Pâine de Casă & Khachapuri

The recipes that I’m posting here today are Romanian and Georgian origin.

I’ve never been to Romania, but the Pâine de Casă, Romanian bread, from my favourite bakery in Japan has attracted me for many years. (It should probably be called pâine de cartofi, or potato bread, rather than homemade bread.) I had always wanted to try to bake the bread with soft, moist and chewy texture, and finally did it recently. After a few baking attempts, it came out sooooo good!!

The pâine de casă along with khachapuri wasn’t photogenic at all, so baked another one 😀

Another recipe is of khachapuri (Adjaruli type), Georgian cheese bread. I didn’t know anything about Georgian food, but a meal photo that one of my blogger friends posted grabbed my heart – my ‘stomach’, I mean ‘appetite’, to be precise – and I had been hoping to make the cheese bread since I had tasty one in London. When my pâine de casă experiment went well, I wondered what if… and I was right! The pâine de casă filled with melted cheeses topped with a runny egg and butter turned out to be a perfect match – much better than the one I had in London 😀  Trust me! My khachapuri would never disappoint you!!

Ingredients

for the dough 

180 g floury potato (for 150 g mashed potato)
150 ml lukewarm water
1 tsp instant dry yeast
150 g strong white flour

60 ml lukewarm water
1 tsp salt (for khachapuri bread; add ¼ tsp more for pâine de casă)
200 g strong white flour (plus some for dusting)
100 g strong wholemeal flour

for the filling (for 2 khachapuri)

100 g grated fresh mozzarella
80 g grated Samsø cheese
80 g crumbled feta cheese (I used milder)
1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
2 egg yolk
20 g butter

Method

Pâine de Casă

  1. Place the potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook until tender but not falling apart. Drain well, peel the potatoes and mash thoroughly.
  2.  Dissolve the yeast in the 150 ml lukewarm water, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Put the 150 g mashed potato in a bowl, pour in the yeasty water, and stir with a wooden spoon. Gradually add the 150 g strong white flour and mix well to form a sticky dough. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave the dough sit overnight.
  3.  The following day, dissolve the salt in the 60 ml lukewarm water, pour in the dough and stir well. Spoon in the remaining flours and knead into the dough. The dough should be too sticky to work with, but do not add any more flour. Cover again with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 – 2 hours until doubled in size.
  4.  Preheat oven to 220°C. Punch down and knead the dough for a few minutes in the bowl. With floured hands, shape into a round loaf and place it on a floured baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until well risen and crusty on top. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

Khachapuri 

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Combine the cheeses with the yoghurt and set aside.
  2. On a floured surface, divide the pâine de casă dough into two equal pieces, and shape both into a ball. Spread each piece into a circle about 25 cm in diameter. Roll two opposite sides of the circle towards the centre so it ends up have a boat like shape. Then pinch the corners together.
  3. Put half of the cheese mixture in the middle and repeat with remaining dough and cheese. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until the crust becomes golden brown. Make a well in the centre of each khachapuri with a spoon and drop one egg yolk into each well. Return to the oven and bake for another few minutes. Cooking time may vary depending on your oven, but the egg yolk should still be bright yellow and runny. Remove from the oven, place 10 g butter on each bread and serve immediately. When eating, mix the cheese and egg with a fork.

 

Little Georgia in London

 I learnt khachapuri from the Wife of Bath’s travel story in Georgia. Unfortunately, there is not a Georgian restaurant in Tokyo – some Russian ones serve ‘the sort of’ dishes though – so I had decided to try a Georgian restaurant in London.

Then popped in Little Georgia in Islington – walked up from King’s Cross Road, about a 20 min walk, not from Angel, the nearest tube station. It was Thursday night and the place was 80% full, so I reckon the restaurant is quite popular. It was a bit pricey for me, but it is normal in London and costs more for one person. Anyway, the food was good and satisfactory.

(source: TripAdvisor)
(source: Time Out London)
khachapuri with Georgian wine
Ask for khinkali (Georgian dumpling ) – it’s not on the menu.

Next time in London, I will try breakfast or lunch at the original Little Georgia Cafe in Hackney, a cafe with BYO policy.

Little Georgia Cafe (source: Miranda’s Notebook)
mezze platter of salads (source: Miranda’s Notebook)

 

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37 thoughts on “Pâine de Casă & Khachapuri

  1. Rotwein, these breads look delicious 🙂 I feel I want to delve in and eat a slice right now. I am always nervous with using yeast. I am always afraid the dough wont rise 🙂 But, these look so scrumptious, I will just have to try 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for dropping by, Lynne! It’s super easy (but tasty!) – it doesn’t require much kneading and just let it rise slowly (overnight, no need at a warm place) and at a warm place (30-40 ℃) following day. Use good quality of flours and yeast, which makes difference!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My favourite bread from an artisan bakery is ‘Potato & Rosemary’. I have tried making bread with potato once and it was not brilliant. Your bread looks so good and I love to try it again. I also appreciate the info about the Georgia Cafe. I have never been there but I want to try them either in Islington or Hackney. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m drooling in front of the screen now!
    I love the potatoes in the dough and using it in two different ways. How clever!
    I’ve had Georgian foods many times, both in Israel – where there’s a large Jewish-Georgian community – and here in New York. I’m ashamed to admit this made me too spoiled to try and make Khachapuri at home. But now that I’ve seen your recipe, I will definitely try to make it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Georgian foods many times…. envious…. Any dishes to recommend for my future plan? You make nice breads, so let me know if you find good flours, flour ratio etc for khachapuri or potato bread!

      Btw, went to an Israeli restaurant last weekend and enjoyed a lot with Araq!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In addition to the dishes you’ve mentioned I also love their walnut sauce for chicken, also roasted eggplants rolls stuffed with walnuts.

        Glad you’ve enjoyed Israeli Arak! I’ll be going to Israel on March 3rd, so plan to bring back a couple of bottles – and Halva, of course! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m very bad at documenting trips. I prefer to enjoy the moment and not be bothered with photos. (Yes, I’m that weird! 🙂 ) But I’m sure I’ll get lots of inspiration from the food! I also plan a 5 days stop in Madrid on the way back… No doubt I’ll have to crash-diet upon returning! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh wow! The Khachapuri looks absolutely divine! It just bumped a Soufflé off of the prime spot on my to-bake list for my next round of oven-adventures~!
    It kind of reminds me of the snacks sold on medieval fairs around these parts, but already I’m sure your version will keep me from ever buying one of those again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a Georgian I am so glad to see this post there. Khachapuri and Georgian dishes in general are so delicious, to be honest. If any questions, contact me and i’ll try to help you.

    Liked by 1 person

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