Khachapuri Tarkhunit (Georgian Cheese Bread With Fresh Herbs)
Khachapuri tarkhunit (literally, "cheese bread with tarragon") is a filled bread common in the nation of Georgia. For our version, we also added a handful of fresh dill and a bit of ground coriander to the mild farmer's cheese base. Khachapuri tarkhuni is best enjoyed hot: tear off a piece of the fluffy crust to dunk into the herb-and-cheese well.
Yield: serves 4-6 people
For the dough
- 1 1⁄3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for greasing and brushing
- 2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 3⁄4 tsp. instant dry yeast
- 1⁄4 tsp. sugar
For the filling
- 2 1⁄2 cups shredded low-moisture mozzarella (10 oz.)
- 1 cup farmers cheese (8 oz.)
- 1⁄3 cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 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.
- Make the dough: In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add 2⁄3 cup tepid water, the flour, olive oil, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, the yeast, and the sugar..Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are completely hydrated, 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed slightly and mix until a smooth, wet dough forms, 3-4 minutes more.
- 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, herbs, coriander, and salt.
- 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 1 scant cup) over the dough leaving a 1⁄2-inch border. 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 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 golden brown and the cheese is melted, 16-18 minutes. Serve hot.