Like pizza to Italy so is khachapuri to Georgia. The literal translation of khachapuri is ‘cheese curd bread’, there are of course many iterations of this beloved national dish varying from region to region. We love the ‘little boat’ from the Black Sea, a vessel of cheesy, buttery goodness with a sunny egg yolk centre. We have diverged from the traditional a little, playing with additional flavours and serving with tzatziki and beetroot dips for an extra hit of flavour, with a refreshing, zesty fresh tomato salad on the side. An excellent satisfying dish for anytime of the day.
- 650g plain flour
- 10g dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 10ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
- 400ml lukewarm full fat milk (approx. 40˚C)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon nigella seeds
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped mixed with 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 300g mozzarella, grated
- 300g feta, crumbled (haloumi can be substituted for the feta)
- 200g gruyere, small dice
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
- 1 lemon, finely zested
- 2 teaspoons khmeli sumeli
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 medium eggs
- 90g salted butter, melted
- Handful small mint leaves
- 450g tomato, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 40g dukkah
- Squeeze lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons sumac
1. For the dough
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, and salt. Combine the egg and extra virgin olive oil with the warm milk. Make a well in the centre and gradually add the warm milk mix, bring together to form a dough. Cover and rest for 20 minutes.
Turn rested dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4 minutes until smooth. Lightly oil a clean bowl, put the dough in, cover and rest in a warm spot for 1 hour until double in size. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead again for 2 minutes. Return to the bowl, cover and rest for another 1-1.5 hours, until tripled in size.
2. For the filling
Combine the mozzarella, feta, gruyere, parsley, chives, lemon zest, khmeli sumeli and salt in a bowl. Adjust seasoning to taste.
3. For the tomato salad
In a small bowl combine the mint, tomato, red onion, dukkah, lemon juice and sumac. Season with a little finishing salt.
4. To assemble the khachapuri
Pre-heat the oven to 250˚C. Divide the dough into six equal pieces. Working one at a time on a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a rough oval (approx. 18 x 25cm). Spread with one sixth of the filling, leaving a 2.5cm border. Carefully roll the long sides of the dough to create a raised edge, pinching and twisting the ends to form a boat. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Brush the edges with egg wash and sprinkle with the sesame and nigella seed mix. Repeat with the remaining dough. Transfer to the pre-heated oven, reduce the heat to 200˚C and bake for 10 minutes. Remove breads from the oven, using the back of a spoon make an indent in the centre of the filling of each bread. Carefully crack an egg into the indentations, return to the oven for 5-6 minutes until the egg white has set but the yolk remains runny. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the melted butter.
Serve immediately with the beetroot dip, tzatziki, lemon wedges and tomato salad.
Note: Khmeli sumeli is a versatile spice mix from Georgia, a snapshot of regional flavours typical to Georgian cuisine. It can be used for cooking and seasoning. While not a traditional addition to khachapuri, it adds an extra layer of flavour. To make your own add 2 bay leaves, 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, 1 1/2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds, 1 tablespoon dried savory, 2 teaspoons dried dill and 1 teaspoon black peppercorns to a spice grinder and blitz until powdered.
As seen in summer 22/23