Adjaruli Khachapuri Recipe: Georgian Cheese Boat

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by Maggie Turansky


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You will be hard-pressed to find a Georgian dish more famous and well-known than Adjaruli khachapuri. This gooey cheese boat may be one of the most recognisable and iconic dishes in the Georgian lexicon.

Though there is far more to the country’s cuisine than this specific cheese bread (try chashushuli, satsivi or badrijani nigvzit, for example), many are eagerly searching for a recipe to recreate this Georgian delicacy at home.

Hailing from the Adjara region on the Black Sea, you can find this iteration of khachapuri all over the country of Georgia. A boat-shaped bread filled with molten cheese and then topped with a golden egg yolk and a generous pat of butter, this dish is certainly decadent and absolutely delicious.

Though there may be some traditional ingredients that can be hard to find outside of Georgia (namely the cheeses), there are substitutions that can be made and, other than that, this recipe is super easy to throw together and is sure to be an instant crowd pleaser!

Adjaruli Khachapuri
Adjaruli Khachapuri

How to Make Adjaruli Khachapuri

First things first, you’re going to need to make your khachapuri dough. This is a very simple yeasted dough that can be thrown together in just a few minutes and is the same type of dough I use in my Imeruli khachapuri and my Megruli khachapuri.

Start off with blooming your yeast. In a small saucepan or in short bursts in the microwave (no more than five seconds at a time — you don’t want to scald the milk!), heat your milk to about 40°C (102°F). Don’t go too much higher than this or you risk killing your yeast. Pour the milk into a small bowl and add your active dry yeast.

Whisk these together until the yeast is dissolved and set it aside for about five to ten minutes, just until the yeast is slightly puffed and very fragrant. It won’t foam up like crazy here because there is no sugar to feed it, but it will smell distinctively yeasty.

Mixing the dough
Mixing the dough

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your flour and salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in your wet ingredients. Using a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon, mix these together until a shaggy dough forms and all of the flour is incorporated into the wet ingredients.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead it until it is very smooth and supple, about five minutes or so.

Transfer your dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about one hour depending on the temperature of your room. If it’s chilly, it will take a bit longer, if it’s warm, it will be pretty quick.

Kneading the dough
Kneading the dough

While your dough is rising, go ahead and shred your cheese. If you can get your hands on it, use a mixture of sulguni and Imeruli cheese.

Sulguni is one of the most famous Georgian cheeses and is often available at Russian grocers if you have one in your area. Imeruli might be a bit more tricky to find, but a Russian or Eastern European grocery will likely be the place to look.

If you don’t have either of these things available to you, then use a mixture of low-moisture, whole milk mozzarella cheese for the sulguni and feta for the Imerulil. These are the closest substitutes to their Georgian counterparts and your final product will be roughly the same, albeit less salty.

Grating Georgian cheeses
Grating Georgian cheeses

Once your dough has risen, gently punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it out in a circle that is about 35 centimetres (14 inches) in diameter.

On either end of the circle (the side that is closest to you and the side furthest away), spoon about a tablespoonful of cheese in a line. Tightly roll the dough around the cheese until it reaches the middle of the circle. Repeat again with the other side of the dough until you have two parallel rolls of dough.

Forming your Adjarian Khachapuri
Forming your Khachapuri

Very tightly punch either end of the dough together into a point, ensuring that it is very tightly sealed. Now, gently pull the dough rolls apart to make a basin of dough surrounded by the cheese-filled crusts.

Pinching the ends of your khachapuri
Pinching the ends

Add your remaining cheese to this basin, making sure not to pack it down — this will prevent it from melting properly! Transfer the khachapuri to a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush the crusts with one beaten egg.

Preparing for baking
Preparing for baking

Move to a preheated 220°C (425°F) oven and bake until the khachapuri is lightly golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 12-15 minutes.

Pull the khachapuri from the oven and add one egg yolk to the centre of the cheese. Return to the oven and continue to bake just until the yolk is barely set but still runny, another couple of minutes.

Remove the khachapuri from the oven and top with a pat of unsalted butter. Serve immediately. Georgian’s eat Adjaruli khachapuri by hand and you really should, too!

Rip off a bit of the crust, use it to mix in the egg yolk and butter and get it completely soaked in the filling and dig in. You will not regret it!

Adjaruli Khachapuri

Adjaruli Khachapuri: Georgian Cheese Boat

This molten cheese bread is one of the most popular dishes in Georgian cuisine. Though it may look complicated and involved to make, the recipe is remarkably simple and sinfully delicious.
4.6 from 8 votes
Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients
 

Dough

  • 75 ml ( cup) warm milk heated to 40°C/102°F
  • 2 g (½ tsp) active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 200 g (1⅔ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 8 g (1 tsp) salt

Filling

  • 200 g (2 cups) Imeruli cheese grated (see note)
  • 150 g ( cups) Sulguni cheese grated (see note)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 15 g (1 tbsp) unsalted butter

Instructions
 

Dough

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together milk and yeast. Set aside and allow to bloom until lightly puffed and fragrant, about 5-10 minutes. After yeast has bloomed, whisk in egg and oil until well combined.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Pour flour mixture into the bowl with the yeast, milk and egg mixture. Using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, stir until all the flour is incorporated and a shaggy dough forms.
    Mixing the khachapuri dough
  • Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and supple, about five minutes.
    Kneading the khachapuri dough
  • Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic or a damp tea towel and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Assembly & Baking

  • Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F) and combine both cheeses together in a small bowl. Set aside.
    Grating Georgian cheeses
  • Gently deflate dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll until it reaches about 35 centimetres (14 inches) in diameter and 5 millimetres thick (about 1/4 inch).
    Rolling out the dough
  • Spoon tablespoon-full of cheese in a line at the top and bottom of the dough circle, leaving about 2 centimetres (1/2 inch) of dough along the edge. Tightly roll each side of dough to the middle of the circle until you have two parallel cheese-filled cylinders.
    Forming your Adjarian Khachapuri
  • Pinch both ends of the dough together, joining the cylinders at both ends and gently pull them apart in the middle, making an eye-shape and a wide middle. Fill middle with remaining cheese, taking care not to pack it down.
    Pinching the ends of your khachapuri
  • Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly beat one egg and brush on the dough using a pastry brush. Move to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.
    Preparing your khachapuri for baking
  • Place the egg yolk in the centre of the cheese and bake for a further 1-2 minutes, or until the yolk is barely set and the cheese is molten. Remove from the oven, top with butter and serve immediately
    Adjaruli Khachapuri

Video

Notes

If you cannot find Imeruli or sulguni cheese, substitute an equal amount of feta for Imeruli and low-moisture, whole milk mozzarella for the sulguni.

Nutrition

Calories: 528kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 174mg | Sodium: 1607mg | Potassium: 168mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 714IU | Vitamin C: 0.003mg | Calcium: 481mg | Iron: 3mg

Disclaimer: Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe or have questions?Click here to leave a comment!

As you can see, this recipe is not a difficult undertaking in the slightest. Using only a few ingredients and taking less than two hours all in, there is no reason not to make this iconic Georgian cheese boat!

Are you wondering how to make khachapuri Adjaruli? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments!

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Maggie is the creator behind No Frills Kitchen. She is a world traveller, home cook and recipe developer who loves to experiment with new cuisines and techniques at every chance she gets. No stranger to improvising and making do with the equipment and ingredients she has available, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. Read More

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