Saturday, 02 May 2015 00:00

The European Kitchen: Stilton Khachapuri

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Photo: Tobias Melzer

Freshly baked Stilton khachapuri

As part of a new feature for Sixth Sense, E&M's Frances Jackson will be creating exclusive European dishes for our readers. First up is her recipe for Stilton khachapuri, a Western European take on a classic bread from the Caucasus.

I first came across khachapuri nearly six years ago during my year abroad in Regensburg. The girl who lived directly beneath me was from Tbilisi, the Georgian capital. Both of us far from home, my vertical neighbour and I bonded over baking and it was she who introduced me to this most exquisite of breads, sun-kissed and welling forth with molten cheese. The following summer – in what would prove to be the most delicious week of my life – I was invited to visit her family in Georgia. Back in Germany, as the memory of "light suppers" that would last for hours, of home-made wine and fiery adjika, began to fade, I finally persuaded my friend to share her recipe for khachapuri, which I have adapted here.

This version is not exactly authentic as it does not contain any sulguni, but the addition of blue cheese adds a hearty pungency that traditional khachapuri often lacks. I've gone with Stilton to create an Anglo-Georgian bread, but if that's not available, you could always use Roquefort or Gorgonzola. Khachapuri is best enjoyed still warm, however it does also make a rather good ready-made sandwich for a packed lunch the next day.

Stilton khachapuri

Cuts into 16 slices

  • 200 g Stilton
  • 75 g feta cheese
  • 1 tbl cream cheese
  • 250 g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 egg, separated
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 25 g butter, melted, plus a little more to spread over the hot khachapuri
  • 235 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Crumble the Stilton and feta cheese into a bowl. Mix together thoroughly with the cream cheese and egg white (you may need to use your hands as you're aiming for quite a smooth paste).

In another bowl combine the yoghurt, egg yolk, salt, oil and butter. Add 150 g flour and stir well to form a sticky dough.

Place the remaining 85 g flour on a clean work surface. Sprinkle over the bicarbonate of soda and mix together evenly with your finger tips. Spoon the dough into the centre of the flour mixture and use your hands to work in as much flour as necessary to create a soft, but no longer sticky dough.

Form the dough into a chunky disc about 25 cm in diametre. Dollop the cheese into the middle and fold the edges of the dough in to cover the filling like a parcel.

Carefully transfer the now filled dough to a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper. Starting from the centre of the dough, use the palms of your hands to flatten the dough into a large circle, roughly 35 cm across and about 1 cm thick.

Bake at 160 C until golden brown (around 30 minutes, depending on your oven). Remove from the oven and quickly spread with a couple of knobs of butter.  Slice into 16 pieces and then devour!

Kneaded dou...
Kneaded dough Kneaded dough
A swirl of ...
A swirl of yolk A swirl of yolk
Floury peak
Floury peak Floury peak
The finishe...
The finished product The finished product
Working in ...
Working in the flour Working in the flour
Separating ...
Separating the egg Separating the egg
Stilton rin...
Stilton rind Stilton rind
Cheesy good...
Cheesy goodness Cheesy goodness
Adding the ...
Adding the cheese Adding the cheese
Cheese knif...
Cheese knife Cheese knife
Stilton Stilton
Filled doug...
Filled dough Filled dough
Crumbly fet...
Crumbly feta Crumbly feta
Another pie...
Another piece wouldn't hurt Another piece wouldn't hurt
Almost read...
Almost ready for the oven Almost ready for the oven
Chopped Sti...
Chopped Stilton Chopped Stilton

Last modified on Tuesday, 05 May 2015 08:18
Frances Jackson

Frances Jackson is a former E&M editor and occasional contributor. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Munich, where she is pursuing a PhD in Czech poetry. Given the chance, Frances would probably spend all of her time in kitchen and is currently cooking her way around the world. She has also been known to dabble in literary translation.

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