Khachapuri is a Georgian favourite. It’s the local tyropita, but with more fat. After suffering from the immense disappointment of learning that there is no Georgian deli to be had in London, meaning I have to fork out something like £7 for a khachapuri in a restaurant, and being sent a recipe for making it without proper Georgian ingredients, I decided to have a go at home for friends.
This is what it should look like:
Well, this is what it should look like:
Unfortunately, mine did not come out like either of these. Regrettably I lack the patience for all things bread-related, including the usual kneading-waiting-kneading fiasco that frankly I don’t have time for. I don’t really eat a lot of bread at the moment anyway, as at the ripe age of 20 I still cannot slice a loaf in a sensible manner but instead butcher it, turning it into some sort of violently angled modern art museum-reject piece submitted by a young idiot.
But khachapuri is more than bread. It’s bread with an added coronary risk, which is what makes it so appealing. It’s a dangerous bread. It’s the sort of toasted cheese sandwich that the devil eats when he’s feeling particularly treacherous. More importantly, khachapuri in Georgia is often regarded as a side-dish at the restaurant table; it’s something you order last, because you’ve just remembered it after listing off several varieties of grilled meats, pickled vegetables, eight dozen khinkali, and a vat of wine.
Anyway, here was my attempt at making it, relatively similar to the recipe provided except for the omission of several vital steps. But I couldn’t help but notice that it was consumed with gusto, two courses in to what turned out to be a rather extravagant four course dinner, and the leftovers have all mysteriously left my fridge some hours later. Alas, I don’t have a photo to accompany this time as it was hacked in to before I could whip out my iphone.
Plain flour – 400g-ish
Milk – a generous splash
Half a sachet of instant yeast
Mozarella – 150g
Feta – 180g
Welcome to how I cook. This is my advice: chuck all the dry ingredients in a bowl, add the wet ones, put it in the oven till it’s done and fucking eat it.
Not good enough? Fine. I shall provide some more guidance for the amateurs who need it.
Pop the flour, a spoon of sugar, salt and the yeast in a big bowl with a quick splash of oil and another one of warm water. Fling it around the inside of the bowl till it looks like it could be dough and then cover and leave for ten minutes.
When it’s started bubbling and getting bigger, add the milk and some more flour until you’ve formed a bit more dough, and then put that aside for an hour, covered, and let it rise. Doesn’t make sense? I know. Like I said, I don’t do bread, but whatever it was I made was delicious.
While the dough is rising, crumble up the cheese with the eggs and butter and mash together to form something that looks a bit like scrambled eggs. It would be prudent at this point to add some sort of seasoning, perhaps parsley or pesto (I like all my food to taste like pesto), otherwise it comes out a bit bland. Maybe powdered coriander even. Fuck it, no one from Georgia is going to know.
Once the dough is ready, convince it into a circular shape on a floured surface and then transfer it to a greaseproof paper lined tray. Then pour the cheese mixture in and fold the sides of the dough up and over it, leaving a little hole in the middle.
Cook it at 180 for about 30 minutes or until the top of the bread is crispy and there’s a delightful looking pool of fat floating on top of the cheese. Gagimardschoss!