Adjaruli Khachapuri Recipe: Georgian Cheese Boat


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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 an Adjaruli khachapuri 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. And if you’re wondering how to make this at home, you will also find that a traditional Adjaruli khachapuri recipe isn’t a difficult undertaking at all!

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 Adjarian khachapuri recipe is super easy to throw together and is sure to be an instant crowd pleaser!

What is Adjaruli Khachapuri?

Wondering what exactly Adjaruli khachapuri is? Well, it’s pretty simple. Khachapuri is one of the most famous dishes to come out of the country of Georgia. There are countless different styles found throughout the nation and lots of them are regional.

There is simple and hearty Imeruli khachapuri hailing from the Imereti region near Kutaisi or the cheese-topped Megruli khachapuri from the Samegrelo region. There is even the unique Guruli khachapuri which combines cheese and hard-boiled eggs. However, there is no cheese bread quite as iconic and picturesque as Adjaruli khachapuri.

Adjaruli Khachapuri
Adjaruli Khachapuri

Adjaruli khachapuri comes from the Adjara region of southwestern Georgia around the city of Batumi and is the version that most would associate with the word khachapuri. It’s also likely the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Georgian cuisine (with the possible exception of khinkali).

One of the most unique and recognisable dishes in Georgia, making this Adjaruli khachapuri recipe at home is not a difficult task in the slightest. So if you’re trying to recreate some Georgian flavours at home, you’re sure to love this recipe.

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. Keep in mind that you do need to give it about an hour to rise, so factor that into the time it takes to execute this Adjarian khachapuri recipe.

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 43°C (110°F). Don’t go 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. If it doesn’t, your yeast is dead and you shoudln’t continue with the recipe. Once your yeast has bloomed, whisk in one egg and about a tablespoon of neutral oil and set aside.

Mixing the khachapuri dough
Mixing the khachapuri 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 khachapuri dough
Kneading the khachapuri 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 Adjarian 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 of your khachapuri

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 your khachapuri for baking
Preparing your khachapuri 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

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

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.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 75ml (1/3 cup) warm milk, heated to 43°C or 110°F
  • 2g (1/2 teaspoon) active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 15ml (1 tablespoon) sunflower oil
  • 200g (7oz or 1 2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 8g (1 teaspoon) salt

Filling

  • 200g (7oz) Imeruli cheese,* grated
  • 150g (5.3oz) sulguni cheese,* grated
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 15g (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter

Instructions

Dough

  1. 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.
  2. After yeast has bloomed, whisk in egg and oil until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
  4. 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. Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and supple, about five minutes.
  5. 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

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F) and combine both cheeses together in a small bowl. Set aside
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 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.
  6. Remove from the oven, top with butter and serve immediately


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 Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 489Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 166mgSodium: 1446mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 21g

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

As you can see, this Adjaruli khachapuri 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 searching for an Adjarian khachapuri recipe? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments!

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Maggie is the creator behind No Frlils Kitchen. She is a home cook and world traveller 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.

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