Khachapuri: Georgian cheese-filled bread boats

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Khachapuri Georgian cheese bread

What is khachapuri? 

Khachapuri, specifically the Adjarian (Acharuli/Adjaruli) variation, is a boat-shaped bread filled to the brim with melted cheese and topped with a sunny side-up egg. It’s also known as a “cheese boat” or “cheeseboat.”

This nautical-shaped bread is said to have been invented by the Lazi, the indigenous people of the coastal regions of Georgia and Turkey. The bread is supposed to symbolize the boat, the cheese acts as the sea and the egg yolk represents the sun. (Yes, it’s a bit odd that the sea and the sun are inside the boat, but just go with it.)

Other variations of this Georgian bread include Imeretian/Imeruli khachapuri (cheese-filled discs of bread), Achma khachapuri (cheese bread assembled in layers similar to lasagna) and Penovani khachapuri (cheese bread structured like a calzone). All these styles of cheese-stuffed bread originated in the country of Georgia and are a popular type of street food and appetizer in many post-Soviet states including Armenia and Russia.

Where can I get khachapuri?  

This Georgian cheese-filled bread can be found at most Georgian restaurants.  However, if you’re specifically looking for the “cheese boat” version, make sure the restaurant specifically serves the Adjarian (Acharuli/Adjaruli) variation.  Here are some Georgian restaurants that serve various types of this bread.

Brooklyn, NY: Cheeseboat

photo: Cheeseboat on Facebook

San Diego, CA: Russian-Georgian Pomegranate Restaurant

photo: Russian-Georgian Pomegranate Restaurant on Facebook

Portland, OR: Kachka

photo: Kachka on Facebook

Washington D. C.: Compass Rose

photo: compassrosedc.com

Looking for more places that serve these Georgian cheese boats?  You can find them on Glutto right here.

How can I make khachapuri?  

Authentic Adjarian khachapuri can take over a couple hours to make from scratch.  However, here is a quick alternative recipe that takes less than an hour and is just as delicious if you’re too hungry to wait.

Khachapuri Georgian cheese bread

khachapuri (Georgian cheese boats)

Ingredients

  • 1 package pre-made raw dough (e.g. Trader Joe’s pizza dough)
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 1 1/2 cups feta cheese (crumbled)
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 4-6 large eggs (in shells)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • flour (to help form dough)

Instructions

  1. Open packaging of pre-made dough and let dough rest at room temperature for 30 mins
  2. Pre-heat oven at 450°F
  3. Mix the cheeses, yogurt, eggs and salt in a bowl
  4. Form “boats” according to the video below.
  5. Fill the “boats” with the cheese and egg mixture leaving enough room for an egg on top (don’t add egg yet)
  6. Crack open an egg and beat to create an egg wash; brush egg wash on edges of the cheese-filled “boats”
  7. Put “boats” in the oven for 15 mins (or until crust begins to brown)
  8. After removing the “boats” from the oven, use a spoon to create a dent in the center of the cheese; crack open an egg add add one to each dent
  9. Return “boats” to the oven for 6-8 minutes (or until golden brown)
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

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