This delicious Georgian cheesy bread boat is the epitome of comfort food! My version of adjaruli khachapuri is stuffed with spinach and, as is traditional, topped with an egg yolk that is then mixed together with the cheese filling before eating!
originally published 10.19.2019
Khachapuri (pronounced ha-cha-poor-ee) is a delicious cheese filled bread from Georgia. This version is far from traditional. I had to make do with the cheeses I could find and I added spinach to make it a bit healthier – well, to add a healthy element I guess I should say. Despite my adjustments, this cheesy bread is still super comforting and an indulgent treat, which to me are the key features of a good khachapuri!
dreams of khachapuri
I have been dreaming of khachapuri since I first encountered it at a Georgian restaurant in Czechia. With no such restaurants in Nebraska or Boston and Tbilisi an ocean away, it’s been years since I’ve had this savory treat. I’m usually not great with bread — that’s Viktor’s area of expertise — but I was inspired by the delicious khinkali (Georgian dumplings) he made a few months ago and I finally decided to try out my own Georgian-inspired recipe. It went better than I expected and it’s now one of my favorite recipes!
The type of khachapuri I’m making here is Adjarian or Adjaruli khachapuri, but there are actually so many different types of khachapuri! From Imeruli khachapuri (which more resembles a cheese-filled flatbread) to Ossetian khachapuri (which includes potatoes), I have quite a few types of cheesy bread on my list of things to try!
The dough for adjaruli khachapuri isn’t very difficult at all. This version is made with active dry yeast so it will need about 90 minutes of rising time, but putting it together goes quickly. The trickiest part is just adjusting the amount of flour until you have a dough that’s a bit sticky, yet easy enough to knead without sticking to your hands too much. Start with the recommended amount and add flour a few tablespoons at a time as necessary. Then just leave your dough to rise for about an hour, punch it down once, and leave to rise again for another half hour.
I would also suggest forming the boats on parchment paper so you can easily transfer them to a pan for baking. Because the dough is a bit sticky, it can be difficult to transfer them without something underneath.
the finishing touches!
A few minutes before your cheese-filled bread is finished cooking, take it out of the oven and make a well in the center. Add an egg yolk and then send your boat back to the oven to finish cooking — just 3-4 minutes more. Now it’s ready! Add a small slice of butter if you’d like and then stir the yolk and cheese together — this will ensure the yolk is fully cooked. Not sure how to eat it? Just start tearing off bits of bread and dip them into that glorious center of cheesy goodness!
And if you’re looking for more recipes full of cheesy goodness, make sure to check these out!
- baked goat cheese + bruschetta
- pastry wrapped baked brie with honey, figs and walnuts
- mashed potato croquettes with crab, prosciutto and gruyere + cilantro aioli
- chipotle pumpkin mac and cheese
- flour 3⅓ - 3⅔ c (400 g)
- salt 1 tsp
- lukewarm milk ¾ c (180 ml)
- warm water ¾ c (180 ml)
- active dry yeast 2 tsp (5 g)
- sugar 2 tsp (7 g)
- vegetable oil 2 tbsp
cheese and spinach filling
- vegetable oil 1 tbsp
- minced garlic 2 cloves
- fresh spinach 5 oz (150 g)
- shredded mozzarella 5 oz (150 g)
- crumbled feta 5 oz (150 g)
- ricotta 5 oz (150 g)
- eggs 3 yolks
- butter (optional) 1 tbsp
- Add the active dry yeast and sugar to the warm water. Let stand for 10 minutes or until foamy.
- Mix together the flour and salt in a separate bowl.
- Pour the water mixture over the dry ingredients and add the milk. Mix until the dough begins to form.
- Add the vegetable oil and continue kneading until smooth and elastic (about five minutes). Add flour a few more tablespoons at a time if needed. The dough will be a bit sticky, but shouldn't be sticking to your hands too much.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and set aside in a warm space for about one hour or until the dough doubles in size.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, push it dough several times with your hands. Cover and set aside for an additional 30 minutes.
cheese and spinach filling
- Heat the vegetable oil over medium-low heat in a large saute pan.
- Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
- Add the fresh spinach and a pinch of salt. Cook until the spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and set aside until the spinach is cool enough to handle. Drain and roughly chop.
- Combine the spinach with the shredded mozzarella, crumbled feta and ricotta. Mix well.
- Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
- Separate the dough into three equal portions.
- On parchment paper, roll out one portion of dough into an oval about ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. You can sprinkle a bit of flour on your rolling pin if needed.
- Sprinkle one-third of the cheese mixture onto the dough.
- Form the boat shape by rolling the longer sides over the cheese to form a boat. Then pinch and twist the shorter sides together.
- Repeat this process with the last two portions of dough.
- Transfer the parchment paper and khachapuri to a baking sheet and cook for 20-23 minutes.
- Remove from oven and make a well in each khachapuri. Add an egg yolk to each well and return to the oven for 3-4 minutes.
Garnish each khachapuri with a pat of butter and stir the mixture together before eating!
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