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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Baking Khachapuri from Georgia with a Sourdough Starter

Khachapuri is a cheese pastry/bread from Georgia. It is a very rich dish where the cheese filling is baked inside a bread dough, resulting in a food parcel that is simply delicious. I share my own take on this traditional recipe with a couple of twists in the dough as well as the filling. One of these days I am also going to make cheesy garlic parcels for a braai using this recipe. I think that will be absolutely lovely! I use my sourdough starter as this always adds more flavour to the dough, but will give advice for using alternative raising agents as well.


Start by mixing all of the dry ingredients together: 1 cup (250 ml) White Bread Flour, 1,5 cups (375 ml) Brown Bread Flour and 10 ml salt. Traditionally this is baked only with White Bread Flour, but I prefer Brown Bread Flour for taste and that is why I add it. You should bake it the way you and your guests/family prefer it.
Alternative 1: If using Instant Dry Yeast, you should add a packet to the dry ingredients.


Melt 100 ml butter. Warm 150 ml milk to be lukewarm.
Alternative 2: If using Active Dry Yeast, add it to the milk and allow it to develop to a froth.


Add the milk, the butter and 1/2 cup (125 ml) sourdough starter to the dry ingredients.


Bring the dough together in the bowl.


Knead on your floured work surface into an elastic ball.


Place in a bowl and cover with plastic. Leave in a warm dry place to rise to double its size.


In the meantime, you can prepare the filling. Grate 2 cups cheddar cheese.


Chop a cup of feta cheese (or Parmesan, or goats cheese, etc) into cubes. Chop an onion finely.


Add some fresh (or dry, if you don't have fresh herbs) oregano, basil and thyme which has been chopped finely.


Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. You will need one egg yolk to glaze the dough with. Add one whole egg and the white from the other to the filling. Mix everything together.


Traditionally this is baked in a Yorkshire pudding tin, but I use my giant muffin pans which works brilliantly. Spray the tin with a non-stick spray and dust with flour.


Your dough should now have rise. Knock it back by kneading it again.


Divide the dough into six equal balls.


Roll out each ball into a circle.


Place the dough inside the muffin pan.


Fill each with 1/6th of the filling.


Bring the ends of the dough together.


Twist the ends.


Secure with a toothpick.


Cover with plastic and leave in a warm dry place to rise.


Add a dash of milk to your retained egg yolk.


Brush the risen dough with the milk and egg mixture to glaze it.


Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 30-35 minutes. Once done, cover the parcels with a damp cloth to soften the very hard crust. You should see steam rising from the cloth. Leave them in the tin still.


Remove from the muffin pans after about 5 minutes.


Serve warm.


Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy her books here:You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
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