When I was in bread class in culinary school, I was continually amazed at what we could crank out in 3 hours each Sunday. There was usually a semi-frantic juggling of starters, bigas, half risen dough, baguettes needing spritzing in the oven, brioche needing attention in the proof box; this and that on every available surface plus a little dash of competitiveness among my classmates to make some good bread. I, in particular, got a bit wiggy about making perfect slits on the top of my baguette. But somehow we pulled it off and made some beautiful bread and loaded up on carbs at the same time.
Yeast and natural starters played a big role every class so I was surprised one day when our chef instructor had us make a quick bread that only had a little baking powder for leavening and was ready, start to finish, in 30 minutes. If I remember correctly, we were probably hungry and couldn’t wait the 3 hours for our usual breads (aka snacks) to be complete. That’s usually how it went … when can we eat? It was delicious as we tore off warm cheesy pieces while working on our other projects.
I did a little research because I can’t remember a dang thing about what Chef told us about this bread. You know something called “khachpuri” has a story behind it. Turns out, this recipe comes from the remote mountains of Georgia (as in Russia not ATL you yahoos) and they use a local cheese that is a firm but creamy salted cow’s-milk cheese called sulguni. The recipe in Gourmet last year was a bit different- yeasted dough and havarti/mozzarella as the cheese but the pic is fantastic. For this version, we used feta (salty), a bit of yogurt (tang) and cheddar (not sure but melty goodness) with a little egg to set and enrich the filling. The dough comes together in a snap and just needs to rest for a few minutes. If you don’t want to buy bread flour special (and not everyone does you know), use all-purpose
What’s great about this … it’s super duper easy to crank these out. Quick, delicious and filling. Whip up a few, would you?
Makes 8 pieces
for the dough:
1 ¾ cups unbleached bread flour
¾ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup plain yogurt, full fat
for the filling:
3 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
2 ounces feta, crumbled
1 ½ Tablespoons plain yogurt
1 large egg
1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a sheetpan with parchment or a Silpat mat.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the dough ingredients until a smooth dough is formed – it will be a little sticky. You could do this easily by hand – just get in there and mix it all up.
- Cover with a towel and let rest 10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, combine all the filling ingredients and set aside.
- Lightly flour your work surface and divide the dough into 8 pieces formed into a ball.
- Lightly flour a piece of dough and roll into a 6” circle.
- Place a few Tablespoons of the filling (or 1/8 of the mixture) into the center of the circle and spread into a 2-3” circle in the middle of the dough.
- Fold the edges of the dough over the filling, galette-style, letting some of the filling show in the center.
- Place on the sheetpan and continue with the remaining pieces of dough.
- Brush each piece with the egg wash and bake in the lower third of the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
- Best eaten day of baking but leftovers will keep for a day or so, tightly wrapped. Rewarm in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes.