RECIPES:
Nov 1, 2021

Georgian Cheese Bread Boat (Adjaruli Khachapuri)

Prep Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Georgian cheese bread boats, khachapuri, are a traditional Georgian dish where dough is molded and filled with a mixture of cheese, eggs and other fillings. The crust of the bread is torn off and dipped into the hot, gooey cheesy mixture.

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The stuffed, cheese filled bread is similar to pizza dough or naan and while Khachapuri is a catch-all term for the bread boats there are a few different types. While the boat-like oblong shapes are the most well-known, they can be round or square. 

The bread boats are always filled with cheese (typically cows milk though it is sometimes mixed with feta) and add-ons can include an egg, pats of butter, bitter greens or boiled potatoes. Adjaruli khachapuri, topped with an egg, is often served for breakfast though it really can be enjoyed on any occasion and is the trendy one you see all over your Instagram feed. Imeruli khachapuri is a flatbread stuffed with cheese. 

Georgian Cheese Bread Boat (Adjaruli Khachapuri)

Georgian Food Recipe

More About Georgian Food

Formerly part of the Soviet Union, Georgia is located at the the border of Eastern Europe and Asia and is influenced by both areas. It’s a small country – smaller than Ireland. Khachapuri is the official dish of Georgia though the country is also known for wine-making and its cuisine features lots of meat, cheese and bread.

While there are plenty of Georgian restaurants in New York, I recommend Cheeseboat in Williamsburg, while Bay Ridge boasts many others. 

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Dough – The yeasted dough is made with a simple combination of flour, oil, salt, sugar and yeast. 
  • Cheese – Georgians use tangy Imeruli cheese, a crumbly cow’s milk cheese, and Sulguni which is better for melting and becomes more elastic. The cheeses are used on their own or combined for a funky, melty center. Based on availability, I substitute cheeses that are more readily available in the US – a combination of part-skim mozzarella and feta cheese with a bit of ricotta for moisture. 
  • Egg – An egg is cracked on top of the cheese just before serving, letting the molten cheese partially cook the egg. It can also be placed back in the oven after the egg is cracked, cooking the bread until the whites just set, about an additional 3 minutes.
  • Butter – A few pats of butter are added just prior to serving. The runny egg and butter is stirred into the cheese mixture as the khachapuri is eaten. 
How to Make Georgian Cheese Bread Boat

Instructions for How to Make Georgian Cheese Bread Boat

For the Dough:

Step 1:

Make the dough. Add the flour, sugar, yeast and salt to the bowl of a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Turn the mixer on to combine. Then add the olive oil and ¾ cup of warm water.

Step 2.

Knead the dough. Continue to mix until the ingredients form a shaggy dough. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth, about 4 minutes.

Step 3:

Let the dough rise. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and then cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.

For the Filling:

Step 1:

Heat oven. Place a pizza stone in the oven on the bottom rack and then heat the oven to 500ºF.

Step 2:

Roll out the dough. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Divide it in half. Press and stretch then roll each half of the dough into a 13” oval and place on a piece of parchment paper.

Step 3:

Shape the boat. Working one at a time, roll the long ends of the dough towards the middle, pinching and pressing the dough to form walled sides. Then pinch the short ends of the dough together on either side to form a boat.

Step 4:

Make the filling. In a food processor or small mixing bowl combine together the cheese mixture.

Step 5:

Divide cheese. Divide the cheese mixture between the two cheese boats.

Step 6:

Let rise. Cover the khachapuri with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place.

Step 7:

Brush with egg wash. In a small bowl whisk one of the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash.

Step 8:

Bake. Working one at a time, use a pizza peel to move the bread boats to the oven. Bake until the edges of the dough are golden brown and the cheese has melted.

Step 9:

Add egg. Crack an egg into a ramekin, discarding the whites. Use a spoon to press a well into the center of the cheese. Carefully add an egg yolk into the center of the khachapuri and add pats of butter. Repeat with the remaining khachapuri.

Step 10:

Serve. Serve hot. To eat, use a fork to mix the egg yolk into the center, tear the bread from the sides and dip in the center.

Georgian Cheese Bread Boat Filling

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • If you don’t have a pizza stone I recommend using a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Because it will not be as hot, it may take a bit longer to cook. 
  • You can substitute store-bought pizza dough for the homemade dough in this recipe. Let it rise at room temperature and continue as noted in the instructions below. 

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions 

Why let the dough double in size?

It is important to let the dough rise because it allows the glutens to rest and the yeast to eat the sugar and produce gas bubbles. This will help the bread rise as it cooks. 

What if I don’t have a stand mixer?

You can easily make the dough by hand. Using a stand mixer takes some of the effort and legwork out of kneading the dough. 

Why should I put the pizza stone in the oven before turning it on?

Adding the pizza stone to the oven cold allows it to heat up as the oven heats. This helps it to retain heat and create a hotter surface for the dough to cook. 

Georgian Cheese Bread Boat Ingredients

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Georgian Cheese Bread Boat (Adjaruli Khachapuri)

Georgian Cheese Bread Boat (Adjaruli Khachapuri)
Print Pin
Prep Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional as needed

For the Filling:

  • 3 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 large eggs, divided
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into slices

Instructions:

For the Dough:

  • Add the flour, sugar, yeast and salt to the bowl of a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Turn the mixer on to combine. Add the olive oil and ¾ cup of warm water (about 90ºF to 110ºF – too hot and it will kill the yeast).
  • Continue to mix until the ingredients form a shaggy dough. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth, about 4 minutes.
  • Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and then cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.

For the Filling:

  • Place a pizza stone in the oven on the bottom rack and heat the oven to 500ºF.
  • Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Divide it in half. Press and stretch each half of the dough into a 13” oval and place on a piece of parchment paper.
  • Working one at a time, roll the long ends of the dough towards the middle, pinching and pressing the dough to form walled sides. Then pinch the short ends of the dough together on either side to form a boat.
  • In a small mixing bowl mix together the mozzarella, feta and ricotta cheeses until well combined. This can also be done quickly in a food processor.
  • Divide the cheese mixture between the two cheese boats.
  • Cover the khachapuri with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for an additional 20 minutes.
  • In a small bowl whisk one of the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash.
  • Working one at a time, use a pizza peel to move the bread boat to the oven on the pizza stone. Bake until the edges of the dough are golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 15 to 18 minutes minutes.
  • Crack an egg into a ramekin, discarding the whites. Use a spoon to press a well into the center of the cheese. Carefully add an egg yolk into the center of the khachapuri and add pats of butter. Repeat with the remaining khachapuri.
  • Serve hot. To eat, use a fork to mix the egg yolk into the center, tear the bread from the sides and dip in the center.

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