Khachapuri is a Georgian bread, very similar to a Turkish pide, baked at a high temperature to form a crispy base with a herby cheese filling. Traditionally, an egg is added and baked until just set but still runny making this the perfect brunch meal but it can easily be omitted and the fillings substituted, mushrooms and tomatoes would make a perfect addition. The dough is a simple bread dough, which needs to be prepared in advance to allow for enough time to rise, about 1 hour.
Makes 6 large breads.
450g strong white bread flour
7g dried active yeast
1 tbsp sugar
320ml warm water
1 egg, beaten
For the Filling:
200g feta cheese, crumbled
100g cheddar cheese, grated
20g mint leaves, finely chopped
20g parsley leaves, finely chopped
200g baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
½ tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
50g butter, diced
6 free range eggs
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar and dried yeast. Add the warm water, stirring to incorporate all the flour until you have a shaggy dough. Then begin working with your hands to bring it all together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 8-10 minutes until you a have a smooth, shiny and elastic dough.
2. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
3. Prepare the filling by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl, apart from the eggs. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
4. Preheat the oven to 240C/220C fan and line 3 baking trays with greaseproof paper.
5. When the dough has risen and feels light and fluffy, give it a light punch, turn out onto a surface and knead it to press all the air out.
6. Divide the dough into 6 equal sized pieces, and roll them out into round boat shapes, about 3mm thick. Pinch the two ends together, then fold the edges over to form a crust.
7. Transfer onto the baking tray lined with greaseproof paper so you have two breads on each tray.
8. Spoon the filling into each bread and spread out so the base is evenly covered, leaving the folded crust. Place a few pieces of the diced butter into the cheese. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
9. Place into the preheated oven for 12 minutes, keeping an eye until the dough is cooked and the crust turns a golden colour.
10. Take the trays out the oven and working quickly, use a spoon to create an indented well in the centre of each khachapuri. Crack an egg into the well and return to the oven to bake for another 5-6 minutes. Cooking times may vary depending on your oven so keep a close watch. You want the egg whites to be just set but the yolk still runny. The egg white will finish cooking in the hot cheese. Remove the breads from the oven and season with flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper. If you prefer, use a fork to mix the egg into the hot cheese and serve immediately while still warm.