Adjaruli khachapuri is arguably Georgia’s most iconic dish. This eye-shaped, molten cheese bread is one of the most photogenic, decadent and delicious dishes from Georgia and, along with khinkali, is one of the most sought-after and well-known items of Georgian cuisine. And while it is absolutely delicious to go out to a top restaurant in Tbilisi and dig into a freshly made khachapuri, not everyone can get to Georgia and this delicious dish isn’t easy to find outside of this nation in the Caucasus. It is for this reason that I put together this Adjaruli khachapuri recipe so you can make this Georgian delicacy at home!
Adjaruli khachapuri (also referred to as Adjarian khachapuri or Acharuli khachapuri) may look complicated to make, however, I assure you that it is actually fairly simple and only requires a handful of ingredients. Not only is it relatively easy to make, but it is also lots of fun! So if you want to travel to Georgia without leaving your own kitchen, make sure to check out this Adjarian khachapuri recipe — you won’t be sorry.
What is Khachapuri?
Before I dive headfirst into the khachapuri recipe, we need to talk about what this amazing Georgian cheese bread is! Well, there are actually many variations of khachapuri that you can find throughout Georgia and they all hail from their own particular region of this small nation.
The most well-known (and decadent) of the khachapuris, however, is Adjaruli khachapuri, which hails from the Adjara region in western Georgia — where the coastal city of Batumi is. This is the most distinctive khachapuri and is notable for its boat shape and egg yolk that gives it the look of a cheesy, eggy eye.
While there are lots of different kinds of khachapuris available in Georgia, the two other most common that you will find (aside from Adjarian khachapuri) are khachapuri Imeruli and khachapuri Megruli. The former comes from the Imereti region around Kutaisi and the latter hails from the Samegrelo region near Zugdidi.
These two khachapuris differ from Adjaruli khachapuri in the fact that they are circular breads that are fully stuffed with cheese. They aren’t open like the Adjarian khachapuri. Imeruli khachapuri is my personal favourite and the easiest on your stomach and it is simply a circular cheese-stuffed bread. Megruli khachapuri is similar to Imeruli khachapuri except that it is also topped with cheese along with it being stuffed.
The main takeaway with any kind of khachapuri is that Georgians aren’t shy with the cheese — and neither should you be!
How to Make Khachapuri Adjaruli
Now that I’ve discussed what khachapuri is, it’s time to dive into how to make khachapuri! This easy khachapuri recipe is surprisingly simple to make and though it may be slightly time-consuming, the vast majority of the time it takes is inactive, so you don’t have to work too hard to get the best results of this Georgian cheese bread recipe!
Adjaruli Khachapuri Recipe: Dough
In this Adjaruli khachapuri recipe, you have to make the dough first. If you need a visual aide, you can watch me making this recipe on YouTube here.
Khachapuri dough is a very simple yeasted dough that is light, fluffy and moist and very easy to make. You don’t need any special equipment to make it (just your own two hands!) and it’s a really good introduction to yeasted doughs if you’ve never made anything like it before.
First and foremost, measure out your milk and heat it to about 40-43°C (104-110°F). Pour it into a small bowl and whisk in your active dry yeast. Set aside for about 5-10 minutes or until the yeast is distinctively fragrant and slightly puffed. Then, crack in your egg and oil and whisk it until it’s well combined.
Weigh out your flour in a large mixing bowl and whisk in the salt. Make a well in the flour and pour in your wet ingredients.
Mix these ingredients together until well blended and a shaggy dough forms. Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead the dough until it evens in consistency and has a bit of stretch — about 5-10 minutes. The dough with be very supple and smooth and shouldn’t stick to your hands at all.
Once the dough is glossy and cohesive, transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl (to avoid sticking!), cover with plastic or a clean, damp towel and set aside at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size — about an hour depending on the temperature of your room.
Assembling the Khachapuri
Before I go any further about the assembly, let’s talk about cheese! Traditional khachapuri adjaruli calls for a mixture of Imeruli and sulguni cheeses. Imeruli cheese is a fresh, salty, and slightly tangy brined cow’s milk cheese that is absolutely delicious. Sulguni is also a cow’s milk cheese that has a very similar texture to mozzarella but with more salt and more funk. However, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to find these cheses outside of Georgia unless you have a well-stocked grocer from the region nearby. So, what is one to do?
Well, in a pinch, you can combine equal parts feta (for the fresh tanginess that Imeruli provides) with some low-moisture, whole milk mozzarella (for its great ability to melt) and you be rewarded with arguably the same result. You won’t have the mild funk that the Georgian cheeses provide, so you’re just going to have to plan a trip to Georgia to taste it for yourself!
Roll out your dough in a circular shape until it reaches about 35 centimetres (14 inches) thick. Then, on both the top and bottoms of your dough circle, take a couple of tablespoons of your cheese and lay it out in two lines at the top and bottom of the dough circle, about 2 centimetres from the edge.
Take the edge of the bottom part of the dough and fold it over the line of cheese, tucking it under and rolling lightly until you get to the centre of your dough circle. Repeat with the top cheese line until you are left with two parallel cylinders of dough. Pinch either end of the dough together and, with both hands, lightly pull the cylinders apart until you get a wide middle and achieve an eye-shape.
Fill the middle with cheese (don’t pack it down, though — it is detrimental to optimal meltiness) and then brush the sides of the dough with a beaten egg. Transfer the khachapuri to the preheated baking sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese bread is lightly golden brown and the cheese is mostly melted.
Then, pour one egg yolk onto the khachapuri into the centre of the cheese bread and bake for a further 2 minutes or so. You want the pastry to be deeply golden brown, the cheese to be molten and bubbly, and the egg yolk to be lightly set but still runny.
Pull from the oven, top with a pat of butter and serve immediately — it’s time to eat!
How to Eat Khachapuri Adjaruli
Now that your khachapuri is steaming and out of of the oven, it’s time to dig in! But how does one eat an Adjarian khachapuri?
Well, it’s pretty simple and you can’t really do this a wrong way. But, traditionally, you would mix the egg yolk and butter up with the cheese and then rip the crusts off and dip it into the molten cheese middle. Georgians will generally eat this as a finger food, but there is no shame in using a knife and fork — I do!
How to Make Megruli or Imeruli Khachapuri
Don’t want to make Adjarian khachapuri? Well, Megrelian and Imertian khachapuris are even more simple to make and are perfect if you’re looking for an easy khachapuri recipe.
Follow all of the steps in the Adjaruli khachapuri recipe until you reached the cheese rolls. Instead, heap some cheese in the middle of your dough circle, leaving about three centimetres of dough around the edges.
Fold all of the edged into the middle and lightly roll your rolling pin over it to seal the seam. Then, flip it over and roll it out until it is about a centimetre thick and it is completely sealed. On the top, cut a few slashes in the dough to help steam escape.
If you want to make Imeruli khachapuri, just pop it in the oven now and bake for about 8 minutes. If you want to make Megruli khachapuri, then top with cheese before baking.
- 75ml (1/3 cup) warm milk, heated to 43°C or 110°F
- 2g (1/2 teaspoon) active dry yeast
- 1 large egg
- 15ml (1 tablespoon) sunflower oil
- 200g (7oz or 1 2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
- 8g (1 teaspoon) salt
- 200g (7oz) Imeruli cheese,* grated
- 150g (5.3oz) sulguni cheese,* grated
- 1 egg yolk
- 15g (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
- In a small bowl, whisk together milk and yeast until the yeast is dissolved. Set aside until foamy and fragrant, about 5-10 minutes. Add egg and oil and whisk until well combined.
- Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well and pour in wet ingredients. Stir until a shaggy dough forms.
- Turn dough out onto a clean work surface and knead until cohesive, supple and smooth, about 5-10 minutes.
- Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic or a damp tea towel and let rest at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F).
- Punch down dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface until it reaches about 35 centimetres (14 inches) in diameter.
- Place cheese in lines at the top and bottom of the dough circle, leaving about 2 centimetres of dough along the edge. Roll each side of dough to the middle of the circle until you have two parallel cheese-filled cylinders.
- Pinch both ends of the dough together very tightly, joining the cylinders at both ends and gently pull them apart in the middle, making an eye-shape and a wide middle. Fill middle with remaining cheese, taking care not to pack it down
- Brush each khachapuri with one beaten egg. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and move to oven. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Pull the khachapuri out and add one egg yolk to the centre of the bread, return to the oven and back for a couple more minutes, or until dark golden brown and cheese is molten and the egg yolk is lightly set but still runny.
- Transfer to a wire rack and top with a pat of butter. Serve immediately.
*If you cannot find Imeruli or sulguni cheese, substitute an equal amount of feta for Imeruli and low-moisture, whole milk mozzarella for the sulguni
And there you have it — an authentic way to make Adjaruli khachapuri! If you want to keep the memories of your trip to Georgia alive or if you are just interested in experiencing new cuisines from the comfort of your own kitchen, then this Georgian khachapuri recipe is for you!
Are you looking for an easy khachapuri recipe? Have you made Imeruli, Megruli or Adjarauli khachapuri before? Let us know in the comments below!