i am just reading a very nice book about a Jewish family that left Russia in 1920 to go to New York and start new - its a really lovely story that I will blog later... The same time I am reading in Nigellas cookbook and find this Georgian cheese bread - absolutely EVERYTHING in this recipe is forbidden for me but EVERYTHING cried for make me... so I tried today and the result is phenomenal... absolutely gorgeous...
love every bit of it...
Nigella made this recipe after years of searching for a recipe she had in St. Petersburg in a restaurant - finally - long trials after a no success - she finally hit a little Pub in New York that is called Little Georgia... there was the dish - there was the Hachapuri... The chef was kind enough to instruct her in her own kitchen how to make it...
So how could I resist I simply had to make it. Next time I will roll out the dough thicker and make individual khachapuri and pat them down and make them extra yummy
Enjoy - I know I did... I made only half the recipe and I left out the ricotta.
from: Nigella Lawson's Feast
Yield: 10 servings (NOTE: Makes a gargantuan out load, so halving is recommended unless you're feeding an army)
about 5 1/2 cups (700g) all-purpose flour
2 cups (500g) plain whole-milk yogurt
4 tablespoons (50g) butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
7 oz (200g) ricotta cheese (i left out)
7 oz (200g) fresh mozzarella (preferably buffalo milk mozzarella)
1 lb 5oz (600g or three packages) high-quality feta
In a large bowl, stir together the yogurt, eggs, butter, and salt. Begin adding the flour, a cupful at a time, stirring or working with your hands to form a silky, soft dough. Add as much flour as is necessary to bring the dough to a kneadable consistency - it should not be overly sticky. Knead in the baking soda. Although Nigella doesn't mention it, I would recommend turning the dough out onto a floured surface and kneading lightly for a few minutes - this activates the gluten in the flour and will make the dough less prone to tearing when you form the bread. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least twenty minutes, or up to a day.
For the filling, chop or mash all the cheeses together in a bowl. Stir in the egg.
Preheat the oven to 425F/220C. You can either make six small hatchapuris or one large one. To make a large one, separate the chilled dough into two equal parts. Roll one of them out on a well-floured surface to a circle approximately 1/4-inch (1/2-cm) thick and transfer it to a baking sheet. Spread the cheese in the center to within an inch of edge. Roll out the second piece of dough in the same manner and place it on top of the cheese. Fold in the edges to seal in the outside of the bread, curling them inwards to form a roll of dough. Press down on the roll with the tines of a fork, sealing the two layers together. Transfer the bread to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
To make smaller khachapuris like I did, divide the dough and the cheese into six equal parts. Using your hands, press each piece of dough out into a rough circle about 8 inches in diameter. I found that it was best to leave the center slightly thicker and concentrate on stretching out the sides, creating a kind of slim flying-saucer shape. Mound a sixth of the cheese into a flat disc in the center and start bringing the sides of the dough up around it, pleating them as you go (you can moisten the pleats with water to create a better seal). You should have a gathering of dough at the top when you finish - twist this around itself to seal. Now pat this cheese-filled dough ball out until it is about 1/2-inch thick. Bake for about 10-15 minutes. You can also cook this bread in a heavy skillet on the stovetop until both sides are golden brown.
Cool the hachapuri slightly to let the cheese set, but eat warm.