Citizens, I will never tire of sharing with you the boundless cornucopia of recipe riches from the amazing country of Georgia – and this is a very popular variant of the national Georgian dish of Khachapuri!
Khachapuri (from ხაჭო xach’o “curds” + პური p’uri “bread”) is a traditional Georgian dish of cheese-filled bread. The bread is leavened and allowed to rise, and is shaped in various ways, usually with cheese in the middle and a crust which is ripped off and used to dip in the cheese.
The filling contains cheese (fresh or aged, most commonly sulguni), eggs and other ingredients. It is unquestionably Georgia’s national dish.
According to a 2009 survey, 88% of Georgians prefer khachapuri to pizza. It is more popular among men and older people.
As a Georgian staple food, the price of making khachapuri is used as a measure of inflation in different Georgian cities by the Khachapuri index, developed by the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University.
In a fascinating article on georgianjournal.ge:
Apart from traditional round Khacahpuri called Imeretian, prepared in Georgia’s Imereti region, each part of country has its own version of cheese bread, like cheese boat in Georgia’s Adjara Region.
Yet recently a shocking discovery has been made by Georgian researchers. To our surprise, another 83 types of khachapuri with various fillings have been discovered, that once again stresses the importance and rich history of this unique Georgian staple.
According to the researches who have been working for several months on this subject, 53 out of 83 pies, represent varieties of Khachapuri, while the rest is made of different fillings. The names of khachapuri varietis are as follows: “Bachula,” “Kotori,” “Ghomush” “Achash,” “Fetdviar”, etc.
These are several of the most distinctive types of khachapuri in Georgian food from different regions of Georgia:
- Imeretian (Imeruli) khachapuri, which is circular and probably the most common type.
- Ajarian (Acharuli/Adjaruli) khachapuri, in which the dough is formed into an open boat shape and the hot pie is topped with a raw egg and a pat of butter before serving.
- Mingrelian (Megruli) khachapuri, similar to Imeritian but with more cheese added on top.
- Achma, from Abkhazia, which has multiple layers and looks more like a sauceless lasagna.
- Gurian (Guruli) khachapuri has boiled eggs inside the dough and looks like a calzone. Arguably, it is not a type of khachapuri. Gurians make them for Christmas and call them simply ‘Christmas pie’. In the rest of Georgia, it is called ‘Gurian pie’.
- Ossetian (Osuri) khachapuri, which has potato, as well as cheese in its filling. It is commonly called Khabizgini.
- Svanuri khachapuri
- Rachuli khachapuri
- Penovani khachapuri is made with puff pastry dough, resulting in a flaky variety of the pie.
We are obviously focusing today on the Ajarian variant, which for the record makes one of the all-time great breakfasts of all time! The only real tricks in making this are getting the correct shape (see the pictures below from georgianrecipes.net):
The correct Georgian cheeses are impossible to find outside of Georgia, so I have given you effective substitutes – you can buy Bryndza cheese here. I’ve taken the liberty of making two important changes to the classic recipe: I use some classic Georgian herbs in the filling and 1 clove of grated garlic (Georgian garlic is the best in the world!). You can easily leave these out for the canonical recipe, Citizens!
Ajarian khachapuri is beloved all over Georgia and is – in the inestimable opinion of the Sagacious One – perhaps one of the best dishes from a pure comfort and flavor perspective you can find anywhere in the world! Truly, Georgians have every reason to be proud of their most well-known dish outside the country!
I have every confidence you will be blown away by this recipe! Consider enjoying it with some another delicious Georgian appetizer – pkhali!
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
The Hirshon Georgian Ajarian Khachapuri – აჭარული ხაჭაპური
- Total Time: 0 hours
- Dough (From a King Arthur Flour Recipe):
- 1 cup (8 ounces) milk, scalded
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder OR 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 3 1/4 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- For the filling:
- 3 organic AA eggs, separated
- 20 grams butter – TFD prefers Kerry brand from Ireland
- 100 grams of Sulguni cheese and 100 grams of Imeretian cheese (outside of Georgia, you can approximate the proper flavor and texture with 4 ounces of mozzarella, 1 1/2 ounces of grated bryndza cheese, 1 ounce of grated havarti and 1/2 ounce of finely-crumbled mountain gorgonzola, cabrales or stilton cheese
- Freshly-ground pepper
- 1 grated Georgian garlic clove (optional, TFD addition)
- 1 tbsp. mixed dried tarragon, basil and marjoram (optional, TFD addition)
- Red pepper flakes (optional TFD addition, but He prefers it)
- to garnish – a large pat of Irish butter and one of the separated eggs, yolk only
- Dough: Heat the butter and milk in a small saucepan, or in the microwave, till the butter has melted. Put the malt powder, coriander and salt in a medium-sized bowl, and pour the hot milk over them, stirring to combine and to dissolve the malt or sugar. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
- Add the instant yeast and flour to the milk mixture and stir to form a shaggy mass. Set this rough dough aside for 30 minutes.
- Knead the dough until it’s smooth — in a bread machine set on the dough cycle, about 2 minutes in a food processor, 6 to 8 minutes by electric stand mixer, or 8 to 10 minutes by hand. Put the dough in a greased bowl, turn it over to coat the entire surface, and cover the bowl. Let the dough rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until it increases in size by at least one-third.
- Grate the hard cheeses.
- Add the grated cheeses, non-grated cheese, ground pepper, optional dried herbs, optional garlic, one egg and butter to a mixing bowl.
- Mix the ingredients with a fork.
- Separate one egg yolk and stir in a dish. This will be used later to glaze the khachapuri.
- Knead the dough before using. Leave for 10 minutes and then make a flattish boat shape.
- Spread the cheese filling onto the middle of the dough.
- Fold the sides and ends of the dough, as in the picture above.
- Lightly dust a baking tray with flour (to stop the khachapuri sticking) and put the khachapuri in a pre-heated hot oven (ideally on a cornmeal-dusted pizza stone or pizza steel) for about 12 minutes at a high temperature.
- After 12 minutes take out the khachapuri, glaze the dough surface with the egg yolk.
- Bake for 3 minutes at a high temperature. Remove and let cool slightly.
- Serving: The Ajarian khachapuri is served hot and traditionally garnished with butter and a single egg yolk. The cheese filling, butter and egg are mixed together in front of your guests with a knife and fork and eaten together with little pieces of the bread part of the khachapuri. Enjoy with optional red pepper flakes.
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
- Category: Recipes
- Calories: 748.31 kcal
- Sugar: 6.53 g
- Sodium: 588.1 mg
- Fat: 35.64 g
- Saturated Fat: 19.96 g
- Trans Fat: 1.11 g
- Carbohydrates: 77.67 g
- Fiber: 3.46 g
- Protein: 28.36 g
- Cholesterol: 210.25 mg
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