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Imeretian Khachapuri: Cheese Filled Bread

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What is the bread known as khachapuri?

Khachapuri is a traditional Georgian bread that is filled with molten cheese. The cheese-filled bread originated in the region of Imereti in western Georgia. As the subject of this article, I will explore the Imeretian style of khachapuri which is considered the original version of this delicacy.

How is Imeretian khachapuri prepared?

Imeretian khachapuri is prepared using a yeast dough that is hand-stretched into an oval or boat shape. The dough is filled with various types of melted cheese, most commonly sulguni but also imeruli and ricotta. Additional toppings like butter, eggs, and garlic are also added to the molten cheese mixture before the two halves of the dough are sealed together. The filled bread is then baked in a tandoor-like oven or conventional oven until the crust is lightly browned and the inside is oozing with melted cheese.

What are some key characteristics of authentic Imeretian khachapuri?

Some key characteristics that define authentic Imeretian khachapuri include:

|Characteristic|Details|
|-|-|
|Shape|Oval or boat shaped with the two halves of dough sealing the filling.|
|Dough|Yeasted, hand-stretched dough made from flour, water, yeast and salt.|
|Filling|Melted sulguni, imeruli and/or ricotta cheese, often with additions like butter, eggs and garlic.|
|Toppings|May include extra melted butter, eggs cooked sunny side up, or green onions.|
|Size|Typically large enough to share between 2-4 people.|

By adhering to these defining characteristics, one can experience traditional Imeretian khachapuri. Now let me explore the regional variations of this iconic bread.

What are some other popular regional variations of khachapuri in Georgia?

In addition to Imeretian khachapuri, there are a few other regional variations found throughout Georgia:

  • Adjarian khachapuri from the Adjara region uses brinjal or eggplant as part of the filling in addition to cheese.

  • In eastern Georgia, Megrelian khachapuri is prepared as a half-moon shaped bread with cheese sprinkled on top rather than sealed inside.

  • The city of Samegrelo is known for Pkhali khachapuri, where the filling includes cheese mixed with a spicy green herb paste called pkhali.

While Imeretian khachapuri remains the original style, exploring Georgia's regional variations adds even more flavorful experiences of this beloved cheese bread. Now let me share a recipe to try your hand at making it yourself.

How can one recreate authentic Imeretian khachapuri at home?

For those looking to recreate the traditional Imeretian experience of khachapuri in your own kitchen, here is an authentic recipe to follow:

Ingredients:
- Yeasted dough: 4 cups flour, 2 tsp yeast, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup warm water
- Filling: 1 cup each sulguni and imeruli cheeses, 2 eggs, 2 Tbsp butter, 2 cloves garlic (minced)

Instructions:

  1. Make the dough by mixing ingredients until elastic. Shape into oval balls and rest 30 minutes.

  2. Melt cheeses and mix with remaining filling ingredients except 1 egg.

  3. Roll out dough balls into oval shapes. Fill with cheese mixture and seal edges.

  4. Brush tops with remaining egg. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes or until crust is golden.

By following these authentic ingredients and steps, one can enjoy homemade Imeretian khachapuri and experience a taste of Georgian cuisine right in your own kitchen. For more inspiration, check out [Geocuisinebayridge](https://geocuisinebayridge.com/) which explores diverse regional foods from around the world.

In concluding this in-depth exploration of Imeretian khachapuri, I have aimed to provide a well-rounded understanding of this iconic bread through examining its key characteristics, regional variations within Georgia, and an authentic recipe to recreate the experience yourself. I hope this article has helped illuminate the rich culinary traditions surrounding this beloved cheese-filled bread. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

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