If you haven’t already been introduced to the wonderland of bread and cheese that is khachapuri, allow me the honor.
Khachapuri is, essentially, Georgia’s national food (I’m talking the country, not the state). There are many kinds but today we are concerning ourselves with Adjaruli khachapuri which tends to be the most popular version here in the states. Adjaruli khachapuri is shaped like a boat and typically topped with an egg yolk. And here’s something fun I just learned: this specific type of khachapuri is said to have originated from the Lazi people who were sailors which is why the khachapuri is shaped like a boat and the egg yolk is meant to represent the sun on the horizon. You can sign me up for an ocean of cheese any day.
The reason *this* khachapuri is extra bomb.com is because it is absolutely brimming with roasted garlic goodness. I might be a little late to the party but California Olive Ranch, one of my favorite olive oil brands of all time, has a GARLIC INFUSED EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL. The union between garlic and olive oil borders holy sanctity and I am absolutely in love. And because I grew up in an allium-forward household, I decided to double down and roast actual garlic in this garlic-infused oil. Crazy or genius? I’m leaning towards genius.
Feel free to use store-bought pizza dough or make your own. Either way, this recipe is a winner. Let’s get to it.
Roasted garlic khachapuri
WHAT YOU NEED
1 lb pizza dough (for 2 khachapuri)
- 1 packet (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
- ½ cup warm milk
- ½ cup warm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2.5 cups all purpose flour (+ more for dusting)
- Sprinkle of salt
- Drizzle of olive oil
- 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup farmer’s cheese or whole milk ricotta
- 1 cup crumbled feta
- 1 tbsp CA olive ranch garlic olive oil
- S+p to taste
- 2 eggs for garnish (+1 for egg wash)
- 2 bulbs garlic, tops sliced off
- Garlic olive oil, for drizzling
- Dill, optional
WHAT YOU DO
If you’re making your own dough, start there: whisk together the yeast, milk, water, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Allow to rest for 5 or so minutes while the yeast activates (it should become frothy/creamy). Add salt, a drizzle of olive oil (feel free to use the California Olive Ranch garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil here, why the heck not?) and about 2 and ¼ cups flour. Mix until a shaggy dough forms. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes. If it feels sticky, add more flour – it should be soft and tacky but it shouldn’t be sticking to your hands or the counter.
Once a smooth dough ball has formed, add it to a large, greased bowl and cover. Let it rise for about an hour in a warm place. That warm place could very well be the top of your range because we are about to crank the oven on and roast some garlic!
Preheat the oven to 350. Slice the tops off 2 garlic bulbs. Place the bulbs in squares of aluminum foil and drizzle with California Olive Ranch Garlic Infused EVOO. Seal up the bulb so the exposed cloves are facing upwards and roast for 30 or so minutes until they soften all the way through.
Meanwhile, mix all your filling ingredients together. You have a choice here: you can add the roasted garlic directly to the filling mixture OR (like in my photo) you can reserve it for a garnish. If you want to add the roasted garlic to your filling (probably the less “aesthetic” but more user-friendly option), simply squeeze the garlic cloves out of the bulb and into the cheese mixture. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Time to make some cheeseboats - that’s what you came for! First, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it over onto a floured surface. Punch the air out and divide it into 2 roughly equal-sized pieces. DISCLAIMER: if you’re using store-bought pizza dough, here’s where your journey begins! Starting with one piece of dough (roughly ½ lb): gently roll it out with a rolling pin until it’s an oval about 10 inches in length (should be about ¼ inch thick). Roll the edges on the right and left sides upwards towards the center to form a raised crust. Twist the top and the bottom and bottom of the oval to form a boat-like shape. Gently lift and place on a greased sheet pan. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
Fill each “boat” with your cheese mixture. Whisk 1 egg in a small bowl to form an egg wash and use a pastry brush to brush the crust of each boat. Bake for 15 or so minutes until the crusts are brown and the cheese is fully melted. Pro tip: I sometimes boil them for a minute or two so the cheese bubbles and browns.
Remove the khachapuri from the oven. Using the bottom of the egg, create a divot in the cheese. In a small bowl, separate the yolk from the white. Place the yolk in the nest you’ve created and repeat for the second khachapuri. If you didn’t use your roasted garlic in the filling, you can garnish with the halved roasted garlic, more garlic olive oil, and some dill if you’d like. Serve while piping hot so you can mix the yolk into the cheese right away, forming a luscious and custardy filling. Eat the khachapuri by ripping parts of the crust off and dipping them into the center.