Khachapuri: Traditional Georgian Cheese-Filled Bread Delight

Khachapuri: Traditional Georgian Cheese-Filled Bread Delight

Khachapuri is a famous Georgian dish, known for its deliciously soft dough filled with a rich, gooey mix of cheeses. This bread is comfort food at its best and can be enjoyed at any time of the day. The combination of melted cheese and golden-brown bread makes it an irresistible treat.

Ingredients:

For the dough:
– 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup warm milk
– 1/4 cup warm water
– 1 teaspoon sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 2 teaspoons dry yeast
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 egg (for brushing)

For the filling:
– 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
– 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
– 1 cup ricotta cheese
– 1 egg (optional, for additional richness)
– 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Instructions:

1. **Prepare the Dough:**
1. In a small bowl, combine the warm milk, warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil.
3. Mix until a dough forms. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5-7 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.

2. **Prepare the Filling:**
1. In a large bowl, combine the mozzarella, feta, ricotta, and the optional egg. Mix well until everything is evenly combined.

3. **Assemble the Khachapuri:**
1. Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C).
2. Punch down the risen dough and divide it into two equal parts.
3. Roll each piece into an oval shape about 1/4 inch thick.
4. Place the cheese filling in the center of the dough, leaving a border around the edges. Fold the edges over to create a boat shape, pinching the ends to seal them.
5. Transfer the boats to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
6. Brush the edges of the dough with beaten egg for a golden crust.

4. **Bake:**
1. Bake the khachapuri in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.
2. Remove from the oven and immediately brush the edges with melted butter.

5. **Serve:**
1. Khachapuri is best enjoyed fresh and hot out of the oven. Serve it as is or with a sunny-side-up egg cracked on top of the cheese before baking for added deliciousness.

**Enjoy your homemade Khachapuri, a true taste of Georgian culinary tradition!**