Saturday, June 14, 2014

Imeretian Khachapuri from Georgia

This bread is incredibly easy to make and tastes delicious.  Really all it is is a round bread stuffed with cheese.  Perfect for barbecues.  You'll probably find it on menus in Russian restaurants as they took it on board when Georgia was a part of the Soviet Union.  My son, Tony Kedian, introduced me to this bread as it's served at the hotel he works at.
5 1/2 - 6 cups of flour
1 packet yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup luke-warm water
3/4 cup luke-warm milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cooking oil
Cheese filling
1 cup grated cheese
1 cup cream cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
Put the luke-warm water in a bowl and add the yeast, sugar and salt.  Stir until the yeast dissolves.  Add in the milk, one egg and the oil.  Put in the flour one cup at a time and mix it in until you have a soft ball of dough.  You might need a little more flour or you might need less.  You have to gauge this as you knead your dough.  It should not stick to your fingers when you knead it.  Cover the dough and let it rise for an hour.  Punch down the dough and knead it again.  You might need to add a little more flour.  Cover it and let it rise for another half an hour.  Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.  Put all your cheese filling ingredients into a bowl and mix together.  The Georgians use a special cheese called sulguni, however that might not be easily available.  Mozzarella works well as a substitute.  I tend to use whatever cheese I have in my fridge and it works well.
Take your dough and divide it into 2-3 balls.  Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface so that you have a circle the size of a large pizza.  Place some of the cheese mixture in the middle and spread it evenly over the dough, making sure you leave a cheese-free border around the edge of your circle.  Fold the dough over the cheese making folds as you would do if you were making a washing bundle.  Flip it over so that the pleated side is on the bottom.  Gently roll out the dough so that you have a circle the size of a medium pizza.  Make sure you don't press too hard otherwise your cheese filling will leak out.  You don't want that to happen, you want it to be fully encased with the dough.  Transfer the khachapuri to a greased baking sheet.  Take your remaining egg and make an egg wash and brush the top of your khachapuri so that it will be a golden brown colour when it bakes.  Pop it in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until it is golden brown.  Let it cool for about 5 minutes before serving.  This recipe makes 2-3 khachapuri, depending on the size of your circles.
Cindy Vine is a South African currently living and working in Kyiv in Ukraine. She is the author of Hush Baby, Defective, C U @ 8, Not Telling and The Case of Billy B. All her books are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format.


  1. Many tempting recipes here - and duly bookmarked!

    I have been looking for a long time for a really authentic recipe for Plov. I really want one as made in Khazakstan but I believe that it is also a favourite dish in the Ukraine as well. The one I had involved a leg of lamb (whole) cooked in a pot of rice, which absorbs the wonderful flavours. It also involved a special spice mix from Georgia (the name of which I have forgotten).

  2. I will do some research over here and see what I can find out for you Andrew!

  3. It may have been an herb/spice mix called khmeli suneli, ("dried spice"), which can include a variety of things but often has coriander, dill, blue fenugreek, parsley, and dried marigold.

  4. It would be great if these spice mixes were available in supermarkets as they sound incredible!