Home Ideas Make an Easy Khachapuri With Pre-made Pizza Dough

Make an Easy Khachapuri With Pre-made Pizza Dough

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Personally, I think any variation of bread and cheese is appropriate for most meals, but it usually functions like a snack, a partner dish, or an appetizer. Finally I’ve had a cheesy bread that feels like a meal—khachapuri. This brilliant Georgian dish is all the melty cheese you could dream of, surrounded by carbs. And with this pizza dough hack, you don’t even need to proof the bread for hours. 

What is khachapuri?

Khachapuri originated in Georgia (the country, not the state) and is so beloved, it’s Georgia’s national dish. This particular type of khachapuri is Adjarian khachapuri, named for the region of Georgia. The bread is shaped like a boat, and its passengers are a pool of cheese, an egg yolk or whole egg, and a pat of butter. This is a boat I’d like to be in. 

Cheat with pizza dough

Traditionally the bread portion is a yeast dough made from scratch in a fairly typical manner— knead, proof, deflate, shape, and proof again. Though I’ve seen recipes that may incorporate milk, sugar, or yogurt, many are simply composed of flour, liquid, yeast, and salt. Perfect. Your grocery store sells bread just like this and the hard part is done already. Grab a ball of pizza dough from the freezer section or the refrigerated aisle. We’re building a boat.

How to make khachapuri with pre-made pizza dough 

Two pieces of pizza dough on a sheet pan

Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

1. Stretch the dough

If you’re using frozen dough, you’ll need to thaw it first. I usually put it in the fridge overnight but if you’re short on time use this water bath method. Split the dough ball. A 20-ounce ball of dough can make four personal-sized khachapuris, or you can cut the dough in half for two big shareable ones.

Since the finished shape will be an oval, the dough should start in an oval too. The best way to do this is to shape the cut segments into dough balls. (Check out my video if you need a dough ball tutorial.) Now you can use a rolling pin—or use your hands if the dough is relaxed enough—to start stretching out the dough in one direction to get a flat oval. My store-bought dough was pre-rolled into a large circle (a luxury I seldom have), so I just cut it in half and stretched the center out a bit. Put the ovals on a parchment lined baking sheet, and cover it with a tea towel.

A mixture of cheese in a bowl
The cheese mixture should be thick.
Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

2. Make the cheese mixture

Besides the unique shape, the cheese mixture is khachapuri’s signature feature. In Georgia it’s common to use imeruli or sulguni cheese. The cheese melts, has a bit of stretch to it, a fine curd texture, and a pleasant tanginess. If those cheeses aren’t available or reasonably accessible you can use a cheese mixture that replicates their characteristics. I used a mixture of shredded mozzarella, muenster, ricotta, and feta cheeses. The next time I make it I think I’ll use more feta because I missed the tangy flavor. Mix the chopped or shredded cheeses in a bowl along with an egg, salt, pepper, and freshly chopped parsley if you like.

Khachapuri in different stages of shaping
Left: The dough is being shaped. Right: The dough is in boat shape.
Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

3. Fill the boats

Uncover the bread boats and split the cheese mixture evenly among them. Put the cheese mixture in the center and flatten it out in an oval shape, but leave a one or two-inch border of dough. Roll the edges of the dough up against the cheese center so the dough curls over the edges of the cheese slightly but don’t cover the mixture completely. Twist the ends to hold the shape. 

My boats had a lot of excess dough on the ends because of the pointed shape I started with. There’s no need to aim for that; just seal or twist the ends however it feels natural. 

Close-up of khachapuri

Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

4. Bake the khachapuri

Egg wash the dough edges and bake the boats in a preheated 375°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bread browns, and the cheese sets and begins to slightly puff on the edges. Take the khachapuri out of the oven. Use the back of a spoon to press a small divot into the cheese and drop a raw egg yolk into the depression. Add a pat of butter and serve it immediately. Alternatively, if you’re weirded out by raw egg, take the bread out of the oven halfway through the bake time, make a divot in the cheese, and drop a whole egg onto the bread. Return it to the oven to complete the bake time and cook the egg. 

The cheese should still be hot when you serve the bread. Use a fork to scramble up the cheese with the melted butter and egg yolk, so the yolk cooks in the residual heat and the mixture becomes thick and spreadable. Rip off chunks of the boat and make sure you pick up some of the cheese mixture from the center. 

Pizza dough cooked at this temperature stays soft and easily rippable, and this mixture of cheeses provides a nice balance of tangy, melty stretch. I have a feeling all the other variations of khachapuri are as good as this one, and I can’t wait to try them. I think I might need to get a cheese-only fridge.

Quick and Easy Khachapuri

Ingredients:

  • 1 ball of pre-made pizza dough (cut in half or quarters)

  • 1 egg

  • ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese

  • 1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella

  • ½ cup shredded muenster cheese

  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

  • Egg wash for the bread

  • 2-4 eggs or egg yolks (one per boat)

  • Pats of butter for finishing

1. Stretch out the dough balls, or roll them with a pin, until you have a long oval (about 14 inches long for half the dough, or eight inches long for personal size). Place the ovals on parchment lined baking sheets. Cover the dough with a tea towel and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the egg, cheeses, salt, pepper, and parsley together until well combined. 

3. Uncover the dough boats and divide the cheese mixture among them. Spread out the cheese mixture to fill the center, but leave a one to two-inch border all the way around. Roll the edges up to the cheese and have it curl over the filling a bit. Don’t cover the filling completely. Twist the ends to hold the shape. Repeat this with the other boats.

4. Egg wash the edges and bake the khachapuri breads for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bread browns and the cheese is melted and ever so slightly puffing around the edges. Use the back of a spoon to press an indent into the cheese and add a raw egg yolk. Add a pat of butter and immediately serve the boats piping hot. 

For cooked eggs, remove the khachapuri halfway through the cooking time. Press an indent into the cheese with a spoon and add a whole egg to each boat. Return them to the oven for the rest of the cooking time, until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Serve immediately.

Source: LifeHacker.com