Give me life, Khachapuri
by Scotty Irani
Happy Easter and to that a belated happy spring to all of you.
When I think of Easter, my mind goes directly to eggs. Well actually it goes to chocolate, and then to chocolate eggs and finally…eggs.
Eggs symbolize fertility and birth. They have a symbol of new life and of spring for many cultures around the world. For our purposes this month, make up a wonderful recipe that you can use in an Easter brunch or lunch.
The Georgian (the country/ former Russian state Georgia) go-to food Khachapuri is a delicious bread boat filled with savory cheese and a soft baked egg on top just waiting to be devoured. Pulling off pieces of the bread and gooey cheese then dunking into the center of the soft egg yolk…gives me life.
I hope you enjoy my version of Khachapuri and wishing you a happy Easter/spring season.
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups grated Munster cheese
1 cup crumbled feta
4 tablespoons chopped garlic chive or green chive
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 or more large eggs to bake on the Khachapuri
1. Begin preheating your pizza stone (if you have one) in a 500-degree oven. If not prepare a flat cookie/sheet pan. Combine the water, butter and milk, and begin heating. Let the mixture cool to around 100 degrees.
2. In a bowl combine the yeast and sugar, along with a bit of the warmed liquid. Stir to mix and add 4 tablespoons of your flour to get the ball rolling on the yeast. Set aside and let the mixture “bloom”.
3. In another bowl combine the shredded and crumbled cheeses. Add the chopped chive and hand toss to combine. Mix together the egg white and heavy cream, and pour that into the cheese. Mix again to completely moisten (ugh...that word), then set aside.
4. Once the yeast mixture is frothy add the rest of the milk/water solution and mix. Make a well in the center of your flour, and pour all of the liquid and yeast into the center. Start mixing in the flour, then when the dough starts coming together knead the dough inside the bowl; the dough should be soft and sticky. Add a little oil in the bowl to coat the bottom and prevent sticking. Cover the bowl with a damp warm dish towel and set the bowl in a warm place to rise.
5. Once doubled in size remove the dough to a floured surface. Cut the dough in half for larger Khachapuri, or in quarter for more individual size. Roll the pieces out into a circle, about 1/4 inch thick. fold in two opposing sides to form a border, and to shape the dough into a rectangle. Fill with a generous amount of cheese into the center and spread out to the side edges, leaving around 2 inches on the top and bottom. Bring the top and bottom sides together and pinch/twist the ends.
6. Brush the edges with an egg wash and transfer to the pizza stone in your oven… or on a prepared pan. Bake 14-16 minutes until golden brown and the cheese melts. Crack an egg in the center and place back in the oven to set and cook, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve up immediately. You want the bread and cheese to be warm and the egg runny for dipping.
Copyright 2017 The Gayly – April 10, 2017 @ 2 p.m.