Sunday, June 10, 2012

Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread)

Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread)

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (a 1/4-oz package)
  • 7 tablespoons warm water (105–115°F)
  • 1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 lb Havarti cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1/4 lb salted mozzarella, coarsely grated
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
  1. Sprinkle yeast over warm water and stir in 1 tablespoon flour. Let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir together salt and remaining flour in a large bowl, then stir in egg and yeast mixture to form a dough.
  3. Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and turn to coat with flour, then knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form into a ball and dust with flour. Let dough rest in a bowl, covered with a damp cloth, punching down with a wet fist every hour, at least 2 hours and up to 3.
  4. Preheat oven to 500°F with rack in middle.
  5. Turn out dough onto floured pizza pan, turning to coat, then flatten with your fingers into a 7-inch disk.
  6. Toss together cheeses and press into a compact 3-inch ball with your hands. Place ball in middle of dough, then gather dough up around ball of cheese, squeezing excess dough into a topknot. Press down on topknot with a damp fist to press cheese out from center. Continue to flatten dough and distribute cheese evenly, pressing outward from center, until dough is an 11-inch disk.
  7. Cut a 6-inch X through top of dough to expose cheese. Bake until pale golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Brush surface of dough with butter and bake until golden and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes more.

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