“Khachapuri” literally translates from Georgian to mean “cottage cheese bread”. It can vary in terms of styles, but the most common style has a canoe-shaped bread filled with a mix of cheeses including a sheep’s milk feta. For a meal, you can crack and egg on top and bake it.
Makes 6 large cheese breads.
Originally these would have been baked in a wood oven, so feel free to grill these if you wish.
For the dough, place the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment*. Mix the water and milk together and test that the temperature is no more than 115°F (46°C). Add this all at once to the flour, add the oil and mix on low speed until most of the flour is absorbed and then increase the speed one level and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. The dough will stick at the bottom of the bowl but clean the sides of the bowl as it mixes. Place the dough into a clean bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let this sit on the counter until doubled in size, about an hour.
*If mixing by hand, follow the above instructions, but mix the dough in a bowl until it becomes too difficult to do so, then turn the dough out onto the counter and knead by hand until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
Stir the cheese together and set aside. Melt the butter with the garlic and set aside, re-melting the butter if needed. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 pieces. Roll out a piece of dough into a circle about 10-inches (25 cm) across and just over 1/4-inch (6 mm) thick. Brush the dough with garlic butter and sprinkle an even layer of cheese on top. Roll up the dough from opposing sides, stretching the dough and little and rolling in some of the cheese as you go, and stop when there is a 2 to 3-inch (5 to 7.5 cm) gap in the centre. Pinch the edges of the dough together so that the result looks like a boat, or canoe more specifically. Place a few strips of roasted red pepper on top (inside the “boat”) and place this on the baking tray. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough and cover both trays with a tea towel and let this sit for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Bake the khachapouri for 20-30 minutes, until the dough has browned and the cheese has melted and is bubbling a little. If you want to serve this with an egg on top, remove the khachapouri at the 15-minute mark and break an egg in the centre of each and return to the oven, baking until it is as set as you wish. Brush the remaining garlic butter on top and sprinkle with green onions.
Serve the khachapouri hot. They are best the day they are baked, but the can be reheated.