Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Khachapuri | The Next Avocado Toast?

I was recently introduced to this dish after browsing an online image board. After seeing how it looked and what was in it, I had to bake it. Some research later and I had already gone off to buy the cheese.

If you can identify as one of the following, I recommend closing your browser now and looking at a different web page:
Vegan
Gluten intolerant
Lactose intolerant

What you may see may offend you. I deeply apologize that you will not get to enjoy eating this wonderful creation. With that out of the way, let's talk about this dish. Or click here to skip ahead on how to make it.

WHAT IS KHACHAPURI?

Khachapuri is a staple of Georgian Cuisine. The country Georgia, not the state, mind you. It's so important to their country that an economic institute modeled a cost of living index based off of the cost to make them. Think Big Mac economics if you're American.
There are many different regional variants to this dish, but from what I've researched, this recipe would be considered Adjarian, the region of Southwestern Georgia. From what I can tell also, the stuffing of the crust isn't something Georgians do traditionally either. But for us in the States, we absolutely love stuffed crust pizza! Logically we have to stuff our crust here when making it!
The cheese blend is a bit harder to track down here. In our recipe, we are using a blend of Feta, Mozzarella, and Monterey Jack. The traditional Georgian cheeses used are Sulguni and Imeretian. I have no idea where I would find either of these cheeses locally.

Speaking of finding things locally, I could only find two establishments that even sold Khachapuri in my metro area. That's a small market share. Even in areas with higher populations of Armenians (Glendale, CA), a quick search showed only 4 restaurants selling Khachapuri. There is a lot of untapped potential for Khachapuri in America.
Let's look at the economics of making these. Ideal as a consumer you'd want to get these served up straight out of the oven, like pizza. A bakery or restaurant could easily prepare a bunch of unbaked Khachapuri and toss them into the oven when ordered. Sure it would take about 10 - 15 min to cook, then top with the egg, but that's not much different timing wise from ordering pizza from an authentic establishment. I would rate this equivalent to making a calzone in terms of time required.
Now how about the ingredients? The most expensive part would be the cheese. With this recipe, it costs around $2.50-$3 in cheese to make each one, most of the cost being the Feta. A restaurant or bakery can get that much cheaper in bulk.

Will these catch on with the mainstream? It's possible. I'm sure that once enough Millennials are made aware that these exist, bakeries will start making them. The demand can be there, it just needs to be influenced. But for now, if you can't find a local place that makes them, here's the recipe to make your own.

GREAT HISTORY. SO HOW DO I MAKE ONE?

Here are the ingredients you need to make Khachapuri, as inspired by Chef John of Foodwishes. See the bottom of this article for printer friendly directions.

Adjarian Khachapuri
Dough:
2 cups of Flour
1/2 Cup of Milk
1/3 Cup of Water (warm)
2 Teaspoons of Olive Oil
1 1/2 Teaspoons of Salt
1 1/2 Teaspoons of White Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Yeast
Cheese Filling:
8 oz of Feta
4 oz of Mozzarella, low moisture
4 oz of Monterey Jack

Toppings:
2 Eggs
1 Tablespoon of Butter, divided in 4ths

Equipment:
Baking pans
Bowls
Mixing Spoon
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Parchment paper
Cutting board

1) Mix the milk, water, sugar, and yeast in a bowl. Mix together. Allow the yeast to start foaming (10 minutes)
2) Stir in the yeast mixture. Add in the olive oil, salt, and the flour to the bowl. Mix together until a dough is formed.

3) Turn the dough onto the floured surface and knead for a few minutes. In the other bowl, coat with olive oil. Place the dough into the bowl. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise (1 hour).



4) While the dough is rising, prepare the cheese mixture. Crumble/shred the cheese and mix together in a bowl.
5) Once the dough has risen (2x), preheat your oven to 475F. Punch down the dough. Divide the dough in two. Roll each piece onto a floured piece of parchment paper. Roll both halves out into a square, about 12 inches in each direction.
6) Create two lines of cheese along the longer length edge of each piece of dough, about 2 inches from the edge. Roll the sides of the dough over the cheese toward the middle. Roll the edges back toward the edge to form a cavity in the middle of the dough. Roll the ends of each side together. The dough wrapped cheese should resemble a canoe.


7) Fill the inner cavity with the remaining cheese mixture. Bake the Khachapuri for 10 - 15 minutes, until golden brown.
8) Remove the Khachapuri from the oven. Crack an egg into each of the inner cavities. Bake for an additional 3 minutes.

9) Remove the Khachapuri from the oven again. Place two pieces of butter into the center on each Khachapuri. Serve hot.
10) To eat, tear off pieces of dough and mix the egg in with the cheese. Enjoy!
11) If you have to save and reheat this, wrap in foil and place into a fridge. To reheat, you can either place into a warm toaster or oven for a few minutes. I've tried microwaving it covered with damp paper towels on 30% power for 4 min, followed by 30 seconds on full power. I would recommend toasting.

This has been my favorite dish I've made this year so far. I still have some cheese leftover, so I plan to make this again. Maybe I can use cheesecurds next time I make them. This dish is so versatile, I can see how it became a national staple.
I hope to have a video of how to bake this up on the Greens and Machines YouTube channel soon, so be sure to subscribe so you don't miss it when it goes live.

See more Recipes

Printer friendly recipe instructions:
Adjarian Khachapuri
Dough:
2 cups of Flour
1/2 Cup of Milk
1/3 Cup of Water (warm)
2 Teaspoons of Olive Oil
1 1/2 Teaspoons of Salt
1 1/2 Teaspoons of White Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Yeast
Cheese Filling:
8 oz of Feta
4 oz of Mozzarella, low moisture
4 oz of Monterey Jack
Toppings:
2 Eggs
1 Tablespoon of Butter, divided in 4ths

1) Mix the milk, water, sugar, and yeast in a bowl. Mix together. Allow the yeast to start foaming (10 minutes)
2) Stir in the yeast mixture. Add in the olive oil, salt, and the flour to the bowl. Mix together until a dough is formed.
3) Turn the dough onto the floured surface and knead for a few minutes. In the other bowl, coat with olive oil. Place the dough into the bowl. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise (1 hour).
4) While the dough is rising, prepare the cheese mixture. Crumble/shred the cheese and mix together in a bowl.
5) Once the dough has risen (2x), preheat your oven to 475F. Punch down the dough. Divide the dough in two. Roll each piece onto a floured piece of parchment paper. Roll both halves out into a square, about 12 inches in each direction.
6) Create two lines of cheese along the longer length edge of each piece of dough, about 2 inches from the edge. Roll the sides of the dough over the cheese toward the middle. Roll the edges back toward the edge to form a cavity in the middle of the dough. Roll the ends of each side together. The dough wrapped cheese should resemble a canoe.
7) Fill the inner cavity with the remaining cheese mixture. Bake the Khachapuri for 10 - 15 minutes, until golden brown.
8) Remove the Khachapuri from the oven. Crack an egg into each of the inner cavities. Bake for an additional 3 minutes.
9) Remove the Khachapuri from the oven again. Place two pieces of butter into the center on each Khachapuri. Serve hot.
10) To eat, tear off pieces of dough and mix the egg in with the cheese. Enjoy!

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