Khachapuri is considered a national dish of Georgia (the country, not the US state). It is usually made with the yeast dough or puff pastry, and Georgian pickled cheese, sulguni.
I have been thinking about making Khachapuri for a while now, so last week I finally made it. I have eaten my fair share of it while I was living in Baku, Azerbaijan, and on my trip to Tbilisi, Georgia. I would frequent a Khachapuri stand in downtown Baku on a regular basis. I loved the fact that the bread was always freshly made, inside the building behind the stand, with the freshest ingredients. I still remember how gooey and cheesy it was.
In this recipe, I am taking a short cut by using pre-made puff pastry. And because there is no sulguni in grocery stores here, to add extra flavor I am using 3 different cheeses in the filling.
Thaw: 40 min Prep: 15 min Bake: 20 min Total: 1 hr 15 min Servings: 6-8
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup Monterey Jack or any other semi-hard cheese, grated
1/2 cup feta or ricotta cheese
1 egg, whisked
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (Pat dry the herbs before chopping to prevent extra moisture sipping into the puff pastry.)
1 egg yolk plus 1 tbsp water, whisked together
pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, mix the cheeses, herbs, egg, and pepper. Set it aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the puff pastry sheets to about 16 inches long and 11 inches wide. Place it on a shallow baking dish lined with parchment paper. Roll out the second puff pastry sheet to the same size, and leave it there.
Evenly spread the filling on the puff pastry sheet that is in the baking dish, leaving 1/2 inch border for sealing. Brush the edges with the egg wash.
Cover it with the top layer, and seal the edges. Brush it with the remaining egg wash. Make a small cut in the center for steam to escape.
Place the baking dish into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the bread is lightly browned. Check on it after 15 minutes of baking; if the edges of the bread start to turn dark brown, place tin foil over them to prevent over browning.
Place the bread with the parchment paper under it on a cooling rack. Let it cool slightly before cutting. Transfer the bread along with the parchment paper onto the cutting board, and cut into 6 or 8 rectangles.