GEORGIA – Imeruli

 

DSC_8024Imeruli is a cheese bread made from khachapuri dough. There are a few of these cheese-filled breads on my list of the world’s staple breads. I always try to look first for a bread that doesn’t have any filling (whether sweet or savoury) but sometimes the bread that crops up so often in searches (and seems to be a commonly available street food) does indeed have a filling. That is the case with Georgia.

For those who are confused, yes, some Asian countries are also going to feature in the European countries; these are the transcontinental countries. It seems the divide between what is Asian and what is European depends on a given geographical, political, cultural, traditional distinction, and I did miss Azerbaijan… I will come back to it.

  • Recipe chosen for imeruli
  • Cooking method: Oven

Rating:

  • Faithfulness to recipe: Yes, except for the cheese.
  • Met expectations? Mostly, but the bread was too thick and doughy.
  • Would cook again? Yes, but with the exact ingredients.
  • The taste test rated on a score of 5: 3. The dough was too bready. I think this was my fault as I didn’t knead it enough or take enough care when rolling it out. My daughter liked it quite a bit though.

Recipe

I made only 1/3 of the recipe as the full recipe below is for 3 loaves.

Ingredients

Dough (khachapuri).

  • 1015g all-purpose flour
  • 200ml water or milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs instant years
  • 50ml oil

Cheese filling:

  • 3 eggs (1 egg yolk for glazing but this is optional),
  • 30g butter
  • 600g of Imeretian cheese (alternatively, you can use feta cheese and mozzarella together. I used some mozzarella and fresh cottage cheese).

Method

There are more pictures from the recipe I used but it’s across two different websites with a lot of photos. Here are all of the steps together.

  1. Make the dough first. Warm the water to 35C and stir in the yeast.
  2. Add 1 kilo of flour to a mixing bowl and make a depression in the flour.
  3. Add the yeast water, oil, milk and a raw egg. If you want the bread to have a golden color you can add 1 tsp of sugar.
  4. Mix the ingredients from the middle of the bowl until all of the flour is mixed.
  5. The dough should be formed into a soft ball.
  6. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for 2 hours.
  7. Add 150 grams of flour and knead the dough.
  8. The dough is sufficient to make 3 khachapuri. Separate the dough into 3 pieces.
  9. Filling: grate the mozzarella if using.
  10. Add the grated cheese, one egg and 20 grams of butter to a mixing bowl.
  11. Mix thoroughly. Knead the dough before using.
  12. Leave for 10 minutes and then make a circular shape, with a lip around the edge.
  13. Spread the cheese filling onto the middle of the dough.
  14. Fold the edges of the dough over the cheese filling and seal the dough.
  15. Turn the dough over and flatten it out to make a circular shape. As you spread out the dough make sure the cheese filling is spread evenly. Be careful not to tear the dough.
  16. A rolling pin can also be used to flatten the dough.
  17. Lightly dust a baking tray with flour (to stop the khachapuri sticking) and put the khachapuri in a pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes at a medium temperature. If you want to glaze the khachapuri with egg yolk do this 5 minutes before it is ready.
  18. Glaze the khachapuri with butter as soon as you remove it from the oven. This makes it soft.
  19. Cut into slices and serve immediately.
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