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Georgian boat bread


Georgia is one of those countries that, if asked, many people could not easily place on the world map. FYI it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan.

Today is the country's Day of First Republic, commemorating its declaration of independence from Russia in 1918.

Georgian breads are important in the diet, but one which has many versions is khatchapuri. The end of the word - puri - hints at its connection with bread.

What makes it a standout is that these breads come stuffed or topped with wonderfully creamy fresh cheeses and often also eggs. Most are baked along with the cheese making this a delicious snack or full meal.

Adjarian khachapuri comes from an autonomous republic of Georgia located in the south-western corner, bordered by Turkey to the south and at the eastern end of the Black Sea. In this bread the dough is formed into an open boat shape and the hot pie may be topped with a raw egg and a pat of butter before serving. The egg will cook in the heat of the just-baked bread.

I made mine without the egg and served the bread with a side salad for a light meal.

The recipe is simple. Make a basic yeasted bread dough, let it rise, then cut into pieces about the size of a large bread roll. Roll each of these out into a thin oval and cover while you make a filling of goats cheese, fetta or any other creamy white cheese. 

Add grated sharp cheese and some yoghurt then spread some of the mixture in the middle of each piece of dough. Roll up the edges and crimp the ends together to make a boat shape. Bake in a preheated 225C oven for about 20 minutes or until golden. Top with an egg and butter if liked and serve immediately, or cool on a wire rack.



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