to this city in a week already. At the moment I’m not travelling and there’s a certain nag in my brain (‘I wanna travel, let me go somewhere…’).

The crucial thing is to get the right cheese. By this I mean a high-quality imitation of the suluguni cheese. The same rule applies to all Caucasian cheese pies like the Ossetia pies Ualibakh, for ex. Be sure to find a close substitution for suluguni, maybehaloumi cheese if you can find some. The cheese should be a bit rubbery and able to melt into a homogenous mass. All in all, the general rule is that it MUST be a pleasure to bite, haha =).

The original pie recipe comes from Adjara (a region of Georgia) and in the ideal world it should look like this – with a whole egg right on top of the cheese which you crack over the pie while it’s still baking. The pie also looks like a boat in its shape.

{the pie with the ingredients, photos made by my Mom}

…but khmmm I failed with my egg breaking right in the oven so I opted for mixing the egg with the cheese beforehand. There were surely other changes (I’ve already made the recipe twice, in addition the amount of dough permits to prolong the pleasure of having hot pies for your dinner over several days).

Ok, here’s the recipe with my remarks.  As I just cut the recipe out of the magazine, I cannot even remember its name… UPD –  it’s called Chto delat and it states a wrong address. We’ve actually been to the cafe (and get ourselves a nice hot khachapuri!) where the chef de cuisine who told the magazine the recipe is supposed to be working. The cafe is called Annushka after they say, a very famous Georgian cafe in Moscow.

A year agoOlive Rosemary Bread, Herbed Batter Bread and Moroccan Whole Wheat Bran Bread

Khachapuri a là Adjari (Khachapuri po-adzharski) – will make 8-10 boat-like cheese pies, almost pizza-like

Ingredients

For the dough:  enough for 10 medium pies (see the golden rule further on)

  • 550 g flour – I used all purpose + added some wheat bran and rye flour on one occasion and the next time I used even more rye flour and no bran (hah, no brain=)
  • 400 ml 3.2% fat milk / water – I used 2.5% fat milk mixed with hot water. I’m sure you can use buttermilk / kefir instead
  • 5 g dried yeast – I used instant dried yeast and the second time I threw in some fresh yeast
  • 50 g butter – I used less
  • 10 g sugar – I used less, about a teaspoon
  • 14 g salt
  • 1 egg

Filling:

  • 500 g sulugunicheese (try using Haloumi or another rubbery cheese. You might need more cheese. The second time I made these pies I also had a special for-my-farther vesrion with cheese mixed with some crushed tomatoes instead of egg)
  • several eggs, less if you choose to pre-mix them into cheese instead of breaking them over the top during baking
  • oregano, etc if you want to enhance the flavours a bit

Method

1. Dissolve salt, sugar and yeast in tepid milk / water (or a mixture of both, it works!) and add an egg, flour and butter. Knead the dough (here I left it to rise for half an hour although the recipe says nothing about rising. I also left some dough covered in a bowl in the fridge for further use) .

2. Divide the dough into 10 parts (or less… but here is the golden rule – the thinner the better, as the true Caucasian pie has more filling than  dough), roll each part into a disk, place some coarsely grated cheese in the middle (or cheese+egg + some oregano sprinkled on top, this is what I did), leaving a 1 cm boarder. Lift the boarders and pinch them in a nice manner (I found out it’s quicker to do it with both hands at the same time, starting from one corner and moving downwards). Shape each pie as a small oblong boat.

3. Preheat the oven to 220 ‘C (I suggest 225 ‘C, makes the process quicker and nothing’s burnt. The whole baking time takes about 20 min. then) and par-bake the pies (I used baking parchment, easier to clean the tray if your cheese starts escaping…=). Then put a knob of butter in the centre of each pie still in the oven, crack an egg per each pie and leave for some more minutes to bake. As soon as the egg white coagulates, the pie is ready to be served. (What I suggest here is mix the egg with cheese and avoid egg disaster in your oven=) although thus you will lose the effect of course and the authenticity of the pie…)

Oh, come on who cares for the authenticity when this cheese is so ooooh so cheesy =) and the result is evidently great! I’m addicted, really. As soon as the batch is over, I’m already thinking of the next occasion to buy more suluguni cheese – a nice excuse to make more khachapuri pies!

Keep baking! Will try to get some more eehhmm Northern recipes next time I go to Syktyvkar! =)

G.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Спасибо огромное! Очень-очень удачный рецепт хачапури! Тесто получается вкуснейшее, хорошо поднимается. На мой взгляд, надо не жалеть сыра, т. к. он после выпечки как-то очень сокращается в количестве. Идеально подходит сулугуни. Главное, найти такой сулугуни, “какой надо сулугуни” (с этим у нас в России туго в данный момент…Вот наладим с Грузией отношения…). Когда-то в Гаграх продавали хачапури с лотка на улице, они были очень похожими на эти, только местные торговцы явно экономили на сыре (его надо было найти, и он не всем попадался =)), НО ЭТИ ЕЩЕ ВКУСНЕЕ!!! особенно только что испеченные естественно!🙂

    Reply

    • Да, только они у меня совсем не по-аджарски, и не по-имеретински, и не по-менгрельски,и не ачма… ну да ладно =) только что прочитала, что в идеале в хачапури по-аджарски не сулугуни надо класть, т.к. его начинка должна оставаться жидкой даже после остывания.

      Reply

  2. I’ll try it with Halloumi.

    Abel, Barcelona.

    Reply

  3. And I’ll try to break the egg right in the oven.🙂

    Reply

  4. Wow, you’re brave =) tell me about your results!

    Reply

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