Khachapuri Cheese Bread Boats + Russian Friendship Tea

Something came up. It’s not you, its me. Where was I this week you ask? Ok. I’m making my own blog out to be a crazy ex. I’ll tell you where I was and why to prove my faith to you. As a freelance writer who’s trying to make it out there, I had the jump up and down for hours out of excitement opportunity to interview a fashion designer for a magazine. But the catch was it had to all be done, the lengthy article, 20 questions, answers back from the designer, and put together within 1 week. It was like Survivor for Writers. 15 lattes, 1 designer, 1 caffeinated crazed writer, 20 questions, and 1 week. I know you must feel really bad for me. It was a kick ass assignment and I loved every minute of it.

We did cook our dishes but I just didn’t have the extra brain power to tell you about it. I’m willing to make-up by mailing cheese bread boat forgive-me-favors to all that ask, unless of course it slips my mind! (It’s already forgotten).

On Tuesday night, our dinner was to be “Hachapuri.” That name gives no hints. It looks like what I would imagine, “Good Evening,” in Russian to be. In fact, according to the very knowledgeable Wikipedia it’s actually spelled, “Khachapuri,” and answers.com pronounces it as, “Khah-chah-POOR-ee.”

Not that that helps. Khahchahpoooree is a what an American would classify as cheesy bread. It’s bread, which can be in the shape of a boat, filled with cheese, and sometimes topped with an egg. When we were searching for Russian dishes, this cheesy bread kept popping up. But I kept dismissing it. We were looking for Russian dishes and this one clearly states that it’s Georgian.

Silly little me thought, Georgia the southern American state. Not Georgia, the state once apart of the Soviet Union.  As a result while this dish is not strictly Russian, it is a dish that was mingled into the cuisine. I’m sure Georgia and Russia were great friends. Despite the fact that when I searched “Georgia Russia” the first results that came up were the “Russian Georgian war.” Which I promptly disregarded. In fact, we have some good friendship tea that is sure to settle any worldly or neighborly conflict.

On Tuesday after being swamped with work, it was my hubby who came home with a huge smile on his face wondering what we were making tonight. I of course continued to pout until my bad mood melted away, smiled and absorbed his cuteness. My mood lightened right away when I realized we only needed 1 ingredient to make this dish (aside from the dry bread ingredients in our pantry). The cheese. How cool is that? I’m sure we’ll be able to run into our grocery store and find….Adygei…cheese…with…no…problem.

Huh. We went to our basic grocery store and looked everywhere for it. No luck. Zilch. However, we’re both fairly stubborn so we left and went to another store. Nothing there either. By that time, we had a slight slump to our posture and a crazed hunger gleam in our eyes. The only thing left to do was either A) Drive to the only Whole Foods store in Ohio and pray they had it. It’s 30 minutes away on a good day. B) Buy something generic and plan to eat sooner than later.

For the sake of our stomachs and marriage, we went with plan B. We picked out a couple of bags of mixed italian cheese bags and one smoked shredded asiago cheese blend instead. Then, we proceeded to get ingredients for our exotic tea: Tang, Lipton’s Rasberry Iced Tea, and Crystal Light Lemonade.

The cheese boat recipe has lots of pretty pictures which we appreciate. We did not appreciate the measurements in grams and ounces though. All we own are 3 small measuring cups, plus 2 college degrees, which means we were stumped on how to convert 300 grams of flour or 0.7 lbs into cups.

As always, we ran to the computer for help. Decided we wanted to have precise measurements since we love following directions (we’re just proper that way) and felt the Internet would aide us in that endeavor. After combining all the ingredients, we kneaded the dough for 15 minutes. The cool factor was gone in 3 minutes. Naturally, we took turns passing it off on one another.

I couldn’t help but grumble when I realized we had to let the dough sit for a whole hour to rise. We slipped it on a floured plate (fool us once, shame on you…fool us twice and we never make this again) slipped it under a bowl, and placed it in the draft free off oven.

We looked at each other in pain. This is how we made up our next decision:

We were both so hungry. We have to wait an hour? It’s just bread. An HOUR? And cheese. Cheesy bread is a side. An…hour?! I need to eat now. A whole hour. Your arm looks tasty. Let’s go get take-out. We’ll be back and fed by that time.

So we did. We bought bbq chicken tenders. They were devoured. One hour later, we were content and had even slipped in an episode of The Office when our timer went off and we checked in on our bread.

How do I say this? It had risen. At least that’s what he thought. It had. I guess. I think so. It was bigger. I just expected it to be huge with the yeast in it.

According to the recipe, we halve it and roll out one piece flat…in order to make to 2 HUGE bread yachts. We decided to fourth the dough and make 4 skiffs Hucklberry Finn would be proud to wander down the Mississippi river on.

This part was easy. We rolled out the dough like nothing. Let me tell you why. The advent of a nonstick rolling pin is an amazing thing. It almost replaces all those tragic childhood memories of attempting to roll out dough only to have a wooden rolling pin trash it to pieces.

I couldn’t believe how easy it was. The tumultuous relationship I had with dough is healing. It’s freeing. Like learning how to dive into a pool. I can make any recipe with bread in it now. I’ve got a non-stick rolling pin and…adult muscles.

Next, we laid out the bread, dumped the cheese tentatively into the middle, pinched and rolled both ends and laid it on to a greased cooking sheet. Then, we quickly whisked egg and water together and lovingly smothered the dough like we were giving it a sponge bath.

There, there bread. We won’t let the big bad oven hurt you. Mommy and Daddy are here to help you.

After tucking our bread into a 365˚ oven, we waited 20 minutes. Unfortunately, our tiny bread skiff’s were not big enough to drop an entire raw egg into them. When the time was up, we couldn’t believe our eyes. They looked beautiful and tasted delicious. Our own cheesy bread. Who would have ever thought?

There were a couple of problems. 1) We did not include cheese in the tips and should have when we were rolling up the sides. Without cheese, it’s just tasteless bread. 2) This bread is tastless. It’d actually be a perfect pretzel bread as it is dense and tastless. If the bread was perhaps glazed in olive oil and dusted with parmesan, it’d be better.

Next we whipped up the tea. According to the caution of many commentators, it was too sugary. We left the sugar out so we could add it at freely to our own drinks. The tea was amazing. Who on earth would have thought Tang, Raspberry Iced Tea, and Lemonade mix, would be great served together and hot? In addition the Allspice, Cinnamon, and Cloves added a lovely aroma. Perfect for a cold night.

We’ve been drinking it nonstop.

Find Both Recipes here: Khachapuri and Russian Friendship Tea.

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4 Responses to Khachapuri Cheese Bread Boats + Russian Friendship Tea

  1. Krista says:

    Wow the cheese bread looks great! Thanks for posting the recipe links!

    If only they had tang back during the Russian Georgian war, the friendship tea would have definitely fixed things…

  2. Bobbi says:

    Those cheese boats look amazing! I love the pictures and the tea looks tasty I will have to try some. Good effort in finding out how the dish is pronounced. Did you eat the cheese boats as there were or sis you dip them in any sauce?? If you didn’t what kind of sauce do you think would go well with it?

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