khachapuri update

go directly to the recipe

summary: making koulouria; my memory is fading; apparently khachapuri CAN be baked on the stovetop; reading our cookbooks and rediscovering Flatbreads & Flavors; bookmarked red bean filling;

Are you like me? Had you never heard of khachapuri?
-me, Conquering Runny-Yolk Phobia with Khachapuri (BBB January 2016), blog from OUR kitchen

I can’t believe it!!

koulouria I decided to make koulouria today and instead of getting Anissa Helou’s “Mediterranean Streetfood” from the shelf, I grabbed what I thought was the right book: Jeffrey Alford’s and Naomi Duguid’s “Flatbreads and Flavors”. I opened it to the bookmark expecting to see a picture of sesame rings. The book lay open nice and flat, clearly having been read. Several times. But instead of the sesame rings I thought I’d see, there was a recipe for “Georgian Cheese-Filled Quick Bread – emeruli khachapuri”!

And I said I’d never heard of khachapuri….

Khachapuri from Emerieti are famous throughout Georgia; they are the cheese breads most commonly made at home, quick and delicious. One evening in Tblisi, I was taught how to make [emeruli kachapuri] by Lianna, a friendly woman in her early forties, originally from the region of Emereti. […] As she baked them in the oven, Lianna explained that traditionally these were baked on a clay griddle, called a ketsi, over an open fire, though ketsi are now found only in rural areas.
– Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, “Georgian Cheese-Filled Quick Bread – emeruli khachapuri”, Flatbreads and Flavors, p.292

The filling based on Lianna’s recipe calls for a mixture of grated Mozzarella, crumbled feta, plain yoghurt and an egg. And the dough is basically a baking powder biscuit dough made with yoghurt instead of milk.

Here is how the emereti khachapuri is shaped. Personally, I can’t stop myself from glazing over when reading the instructions in “Flatbreads and Flavors” and it’s a shame that they don’t include a photo. Luckily, there are other instructions readily available….

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Keeping the remaining pieces covered with a cloth, work with one piece of dough at a time. Flatten the dough with the lightly floured palm of your hand. Then, either stretching the dough or using a small rolling pin, flatten it out to a round about 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of the cheese filling in the center of the dough. Pinch an edge of the dough between your thumb and forefinger and stretch it halfway over the filling to the center of the dough round. Then pinch the edge an eighth of a turn along form the first position and bring it to the center. Continue al the way around the circle, stretching the dough as you do so, and pleating it over the filling, until you have a dough-covered mound. Pinch the pleats closed, and then, with the lightly floured palm of your hand, gently press down on the top of the mound to flatten it. Turn the bread over and gently press down again on the other side. This will push the filling out into the edges of the bread; it should be about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick and 7 to 8 inches in diameter.
– Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, “Georgian Cheese-Filled Quick Bread – emeruli khachapuri”, Flatbreads and Flavors, p.293
Place half of the filling in the middle of the dough circle, bring the edges of the dough together and pinch them to form a sack enclosing the filling. Flatten the sac with your fingers to make a disc. Using the dough pin, gently roll the disc into a 12- inch circle so that the filling is evenly distributed inside the dough “envelope”.
-Marinag, Stovetop Georgian Cheese Bread (Khachapuri), Epicurious

Surprisingly, Duguid and Alford don’t outline how to bake khachapuri on the stovetop. But. All is not lost. (Don’t you love the internet?) There are instructions for how to cook these on the stove at epicurious:

Heat a 12-inch heavy non-stick pan on medium heat. Gently transfer the pie seam-side down onto heated pan, and cook covered for about 5 minutes, or until nicely browned. Flip over and cook uncovered for another 3-4 minutes. Transfer onto a wooden cutting board and lightly butter the top of the hot pie. Cover loosely with a paper towel. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before cutting. You can use a pizza cutter to make 4-8 slices. Repeat with the remaining dough and cheese.
-Marinag, Stovetop Georgian Cheese Bread (Khachapuri), Epicurious

Interestingly, the Epicurious recipe calls for pizza dough instead of making a quickbread for the dough.

aloo paratha And hey!! That’s yet another thing I had forgotten…. Rereading my post, I see that the baking method for stovetop khachapuri is not unsimilar to how we cooked potato stuffed parathas when the BBBabes made them in 2013! :-) (We still cook parathas this way; they’re delicious….)


Cooking Potato Stuffed Flatbread on the Stovetop

  1. tava Heat tava (or cast-iron skillet) to medium high heat.
  2. Spoon a small amount of potato filling into the center of the disc. Fold in the edges over top to enclose the potatoes entirely. Gently flatten it with the palm of your hand. Now, turn the filled disc over so that the thick part of dough is on the bottom. Roll it out to about 1/8 inch thick. Don’t worry if a little potato escapes.
  3. Put some salted butter on the hot tava. When it is sizzling and has the tiniest hint of golden brown, put the rolled paratha into the pan. As it is cooking, begin to roll out the next piece of dough.
  4. Turn the cooking paratha when it is golden brown on the bottom (about 4 minutes). Add a little more butter to the pan and continue cooking until the second side is golden brown (another 4 minutes or so). Place the cooked paratha on a rack in a warm oven. Do NOT stack the parathas. They’ll get soggy.
  5. Add butter as needed for the rest of the parathas.
  6. If you want to reheat the breads quickly before serving, place them on the hot tava for a few minutes.

I just remembered why I stuck the bookmark into ‘Flatbreads and Flavors’! Well… I sort of remember. I was going to make börek (I think) and thought I’d try using the red bean and sour plum filling on page 308 and also making some savoury börek by following this recipe:

Another version of this bread uses cooked small red beans as a filling. […] Fry 1 chopped clove of garlic in a little olive oil, then add 1 cup cooked red beans and fry over medium heat, stirring, for 5 minutes. Let cool, season with salt and pepper and some chopped fresh coriander, then use as a filling, following the same method as for the cheese filling.
– Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, “Georgian Cheese-Filled Quick Bread – emeruli khachapuri”, Flatbreads and Flavors, p.293

Remind me to try this! It sounds awfully good! So do red beans with sour plum sauce on page 308….


This entry was posted in baking, BBBabes, bookmarked, bread - yeasted & unyeasted, cookbooks, etc., posts with recipes on by .

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