Gourmet's Georgian Cheese Bread

This recipe caught my attention for a number of reasons.
1. I'd been looking to make bread again.
2. It reminded me of stuffed crust pizza. Do they still make that?
3. I had all of the ingredients on hand.
4. Sorry, I just passed out. What was that? All of the ingredients on haaaand?

 Gourmet's version:

our version:

First things first, gather up your coordinating color schemes of yeast and flour. Be sure they match your dining room chairs and look cool with the mustard-yellow wall.

The first part of this recipe told me to: 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.)
I've only worked with yeast one other time, and so I couldn't tell if it had activated or rather, if it was creamy, so I started over and compared the two. I ended up going with the second one, the one on the left, which basically looked the same as the one on the right if not a little creamier.

No KitchenAid with paddle attachment necessary.

Next, you knead the dough for about five minutes and then form it into a ball. By the way, if you have never made bread you should try it. It is one of the most satisfying cooking endeavors--from getting your hands in there and kneading the dough to filling your house with the smell of warm, freshly baked bread. Plus, it's hard to mess up (unless your yeast isn't creamy enough--so gross sounding, I can't stop saying it) but so far, it seems like bread always comes out amazing.

Matt didn't want me to mention this, but this was a tag-team attempt. See, at this point the dough just had to rise for a few hours, and I had to leave for work. I marked on the recipe where I was and Matt was excited to take over. From the pictures below, I'd like to say he was a little too excited. Check out how much flour he used. It reminds me of winter in Pittsburgh, which reminds me: go Steelers.

Basically, you take a bunch of cheese, press it into a ball and then wrap the dough around it. The recipe called for a mixture of havarti and mozzarella, but as previously mentioned, the major draw of this recipe was that it required exactly zero trips to the grocery store, so we used the leftover cheese we had on hand: swiss, mozzarella and provolone.

Then, you press it down again and cut a big X in the snowy terrain.

Turns out Georgian cheese bread is really just a fancy name for stuffed crust pizza. Needless to say, it was awesome.

Also extremely noteworthy: I just opened my birthday present and bon appetempt's pics are about to get a major upgrade moving forward thanks to my new and amazing Lumix LX3! So excited.

RECIPE via Gourmet
    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 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 lb Havarti cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1/4 lb 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.

COOKS’ 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.


Andrea said...

This looks delicious! (Matt sure did waste a lot of flour, though.) Happy birthday!

linda said...

I bet you could wrap other stuff inside there. Maybe some basil, tomatoes?

Matt said...

Sorry about all the flour. It was sorta like a big cheese calzone minus the sauce... so good.

Anna said...

Go Steelers!

George Gaston said...

I am new here to blogspot and I really like your style (and courage). Many years ago, I started cooking out of necessity while living in New York City. Not able to go out to eat that often, I would read the New York Times Sunday Magazine recipe and try it. What I found out is something that has served me well – Cooking is not brain surgery! If it is so bad one can not eat it, just throw it away.

This Cheese Bread sounds awesome and I will definitely give it a try… maybe I will add a little Marinara Sauce on the side.

Really enjoy your blog… look forward to seeing what great things you are making next.

Amelia Morris said...

thanks, george!

we ate the leftovers the following day with marinara sauce & it was perfect.

Mary Anne said...

Well, you neglected to mention the number one reason I would have been attracted to this recipe: IT'S GEORGIAN.

YOU MADE SOMETHING GEORGIAN. I find that awesome because I am a nerd like that.

Mary Anne said...

p.s. Cameraaaaaa!! wheeee!

abby said...

This looks UNREAL. Can't wait to make it for myself.

teresacooks said...

I just found your blog, I LOVE it! Great writing and pictures. I made this too when the magazine came out. Can I just say - I think yours came out better because you didn't use havarti. I did and it was a little oily/greasy.

bon appetempt said...

Thanks Teresa! Yeah, I think the Provolone, Swiss, and Mozzarella ended up being a good combo... maybe the creamier Havarti made it a little greasy?

Lena S said...

I just made this with Muenster and Feta. The traditional version is made with Farmers cheese that is like a cross between Feta and Ricotta. My parents (who have a lot of close Georgian friends and had grown up eating Khachapuri) said this tasted very authentic. Thanks!!!