30 September 2008

Georgian Cheese Bread

Goergian Cheese Bread

Zorra announces the 3rd World Bread Day which takes place pn October 16 once again. The original World Bread Day was created by UIB International Union of Bakers and Bakers-Confectioners. They wanted to have the opportunity to talk about bread and bakers, to find out about their history, their importance as well as their future.

Let's bake and talk about bread on this day again!!!!!As Zorra says the theme is wide open...bake a bread with or without yeast, use sourdough, experiment with different flours, add some sees..it's up to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A while back I saw this bread that I wanted to try from Gourmet magazine. The photos and description from the author made it one of those dishes that are a must have!!! I must say that it lived up to its reputation since it was absolutely delicious. It is indescribable!!! I have no way of knowing if I have made this bread true to form not having a Russian grandmother in the wings but I hope it is a fair facsimile. As Irene Dunn said in the movie "Love Affair" with Charles Boyer, "The things we like best are either illegal, immoral or fattening." This bread has copious amounts of cheese and melted butter baked on at the last minute...so ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!



Khachapuri is more like a stuffed pizza than a bread. In the remote mountains of Georgia, the star ingredient of this bread is the firm but creamy salted cow's-milk cheese called sulguni. A blend of Havarti and mozzarella will give you a similar velvety texture. The cheese is pressed into a ball and wrapped with the dough. It is then pressed out into a pizza pan essentially becoming a flat cheese stuffed bread dough.

Shelley Wiseman a food editor from Gourmet magazine set out to make her own version of Khachapuri that she had tried on her trip to Georgia. This is not the State of Georgia in the United States but located in the Caucasus region of the former Soviet Union. Georgia has a style of cooking that has a closer relationship to that of the Middle East than to that of Russia. They use a liberal amount of fruits and nuts together with meat and poultry...walnut and plum sauces are a favourite that I have seen. The region has many varieties of bread that vary in taste and texture from village to village.

Festive dinners in Georgia start with a large variety of zakuski (hors d'oeuvres).The value of you as a host is determined by the length of your zakuski table which is usually set outdoors. A zakuski table consists of many varieties of cheese, vegetables, pickled garlic cloves, and sprigs of coriander and tarragon set alongside platters of smoked sturgeon, caviar, sliced hard sausages, pickled mushrooms and plums. Georgians take enormous pride in the wines they produce at home, so, as many as twelve different kinds of wine may also adorn the table. Vodka, drank "neat" ( ice cold and in a single gulp) from tiny glasses might also be available along with the local version of champagne.

**Georgian Cheese Bread**

2 -1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (a 1/4-oz package)
7 tablespoons warm water (105-115°F)
1- 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 lb (1 cup) Havarti cheese, coarsely grated
1/4 lb (1 cup) salted mozzarella, coarsely grated
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted

Equipment: a floured pizza pan (at least 12 inches) or a floured large baking sheet

Sprinkle yeast over warm water and stir in 1 tablespoon flour. Let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes. (If yeast does not activate, start over with new yeast.)

Stir together salt and remaining flour in a large bowl, then stir in egg and yeast mixture to form a dough. Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and turn to coat with flour, then knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form into a ball and dust with flour. Let dough rest in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap, punching down with a wet fist every hour, at least 2 hours and up to 3.

Preheat oven to 500°F with rack in middle.

Turn out dough onto floured pizza pan, turning to coat, then flatten with your fingers into a 7-inch disk.

Toss together cheeses and press into a compact 3-inch ball with your hands. Place ball in middle of dough, then gather dough up around ball of cheese, squeezing excess dough into a topknot. Press down on topknot with a damp fist to press cheese out from center. Continue to flatten dough and distribute cheese evenly, pressing outward from center, until dough is an 11-inch disk. Cut a 6-inch X through top of dough to expose cheese. Bake until pale golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Brush surface of dough with butter and bake until golden and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes more.

Serve cut into wedges.

NOTE: Dough can be made 1 day ahead and chilled in bowl (for a slow rise), covered with plastic wrap. Punch down and bring to room temperature before proceeding with recipe.

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Just a friendly reminder to get your dish into our World Food Day Event by the deadline October 16th. We are attempting to bring the world a little closer together by raising awareness of the problem of world hunger even in our own neighbourhoods. The blogging community spans the globe so we would like you to submit a recipe which represents your country that would feed at least 6 people. You can send something that is a family favourite or a regional favourite that uses local and perhaps seasonal ingredients. Jen of


A2eatwrite suggested that we ask you to let people know what they can do in your own area and who to contact if you would care to do so.

Giz has joined Ivy and myself to raise awareness for this very important issue. Watch next month for exciting things happening at Equal Opportunity Kitchen . Giz is a fellow Canadian from my old stomping grounds with many exciting and enthusiastic ideas. Her energy is boundless. We are happy to have you join us Giz to get the word out!!!!

Read also what Dharm of Dad-Baker & Chef has to say here .It will make you think twice.

I would like to thank everyone who has submitted an entry so far. I am overwhelmed by all of the kind words and response from all of you. Anything we can do to raise awareness for this very important issue the better.

We have enough dishes so far when lined up back to back to feed everyone on my street...the goal is to feed everyone in the city, perhaps the country and then to reach our final goal....a conga line of international dishes to feed the world!!!!

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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38 comments:

  1. I made that bread once and it was fabulous! A real success! Yours looks wonderful! Yummy!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Val, I'm a sucker for bread and for cheese, so this sounds just perfect!

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  3. Cheesy bread is always good no matter where it is from or its shape. That is a very nice food event. I will check it out. :)

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  4. It does look great Val, but all that cheese in it.... wink wink...

    I'm going to see what Dharn says. It surely is interesting.

    Thank god, walking in the forests is still free and it doesn't make you gain weight ;D

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  5. Oh, yeah, that looks really good! I'm a dough novice, and I still want to try this! Does the dough break apart when you flatten it? The thought of combining Havarti and Mozz has me drooling at 6:20 in the morning! YUM!

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  6. My mouth started watering as soon as I saw that photo. I just want to bite into it and enjoy all that chewy bread and warm cheese.

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  7. Oh I can taste that from here! Wow! Looks so good. I just love your banner picture, too.

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  8. That bread looks sinfully good. Great job on the World Food Day Event Val and I'm glad I could join in! Thanks for hosting it.

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  9. Did you say cheese AND bread? I'm there!

    Also, thanks for your kind comments on my blog. I appreciate your support!

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  10. It is an incredible bread or call it what you will but it's super good.

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  11. Wow, I had no idea about Khachapuri and Georgian tradition of bread.. being closed to pizza it attires my attention enormously!!!

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  12. your cheese bread looks so good... would really love a bite of that... :)

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  13. I would NOT be able to pass this up!

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  14. This is like my favorite parts of the pizza together - cheese and crust, the sauce just gets in the way.

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  15. Val this looks great. Just like pizza.

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  16. This bread looks fabulous! Hopping over to check out the new event...:)

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  17. That bread looks incredible. I love Havarti anything so this would be right up my alley!!! I need to have this one on my short list!

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  18. enough said...cheese and bread - i'm sold!

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  19. Oh I really really will make this. I'm writing it down. I love Havarti, especially dill havarti. Do you think that would be good on this bread? I'm going to go find out more about your world hunger event.

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  20. This is a cheese lover's delight! Just perfect Val.

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  21. oooo! Look at that cheese melting off the side! These sound wonderful, Bellini Val! ;)

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  22. This looks SO good. I was just flipping through my Nigella cookbook over the weekend and saw her khachapuri and drooled. And now you, too. I think it's a sign I must make this!

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  23. What a pleasant surprise, I learned something new in Georgian cuisine. I'd even take a slice of this from Stalin (he was Georgian)!

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  24. That cheese bread looks so cheesy and good! It is hard to beat cheese bread just out of the oven.

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  25. That bread looks really tasty Val, but I must not be tempted to add any more cheese to my diet!

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  26. Your bread looks so good, nothing more comforting thand warm bread and cheese.

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  27. i saved this recipe too! I have it tacked to my fridge. now, I must make it. tonight. looks and sounds just as wonderful as it did in the magazine! and thanks for the WF event reminder!

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  28. That bread looks YUMMY!

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  29. great stuff, this bread. i sometimes spread out a very thin pizza dough and top it with cheese, and use it as a substitute to bread - delicious!
    RE: your comment about winter coats in Florida - I find that the tourists do exactly the same thing here - they are dressed in purely summer gear, while we are wearing autumn clothing, scarf, jacket and pumps included. i suppose we laugh at each other's incongruity!

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  30. Copius amounts of butter and cheese? Well you know I would love it! Thank you!

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  31. Pour the vodka, I'll be right over!

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  32. Val... I LOVE khachapuri and it was my favorite when I lived in Krasnodar, Russia, not overly far from the Georgian border. Georgians are famous (even infamous) for their hospitality - it's a wonderful, warm, rollicking culture.

    My only comments on the khachapuri are that the bread parts or even the interior tends to be a little sweet - so some sugar in with the cheese might make it that much more authentic (not a ton, like a cheese danish, but just a little to make you go "hmmmm")

    I will definitely be getting my sustainability post in to you soon - as you may have guessed by my absence, things have been a bit crazy on this end.

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  33. OK, so now it's not yet an hour after lunch and I'm sitting here drooling!! You're a bad, bad influence, missy. I love it!

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  34. Just love bread & cheese, a match made in heaven for me and yours look wonderful Val :)

    Rosie x

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  35. Okay, now you've done it to ME! Now as I see this bread on your blog I'm thinking it is a must try too!

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  36. The things we like best are either illegal, immoral or fattening is my life's motto.

    This bread sounds like it fals into 2 of the 3 categories.

    I am going to have to give this a shot because this sounds amazing.

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  37. When you say 'must-have' bread I say yes. I really have to try this one.

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  38. Indeed a must bake bread! Thank you for your participation in WBD!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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