Since the summer, I've cooked these Georgian cheese pies, or khachapuri, at least 5 times. From the very first time I managed to impress my family and, for a while, they kept asking for these pies even more than for pizza. Usually, khachapuri is made of a mixture of soft and yellow cheese with a raw yolk, or even a whole egg, in the middle.
My little girl finds it hard to eat the egg, so I always make a simple no egg khachapuri for her. So, you can adjust the recipe to your preferences.
I even tried to bake these pies in the wood oven. They are delicious, but I don't recommend brushing with eggwash as they might burn too quickly on top. Other than that, they are wonderful, good-looking, tasty and crispy. You really should try them!
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Combine yeast with 250ml lukewarm water and 2 tsp sugar.
Let stand until foamy.
Pour this mixture into a bigger bowl and add the milk, salt, oil and flour.
Start mixing the dough, at first with a spoon or a spatula.
Then knead with your hands, turn dough onto the table to work it easier.
If dough is too soft and sticky, add some more flour, but not too much more. Just enough to not stick to your hands anymore and to be easier to knead.
After kneading the dough, return to the bowl and let rise for about 30-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, grate the white and yellow cheese through the medium holes. This is for the filling.
Mix and set aside for a bit.
Now divide the dough into 6 equal pieces.
Shape into balls and let rest on the table for 10 minutes.
Using a rolling pin, roll out each ball into an oval, about 4mm thick.
Dust with some flour, so that the dough won't stick to the table when you are working it.
Transfer the oval to a large baking sheet, lined with parchment paper.
Spoon a handful of the cheese filling and spread evenly over the whole surface of the oval.
Pull the dough's edges up, fold over the filling, press to seal.
Twist the ends to form a boat shape.
Now spread another handful of the cheese filling in the middle (not on the edges!) of the boat.
This is how you make the first 3 boats, notice they fit perfectly into the large oven sheet.
Allow 15 minutes to rise at room temperature.
Then brush with eggwash and bake in the preheated oven to 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until slightly brown.
While the first boats are baking, prepare the next 3 boats and let rise.
When they are almost done, remove from the oven. Form a well in the centre of each khachapuri using a spoon.
Carefully separate an egg and place the yolk in the well in the centre of each pie.
Often times I used the whole egg, without separating the yolk from the whites, both ways are delicious.
Notice the boat in the middle doesn't have an egg, it was made especially for my little daughter, she doesn't like it with egg. So, here is another option.
Return the baking sheet to the oven for another 5 minutes, for egg to set.
When pies are done, remove from the oven and spread 2 small pieces of butter on top, let melt slowly. After 10-15 minutes, you can serve the khachapuri and savour with great delight!
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