Khachapuri AKA Georgian Cheese Boat, with Za'atar

(Makes 1 pie, serves 2)

The Stuff:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, more as needed (4-6 tbs)
  • 2/3 cup warm water (approximately 110°F)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cup low-moisture kashkaval (available at Turkish grocery stores) or mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 cups feta cheese, crumbled (salty feta works best)
  • 1 cup cheddar, shredded
  • 2-3 tablespoons Never Not Eating Za’atar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Coarse salt, to taste 

The Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 500 with a pizza stone or inverted sheet pan
  2. Combine cheeses in a bowl, and toss together.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, with the dough hook, combine flour, salt, yeast, and sugar, water, olive oil, and mix on low for 1 minute. Turn up to medium and mix until the dough comes together, adding flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl.
  4. Form into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. OR place the bowl into the fridge overnight, this way the dough will become more flavourful with a slow ferment. Take the dough out as you preheat the oven to give it some time to come to room temperature.
  5. Dust a large sheet of parchment paper with flour. Punch down dough and turn out onto the parchment. Flatten slightly and roll out into a circle, about ¼-inch thick.
  6. Spread ¾ the cheese in the middle of your dough and spread it out so the entire dough is covered, but leave a gap and two of the ends, this is where the dough will be twisted.
  7. Roll sides up tightly over the cheese, forming a canoe shape around the dough. Pinch and twist ends to seal.
  8. Brush the dough lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the oiled sides. Sprinkle with Never Not Eating Za’atar.
  9. Carefully slide the parchment onto your stone or sheet pan, and bake for 17-20 minutes, until brown and bubbling.
  10. Next: Form a well in the center of your khachapuri using a spoon and pour the eggs that you have cracked in a bowl inside the well. This is the traditional way. OR Return to oven and bake until the egg is cooked to your liking, the idea here is to have a loose yolk for dipping.
  11. Our preference is to make Za’atar fried eggs – pour a generous amount of oil in a non-stick pan and heat over medium high. Add 3-4 tablespoons of Za’atar in the hot oil, and the pour 2 pre-cracked eggs in the oil. Cook basting the eggs with the Za’atar oil, until the whites are just set. Add to the cooked khachapuri and sprinkle with some salt and more Za’atar to cover.
  12. Place a pat of butter over the egg and sprinkle some coarse salt, and more Za’atar or toasted sesame seeds.
  13. To eat the khachapuri tear off one end and use it to stir the butter into the egg. Rip, dip, and repeat.

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