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Khachapuri with Nathan Kibarian

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

While Nathan Kibarian may not know the definition of “just a little cheese” he sure does know how to make khachapuri, a traditional Georgian flatbread. The absolute joy with which he cracks an egg onto his nearly-finished creation is indescribable. You’ll just have to watch our video.


Nathan’s khachapuri recipe comes from his grandmother, who every time Nathan would visit, would have a half dozen waiting for the family regardless of how late their flight had landed. Truly a family affair, Nathan’s recipe also incorporates heavily spiced homemade sausages which his uncle used to make. He shared this favourite diet-defying dish with us. Watch the video below.



Nathan’s Khachapuri tips

Nathan makes his dough from scratch, and we think you should too! But he tells us that if you don’t have time a store bought pizza dough will do just fine! If that’s the case, pick up our recipe starting when the dough has risen.


Nathan activates his yeast in warm milk, rather than water. In fact, there’s no water in his dough. It doesn’t take long to activate either, Nathan only gives it about a minute. He stirs it gently so all the yeast is wetted, and adds it into the flour mixture.

Using his kitchenaid mixer, he tells us first to start mixing on slow so all the mixture picks up from the bowl. He increases the speed to knead the dough.

“You should end up with a warm dough. Just the mixing of it will warm it up, and that will help later so it rises quickly.”


He takes the dough out and onto his countertop and shows us how to knead by hand. This is where Nathan’s expertise really shines.


“Press the dough forward, pull it back, and you’re going to give it a ninety degree turn.” he demos the steps slowly once, and then continues to do it in one smooth motion. He finishes by forming the dough into a big ball by quickly swirling it around in place with either hand.


“It’ll stick to the table on the bottom...I’m going to flour it a little more.” Nathan has made the smoothest dough we’ve ever seen.


“This will make 2-3 khachapuri.” Nathan decides he’ll just make two big ones today.


Nathan cuts the dough with a knife.


“The less you handle this dough the better, that way it doesn’t tighten and pull in while you’re baking it.” Nathan tells us. This will keep the dough soft after baking, rather than getting chewy.


He flattens the dough by hand into a diamond about 9 inches (25 cm) across.

Nathan uses a mix of cheese for his recipe including parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella, and a bit of a hard greek cheese to add some salt. You can use any cheeses, he says, just as long as they melt well, and are high in salt.


There’s no wrong way to make khachapuri, with regards to the layering of cheese and butter, but Nathan does tell us to ensure we have enough cheese left over to make the second!


“Then pinch it into a canoe.” Nathan forms the dough around the cheese to make a pocket of cheese in the approximate shape of a boat. He tells us it will open up while cooking, but you want the edges to be high enough that you can put an egg in it later.


Nathan lets the khachapuri rise for another fifteen minutes, egg washes them, lets them rise five more minutes, and egg washes one more time. Just before going into the oven he adds sliced homemade sausage on top of one.


“Essentially it’s a pizza.” he says. You can add anything else on top you like.


The khachapuri cook for 15 minutes, until it’s nearly done. Nathan takes them out of the oven, cracks an egg on each, decides he wants two eggs on each instead, tops them with a little parmesan cheese, and puts them back in the oven to cook just until the egg is done.


Nathan adds a little more parmesan, and tells us to eat it right when it’s out of the oven!


Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 ½ cups (600 mL) all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt

  • ⅓ cup (80 mL) olive oil

  • 1 cup (240 mL) room temperature or warm milk

  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) yeast

  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) sugar

Filling

  • 3 cups (720 mL) shredded pizza mozzarella, or a cheese mixture*

  • 4 tablespoons (60 mL) of butter

  • 5 eggs

  • Parmasean for topping

  • Additional toppings to your liking, such as sausage, roasted red peppers, or whatever you might put on a pizza!

  • *Any cheese mixture will do. We recommend a combination of mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, and any salty greek cheese. Just make sure these cheeses melt easily.

Steps

  1. Activate 2 teaspoons (10 mL) yeast by adding it to 1 cup (240 mL) room temperature or warm milk. Gently mix the milk and yeast so all of the yeast is wetted. Let the yeast and milk sit for 1-2 minutes.

  2. Combine 2 ½ cups (600 mL) all purpose flour and 1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt in a mixing bowl or standing mixer.

  3. Add ⅓ cup (80 mL) of olive oil, the yeast and milk mixture, and 1 tablespoon (15 mL) sugar to the mixing bowl, and mix to combine. Once fully combined, knead the dough vigorously (or mix using a dough hook) until it is soft and warm, about 5 minutes.

  4. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and continue kneading for another minute on your countertop or a large cutting board, and form the dough into a large, smooth, ball.

  5. Set the dough aside, covered, and let it rise for 15-25 minutes in an oiled bread pan.

  6. Once risen, cut the dough into two portions.

  7. Layer ¼ of your 3 cups (720 mL) shredded cheese on the dough in a line along the long axis of the diamond, and then add 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of softened butter on top of the cheese. Layer another ¼ of your cheese on top of the butter.

  8. Pinch the ends of the dough together, and raise up and pinch together the edges of the dough to form a canoe-like shape, with a pocket of cheese visible in the middle.

  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for your second katchapouri, and put both on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Optional: spray the parchment paper with cooking grease to reduce sticking to the paper.

  10. Let the katchapouri sit for 15 to 20 minutes to rise further.

  11. Preheat your oven to 350°

  12. Beat one egg yolk to make an egg wash, and brush the exposed dough of both katchapouri. Retain some egg wash to brush again later. Let the katchapouri sit for another 5 minutes.

  13. Add your additional toppings onto the cheese section of the katchapouri.

  14. Egg wash both katchpouri just before putting them in the oven.

  15. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is golden brown.

  16. Remove the katchapouri from the oven.

  17. Using a spoon, press the cheese and toppings down into the dough to create a place for your eggs. Crack two eggs onto each katchapouri.

  18. Top the eggs with a little parmesan cheese.

  19. Return the katchapouri to the oven and cook until the eggs are cooked. 2-5 minutes.

  20. Top the katchapouri with more parmesan cheese, and serve hot!

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