Traveling ‘The World’ for Cheesy Khachapuri
April 27th, 2010 by
Khachapuri is easy to make but takes time as the dough has to rise twice.

Khachapuri is easy to make but takes time as the dough has to rise twice.

One of the best ways to understand a people and their culture is through food, and the people at “The World” (a radio program produced by the BBC, PRI, and WGBH) understand that.

On their website I stumbled upon this recipe for a sweet bread stuffed with cheese. It was on the “Geo Quiz” page and it asked readers to guess the country on the Black Sea where khachapuri comes from.

Give up? It’s Georgia and it’s so popular there the government wants to trademark the recipe. After making it, I understand why. Its golden brown, sweet flaky crust, stuffed with a savory blend of hot cheese melts in your mouth. Served with salad or soup, it’s a very filling meal.

“The World” gave links to two recipes, one from MasterCook on the RecipeSource website and the other from Gourmet Magazine. Now usually I’d follow the Gourmet Magazine recipe as I’m a big fan of that now defunct publication, but I liked the sound of the MasterCook recipe better.

The dough fills a springform pan nicely.

The dough fills a springform pan nicely.

The traditional recipe calls for a cheese called sulguni but it’s either too difficult or impossible to get in this part of the world, so both recipes suggest alternatives. The goal is to try and get a stringy cheese that is flavorful and a bit salty. The MasterCook recipe suggests using a combination of Muenster, Jarlsberg, and White Cheddar. The Gourmet Magazine recipe suggests using a combination of Mozzarella and Havarti.

I decided to use all five cheeses and it was a hit at the RootsLiving table tonight.

Since the recipe I used called for 24 ounces of cheese, I used about 5 oz. of each cheese.

Here’s the recipe I followed: Khachapuri from MasterCook . Give it a go and don’t be afraid to experiment with your own blend of cheeses.

I might do some more experimenting with stuffings for this dough. It was great to work with. It rolled out easily, was very soft, but not delicate.

The flavor of the dough is sweet and might lend itself to an appetizer or after-dinner delicacy. I’m imagining breaking the flaky crust with a fork to get to a gooey blend of figs and goat cheese or maybe adding tomatoes for a real Georgian pizza.

The RootsLiving kitchen could be busy for awhile with this one. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Find more recipes in the Food section.

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