Today I want to share with you the experience of preparing Georgian Cheese Bread, which is delicious, simple, and accompanies every winter meal in a nice way. The preparation and the baking that I present here has been done by my good Georgian friend Lali.
First we must put the clay round dishes in the fire to heat up. They come in pairs, one fits on top of the other, and as they are very hot, what is inside cooks itself without the need for additional heat. Their surface is rough. This pair of clay dishes came by special delivery from Georgia.The dough can be prepared in many different ways. I prefer plain flour, some yeast, a bit of butter or olive oil (note that in Georgia does not produce olive oil, so they use butter), salt and water.
The cheese they use in Georgia is called sulguni. It is a pickled cow’s milk cheese that requires to be cut in slices and left in water for a few hours to softer up and reduce its salt content. In Greece you can use feta, but any hard white cheese with a kick will do.
The technique of preparing the cheese bread is based on enlarging circles. You start with a rather thick (1 cm) and 5cm in diameter piece of dough, you put on top some of the pieces of cheese, and then you make a pouch of it.
You then press on the pouch carefully so that it becomes a 10 cm thin flat disk, that will be baked. As you can see, the cheese is this way enclosed in the casing of bread. There are variations with the cheese on top. I prefer the encased one. There are also variations with eggs in the cheese. Again, I prefer this extremely simple one, because it is very basic and lets the flavors of the cheese come out.