This traditional Georgian cheese and egg bread is best eaten hot. Use a spoon to stir the yolk and butter into the molten cheese, then tear off a piece of fluffy crust to dunk into the cheesy well. Georgians typically make this savory pastry with a mixture of imeruli and sulguni cheese. We find that a blend of low moisture mozzarella and strong, tart feta gets you very close to the traditional version.
What You Will Need
For the dough
- 1 1⁄3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for greasing and brushin
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 3⁄4 tsp. instant dry yeast
- 1⁄4 tsp. sugar
For the filling
- 3 cups shredded low moisture mozzarella cheese (12 oz.)
- 1 1⁄4 cups crumbled feta cheese (8 oz.)
- 2 large eggs, or more as needed
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
- Place a pizza stone in the center of the oven and preheat to 500°F. Meanwhile, lightly oil a large bowl with olive oil and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine yeast, sugar, olive oil, and 2⁄3 cup tepid water, flour, and salt. Mix on 1st speed until the dry ingredients are completely hydrated, 2-3 minutes, then increase to second speed and mix until a smooth, wet dough comes together, 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl and cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap. Set in a warm place until the dough is almost doubled in size, 50-60 minutes.
- Make the filling: In a large bowl, combine the cheeses and set aside.
- Crack the eggs gently and drop each of them into a separate small bowl (if the yolks break, start over).
- On a lightly floured work surface, turn out the dough. Divide into two roughly 6-ounce piece and round each piece gently. Cover the pieces loosely with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.
- On a piece of lightly floured parchment paper, roll half of dough into a 10-inch circle about 1⁄8 inch thick. Spread a quarter of the cheese mixture (about 5 ounces) over the dough, leaving a 1⁄2-inch border all the way around. On one side of the circle, tightly roll the dough about a third of the way toward the center. Repeat on the opposite end, leaving a 2-3 inch wide space between the two rolls. Pinch the two narrow ends of the rolls together and twist twice to seal, making a boat shape; place another quarter of the cheese mixture in the middle, packing down lightly.
- Keeping the khachapuri atop the paper, gently slide onto a pizza peel or overturned baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and cheese. Set the khachapuri aside, uncovered, for 15 minutes, until slightly puffed.
- Just before baking, brush the edges of the khachapuri lightly with olive oil, then slide the breads atop the paper onto the stone, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Bake until the dough is lightly golden brown and the cheese is melted, 14-16 minutes. Open the oven door and gently pour 1 egg into the center of each boat, being careful not to bread the yolks. Close the oven and continue cooking until the egg whites are just set, 3–4 minutes.
- Remove the breads and divide the butter among the center of each loaf; serve hot.