Khachapuri is the national dish of Georgia. It is a cheese-bread that is the perfect snack, breakfast or lunch dish. Khachapuri is made of a simple yeasted dough, formed into a boat-shape, filled with cheese and topped with an egg and healthy pat of butter. It is typically eaten by tearing the bread and dipping it into the melted cheese and runny yolk. It can be made either as a closed bread, surrounding a cheesy filling or open-faced, with a runny egg. Georgian sulguni or imeretian cheese is traditionally used, but a mixture of farmer’s cheese, mozzarella and feta cheese is a great substitute. Can’t find farmer’s cheese? Try ricotta or a dry cottage cheese.
Khachapuri can be made into a personal sized dish or shared among friends. I love the display of an open-faced khachapuri and have made this recipe inspired by the many khachapuri I enjoyed while living in Europe. Made with a simple, garlicky butternut squash purée, this twist on a classic recipe is perfect for for brunch or on the go. Served warm, it’s the perfect comforting autumn dish.
For the dough:
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 package instant yeast (approximately 2 ¼ tsp)
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 ¼ cup milk, warmed
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ¾ cup butternut squash puree (recipe below)
- 1 cup farmer’s cheese
- ¾ cup mozzarella
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- 4 eggs
- parsley, chopped
For the butternut squash puree:
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- ½ tsp sea salt
- For the butternut puree: preheat the oven to 400°F.
- On a baking sheet, combine the butternut squash with olive oil and salt.
- Roast for 15 minutes. Add the garlic cloves, and roast for an additional 10 minutes, or until tender.
- Transfer to a food processor, and puree until smooth, adding vegetable stock, 1 Tbsp at a time, to blend. Set aside.
- For the dough: add the sugar, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the base of a stand mixer, mixing to combine. Add the milk. Attach the dough hook, and mix for 2-3 minutes, or until a dough begins to form. Add the oil.
- Mix on medium speed for 6-8 minutes, or until a soft dough forms.
- Transfer to a greased bowl. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled.
- For the cheese blend: in a medium bowl, combine the farmer’s cheese, mozzarella, and feta. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
- Punch the dough down to release air. Tip onto a floured surface and divide into four even pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a ball, and cover using a clean kitchen towel.
- Using a rolling pin, roll each piece into an approximately 12-inch oval.
- Gently roll both sides into the center, and pinch at the top and bottom to make a boat shape. Transfer to the lined tray and repeat with remaining dough. Fill each boat with 2-3 Tbsp butternut puree and ¼ -1/3 cup cheese.
- Cover, and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle the border with sesame seeds.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until they begin to brown.
- Crack an egg into the center of each boat, and bake for an additional 4-5 minutes, or until cooked. Top with chopped parsley if desired.