Lobiani Recipe: How to Make Georgian Red Bean Bread

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by Maggie Turansky


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Though certainly not as popular or well-known as its cheesy cousin, khachapuri, the Georgian bean-stuffed bread lobiani is one of the most common and tasty Georgian dishes out there.

A bit less indulgent than its cheese-filled counterparts (especially Adjaruli khachapuri), this lobiani recipe is an excellent way to experience a traditional Georgian dish in your own kitchen.

Though making a stuffed bread of any sort may seem daunting and working with yeast is something that can intimidate a lot of home cooks, making lobiani is a refreshingly straightforward process that requires only about 30 minutes of active prep and cooking time.

Delicious homemade lobiani
Delicious homemade lobiani

How to Make Lobiani

Though the bread is simple to make, there are a few steps involved that you need to master in order to get the best results possible.

The first step comes the night before you plan to make the lobiani, and that comes with soaking your beans. While you can use canned beans, you’re going to get better flavour (and have more control over your seasonings) if you use dried beans – it’s similar to my lobio recipe.

They’re not hard at all to make and you can cook them at the same time as your dough is rising.

It is helpful, however, to soak your beans for at least 8 hours before cooking them.

If you do forget to soak your beans, there is a workaround. Transfer your beans to a large pot, cover with a few centimetres of cool water and bring to a rolling boil for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to soak for at least an hour.

On cooking day, it’s time to make your dough, which is very simple and not something to be feared! First off, you need to bloom your yeast (if you’re using instant yeast rather than active dry yeast, this isn’t necessary). Dissolve your sugar and yeast into your milk (which should be heated to about 40°C or 102°F) and set aside for about 5-10 minutes, or until the yeast begins to foam up and activate.

Meanwhile, combine your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and crack in your egg before adding in your yeast and milk mixture and oil. Stir to combine until the flour is fully incorporated and a shaggy dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and cohesive, about five minutes. The dough should be soft and slightly tacky, but not too sticky.

If you find the dough to be too sticky, then just knead in a bit more flour — how much four you will eventually need depends widely on a number of variables, including the humidity in the air and even your particular brand of flour!

Kneading the dough
Kneading the dough

Once your dough is smooth and kneaded, transfer it to a large, clean, lightly oiled bowl (to prevent sticking), cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and set aside at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours, depending on how warm your home is.

Meanwhile, drain the beans from their soaking liquid, transfer them to a large saucepan and cover with about 5 centimetres (2 inches) of cool water. Liberally season with salt and bring to a simmer over low to medium-low heat.

Once the water begins to boil, you will likely notice a bit of white foam collecting of the top of the water — this is just a by-product of some impurities in the beans, go ahead and skim this off with a spoon. Cook the beans until tender, about 1-1.5 hours.

Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Drain the beans and transfer to a large bowl and then mash until smooth with a potato masher. Add the spices (in this case, dried savory, garlic, blue fenugreek, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste) and stir to combine. That’s your filling finished!

Mashed beans with spices
Mashed beans with spices

Once your dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out in a circular shape until the dough is about 5 millimetres (about 1/4 inch) thick.

Add your filling, compacted into a disk, to the centre of the dough, leaving about 8 centimetres (about 3 inches) of diameter surrounding it.

Putting the beans inside the dough
Putting the beans inside the dough

Fold the excess dough over the beans so that the filling is completely covered and, using your rolling pin, roll over the seams to completely seal it inside and to ensure that the dough is of even thickness throughout.

Roll your lobiani until it reaches about 25 centimetres in diameter (about 10 inches). Flip it over, so it is seam side down, and cut four small slits in the centre of the dough to allow steam to escape when baking.

Lobiani straight out of the oven
Lobiani straight out of the oven

Transfer the lobiani to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until cooked through, crispy, and lightly golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into wedges, like a pizza, and serve immediately.

The final product of this lobiani recipe

Lobiani: Georgian Bean Bread

This stuffed Georgian bread dish is a healthier cousin to the much-loved khachapuri. Simple to make and delicious to eat, it is sure to become a household favourite.
4.8 from 20 votes
Servings 4
Prep Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients
 

Dough

  • 75 ml ( cup) warm milk (about 40°C or 102°F)
  • 4 g (1 tsp) granulated sugar
  • 4 g (1 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 200 g (1⅔ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 8 g (1 tsp) salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

Filling

Instructions
 

Dough

  • Dissolve sugar in milk and stir in yeast until combined, set aside until foamy, about 5-10 minutes. Whisk flour and salt together in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and add egg, milk and yeast mixture and oil. Stir until combined and a shaggy dough forms.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead dough until smooth and slightly tacky, about five minutes, kneading in more flour if the dough is too sticky.
    Kneading the dough
  • Transfer dough into a large, clean, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and set aside at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, about 1-2 hours depending on how warm the room is.

Filling

  • Drain beans and transfer to a large bowl. With a potato masher, mash beans until smooth.
    Mashing the beans
  • Add butter, savory, blue fenugreek, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until well combined. Set aside.
    Mashed beans with spices

Assembly

  • Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and position a rack in centre of oven. Lightly deflate dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough in a circle until about 4-5 (1/4 inch) millimetres thick.
    Rolling out the dough
  • Place bean filling in the centre of the dough circle, leaving about 8 centimetres (3 inches) in diameter on all sides. Fold remaining dough over beans until the filling is completely covered by dough.
    Putting the beans inside the dough
  • Roll your rolling pin the dough over the beans, sealing it in and ensuring an even thickness of the crust. Roll out your lobiani until it reaches about 25 centimetres in diameter. Cut four 2.5 centimetre-long (1 inch) slits in the centre of the dough, for steam release.
    Formed lobiani ready to go in the oven
  • Transfer to oven for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned, crisp, and cooked through. Cut into wedges (like a pizza) and serve immediately.
    Lobiani straight out of the oven

Video

Notes

1. If you don’t want to soak the beans overnight you can use 1 (400g/14oz) can of red beans.
2. If you can’t find savory, then substitute with thyme. 

Nutrition

Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 807mg | Potassium: 813mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 456IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 5mg

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 traditional Georgian lobiani isn’t difficult at all to make and it is a much healthier option to indulgent (though delicious) khachapuri!

Are you interested in learning how to make lobiani? Have you had this Georgian red bean bread before? 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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