Georgian bread is a boat-shaped loaf filled with a delicious cheesy center. Make this Khachapuri recipe for a breakfast, snack or appetizer at any gathering.
What is Georgian bread?
Khachapuri is a Georgian staple that is essentially bread filled with cheese. It’s often compared to a cross between a simple pizza and naan. Each region of the country has its own version of the popular dish, and they vary widely in both the shape and ingredients used.
The most famous style of khachapuri comes from Adjara, which is a coastal region along the Black Sea.
Yeast dough is shaped into a thick crust, then filled with a blend of melted cheeses and a baked egg with a velvety, liquid center. Then, the golden brown crust can be torn off and used to dip into the filling in the middle.
Sulguni, a salty cheese similar to mozzarella, is what is most commonly used. Occasionally, a tangier cheese called imeruli is also blended in.
Because both are hard to find in the US, a blend of mozzarella and feta is a good substitute to create a similar flavor.
INGREDIENT NOTES & SUBSTITUTIONS
Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Instant dry yeast - This saves time since it doesn’t have to proof first. Instead, you can add it directly to the dough ingredients before letting the dough rise. For active dry yeast, dissolve in warm water first, then add 10-15 minutes to the rise time.
- Mozzarella cheese - Use low moisture cheese and shred your own. Bagged shreds have a preservative with a waxy texture that prevents them from melting properly.
- Feta cheese - Crumbled feta will be easier to mix with the mozzarella, so be sure to break off smaller pieces if your feta comes in a block.
Making the Khachapuri recipe
It may seem daunting at first, but this Georgian cheese bread is actually quite easy to make!
Make the dough
- Mix the dough ingredients together in a stand mixer with a dough hook.
- Start on low until everything is just combined.
- Then, increase the speed until the dough is smooth and wet.
Let it rise
- Transfer to a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Place in a warm spot (like an empty microwave) until the dough has doubled in size.
Mix the filling and heat the pizza stone
- Just before the dough is done rising, mix together the cheeses until well combined.
- Place the stone in a cold oven, then preheat to 500°F.
Form the cheese boat
- Shape one piece of dough into a large circle, then spread some of the cheese mixture into the center.
- Gently roll and pinch each end to form a handle shape before adding more cheese to the center. Repeat the process with the other piece of dough.
- Then, let both rest, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.
- Brush the dough edges with oil, then transfer to the hot pizza stone in the oven.
- Cook for about 15 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
- Remove and make an indent in the cheese with the end of a glass.
- Crack an egg into the center of each without breaking the yolk.
- Place the Georgian bread back in the oven and bake for a few more minutes, just until the egg whites are set.
- Remove and transfer to a platter or serving board.
- Sprinkle fresh, chopped parsley over the top of each Georgian cheese boat.
- Tear off the bread edges and dip into the egg and cheese center.
- Wash it down drinking this refreshing Pomegranate Rosemary Drink.
- Serve this along side this Feta Cheese Spread - Tyrokafteri for extra dipping.
Georgian Cheese Bread
For the dough
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp instant dry yeast
- ¼ tsp sugar
For the Filling
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese (See Note 1)
- 1 ¼ cups crumbled feta cheese (See Note 2)
- 2 large eggs
- parsley chopped
For the dough
- Grease a large bowl with olive oil and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, oil, salt, yeast, sugar and 2⁄3 cup tepid water. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients come together, about 2-3 minutes. Next increase speed and mix until a smooth, wet dough comes together, about 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place until the dough is doubled in size, 1 hour (See Note 3).
For the filling
- Combine the cheeses, mixing well, in a large bowl and set aside.
- Place a pizza stone in the center of the oven and preheat to 500°F.
- Pour the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into two round pieces. Cover the pieces loosely with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.
- On a lightly floured pizza peel or overturned baking sheet, roll one dough piece into a 10 inch circle about 1⁄8" thick. Spread a quarter of the cheese mixture in center of the dough, leaving a 1⁄2" border all around. On one side of the circle, gently roll the dough about a third of the way toward the center. Repeat on the opposite side, leaving a 3" wide center space between the two rolls. Pinch the narrow ends of the rolls together and twist to seal. This creates the Khachapuri's boat shape. Top cheese center with another quarter of the cheese mixture, pressing down lightly.
- Repeat with remaining dough and cheese. Set the khachapuri aside, uncovered, for 15 minutes, until both are slightly puffed.
- Brush the edges of each khachapuri lightly with olive oil, then slide the breads onto the hot pizza stone, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Bake until lightly golden brown and the cheese is melted, 14-16 minutes. Remove from oven and gently press to make an indent in center of cheese (See Note 4) and crack 1 egg into the center of each boat, keeping yolks intact. Return to the oven and continue cooking until the egg whites are just set, 3–4 minutes.
- Remove the breads, top with a sprinkle of parsley and serve hot. Break bread apart and dunk into the egg and melted cheese.
- About 12 ounces shredded low moisture mozzarella cheese.
- About 8 ounces crumbled feta cheese.
- Rising Dough Tip: I often times put mine in the microwave, close the door and let it be OR another trick is to turn your EMPTY dryer on for 2-3 minutes to heat it up. When stopped and heated up, carefully place the covered bowl of dough in and close the door. DO NOT turn the dryer on again! It works like a charm.
- To make indentation for egg: I use metal ¼ cup measuring cup or small end of a glass.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.