Khachapuri (Хачапури)

Khachapuri (Хачапури)

Khachapauri (Хачапури) a Georgian cheese pastryKhachapuri is a Georgian bread, small pie, or pastry filled or coated with a lot of cheese. Khachapuri comes in several shapes, and there are many recipes depending on the region of origin. Some khachapuri are open-faced pies such as personal-sized pizzas, either round or boat-shaped. Those are often topped with a raw egg after baking. There are pita-like khachapuri with all the cheese inside or with cheese both inside and on the outside. There are khachapuri made of layered dough. Some sources suggest layered-dough khachapuri comes from Abkhazia. Layered khachapuri baked as individual pastries are popular as street food in Russian neighborhoods in the US. They are similar to another Georgian khachapuri-like dish, achma (ачма). With all the eggs, cheese, and butter, khachapuri is unlikely to be considered a healthy meal by modern-day diet gurus. Nevertheless many Georgians live long and healthy lives.

In contrast to most dishes published here, khachapuri’s authentic flavor is hard to replicate. Doing so would require access to specialty cheeses such as Suluguni or Imeritan rarely available outside Georgia. This is not to say that a cheese pastry or pie styled after khachapuri but filled with a different type of cheese can’t be delicious. Making a dish inspired by khachapuri is well worth a try. Here we offer an achma-like recipe that requires briefly dipping some of the layers of dough into boiling water. If you find that step too cumbersome or even dangerous, you can skip it but be sure to butter the dough layers so they don’t stick together.

If you are going to scald the dough as this recipe suggests, get two deep and wide pans ready: one with boiling water and one with cold water. You will also need a deep baking or roasting pan, or a lasagna dish with vertical walls (not slanted walls you find in cheap disposable ones made of aluminum foil).

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 9 cups all-purpose wheat flour approximately
  • 2 lbs. mozzarella cheese (you can experiment with types of cheese)
  • ½ – 1 lb. crumbled feta cheese (depending on how salty you want khachapuri to be and if you can’t find Georgian cheeses)
  • ½ lb sour cream
  • 1 lbs. butter (4 sticks)

Directions

Make the Dough

  1. Lightly beat the eggs.
  2. Combine the eggs, water, salt, and half the flour, and mix well.
  3. Knead adding flour until the dough is elastic and doesn’t stick to hands.
  4. Knead in another ½ cup of flour just to be sure.
  5. Put the dough in a container, cover with a moist paper towel and a lid. Let stand for about 30 minutes to an hour.

 

Make the Filling

  1. Coarsely grate the mozzarella (you can buy grated mozzarella if you enjoy all the extra cellulose or silica powder that is added to prevent caking).
  2. Mix the grated mozzarella, feta cheese, and sour cream. Set aside.

 

Assemble the Pie

  1. Melt the butter. It can be warm but should not be hot.
  2. Divide the dough into 9 portions. Two of the portions should be about 20% larger than the rest. The remaining 7 portions should be equal size.
  3. Get the pan with boiling and cold water ready. Have paper or regular clean towels on hand.
  4. Generously grease the baking pan with melted butter.
  5. On a work surface dusted with flour, roll out one of the two larger portions of the dough. The sheet should be large enough to cover the bottom and the walls of the baking pan, and about an inch higher than the edges.
  6. Line the baking pan with the first sheet of dough as described above. Let the extra dough hang off the sides (you’ll fold it over later near the end).
  7. Generously butter the surface of the first layer of dough inside the baking pan but without flooding it.
    Roll out the second sheet of dough from one of the seven smaller portions. It should be very thin and larger than the baking pan.
  8. Using large spatulas or wooden paddle, dip the sheet of dough into the boiling water for about 10-15 seconds trying to prevent it from clumping together.
  9. Take it out of the pan and let the water run off. You can do that using a colander.
  10. Transfer the scalded dough sheet into cold water for a few seconds, and then take it out and also let the water run off.
  11. Pat dry with a towel.
  12. Although it’s important to try to avoid ripping the dough sheet, some tears in the inside layers are acceptable. Avoid ripping the outside layers.
  13. Place the scalded dough sheet into the baking pan. Since it will be larger than the pan, fit it inside by making ripples and folds where necessary; make sure those ripples are distributed more or less evenly.
  14. Generously butter the layer.
  15. Repeat the steps for the third layer
  16. After buttering the third layer, evenly spread half of the cheese mix.
  17. Add layers four, five, and six using the same process as in layers two and three.
  18. Evenly spread the remaining cheese mix.
  19. Add layers seven and eight the same way as the previous scalded layers. Do not forget to butter each layer generously including the top of the eighth layer.
  20. You can now discard the boiling water. The final layer is not scalded unless you are confident you can scald it without tearing.
  21. In that case, you can scald the final layer as well (or even the first layer next time).
  22. Fold the edges of the first (bottom) sheet that were left hanging earlier over the eighth layer. Butter the folder portion.
  23. Roll out the final piece of the dough (one of the two initial larger ones). It should be able to cover the top AND the sides of the baking pan.
  24. Cover the top of your pie with the last layer, butter it, and then carefully tuck the extra dough around the edges all the way to the bottom. You can use the back or even the handle of a plastic knife.
  25. Keep your khachapuri (or strictly speaking, achma) in a fridge for a few hours or even overnight if necessary. It should be baked right before serving, so you can prepare everything in advance and put it in the oven at the right moment.

 

Bake

  1. Before baking, cut a grid through all the layers with a sharp knife to make squares the size of individual servings.
  2. Bake at about 350°F -375°F until a golden crust forms. Don’t keep it in the oven longer than necessary or it’ll come out dry and too flaky.
  3. Serve hot right after baking after dividing it into portions along the previously cut lines.

Khachapuri (Хачапури)
Recipe Type: Pastry, Entree, Bread
Author: Russian Recipe Book
Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 2 hours 30 mins
Serves: 10
Khachapuri is a Georgian cheese-filled pastry or bread. There are many versions of this dish. This recipe is for making khachapuri from layered dough. It is also known as achma.
Ingredients
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 9 cups all-purpose wheat flour approximately
  • 2 lbs. mozzarella cheese (you can experiment with types of cheese)
  • ½ – 1 lb. crumbled feta cheese (depending on how salty you want khachapuri to be and if you can’t find Georgian cheeses)
  • ½ lb sour cream
  • 1 lbs. butter (4 sticks)
Instructions
  1. Make the dough:
  2. Lightly beat the eggs.
  3. Combine the eggs, water, salt, and half the flour, and mix well.
  4. Knead adding flour until the dough is elastic and doesn’t stick to hands.
  5. Knead in another ½ cup of flour just to be sure.
  6. Put the dough in a container, cover with a moist paper towel and a lid. Let stand for about 30 minutes to an hour.
  7. Make the filling:
  8. Coarsely grate the mozzarella (you can buy grated mozzarella if you enjoy all the extra cellulose or silica powder that is added to prevent caking).
  9. Mix the grated mozzarella, feta cheese, and sour cream. Set aside.
  10. Assemble the pie:
  11. Melt the butter. It can be warm but should not be hot.
  12. Divide the dough into 9 portions. Two of the portions should be about 20% larger than the rest. The remaining 7 portions should be equal size.
  13. Get the pan with boiling and cold water ready. Have paper or regular clean towels on hand.
  14. Generously grease the baking pan with melted butter.
  15. On a work surface dusted with flour, roll out one of the two larger portions of the dough. The sheet should be large enough to cover the bottom and the walls of the baking pan, and about an inch higher than the edges.
  16. Line the baking pan with the first sheet of dough as described above. Let the extra dough hang off the sides (you’ll fold it over later near the end).
  17. Generously butter the surface of the first layer of dough inside the baking pan but without flooding it.
  18. Roll out the second sheet of dough from one of the seven smaller portions. It should be very thin and larger than the baking pan.
  19. Using large spatulas or wooden paddle, dip the sheet of dough into the boiling water for about 10-15 seconds trying to prevent it from clumping together.
  20. Take it out of the pan and let the water run off. You can do that using a colander.
  21. Transfer the scalded dough sheet into cold water for a few seconds, and then take it out and also let the water run off.
  22. Pat dry with a towel.
  23. Although it’s important to try to avoid ripping the dough sheet, some tears in the inside layers are acceptable. Avoid ripping the outside layers.
  24. Place the scalded dough sheet into the baking pan. Since it will be larger than the pan, fit it inside by making ripples and folds where necessary; make sure those ripples are distributed more or less evenly.
  25. Generously butter the layer.
  26. Repeat the steps for the third layer
  27. After buttering the third layer, evenly spread half of the cheese mix.
  28. Add layers four, five, and six using the same process as in layers two and three.
  29. Evenly spread the remaining cheese mix.
  30. Add layers seven and eight the same way as the previous scalded layers. Do not forget to butter each layer generously including the top of the eighth layer.
  31. You can now discard the boiling water. The final layer is not scalded unless you are confident you can scald it without tearing. In that case, you can scald the final layer as well (or even the first layer next time).
  32. Fold the edges of the first (bottom) sheet that were left hanging earlier over the eighth layer. Butter the folder portion.
  33. Roll out the final piece of the dough (one of the two initial larger ones). It should be able to cover the top AND the sides of the baking pan.
  34. Cover the top of your pie with the last layer, butter it, and then carefully tuck the extra dough around the edges all the way to the bottom. You can use the back or even the handle of a plastic knife.
  35. Keep your khachapuri (or strictly speaking, achma) in a fridge for a few hours or even overnight if necessary. It should be baked right before serving, so you can prepare everything in advance and put it in the oven at the right moment.
  36. Bake:
  37. Before baking, cut a grid through all the layers with a sharp knife to make squares the size of individual servings.
  38. Bake at about 350°F -375°F until a golden crust forms. Don’t keep it in the oven longer than necessary or it’ll come out dry and too flaky.
  39. Serve hot right after baking after dividing it into portions along the previously cut lines.

Russian name: Хачапури

Хачапури

Georgian cheese Suluguni, smoked, US-made

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*