This traditional dish from the country of Georgia, known as acharuli khachapuri, is essentially a canoe made out of pizza dough and filled with bubbling cheese and a runny egg. What’s not to like? The most fun way to eat it is to put the boat on a platter while it’s still hot and tear into it with your fingers, dipping the hunks of bread into the molten center. If that sounds too hot or messy (it can be both), you can always cut it crosswise into pieces and serve on individual plates.
Makes: 4 servings as a snack
Time: About 2 hours, largely unattended
1 1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for greasing
1 1/2 cups shredded Muenster cheese
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small cubes (optional but traditional)
1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1/2 cup water and the oil through the feed tube. Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water a little at a time until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is still dry, add another tablespoon or 2 of water and process for another 10 seconds. In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time.
2. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand to form a smooth, round dough ball. Grease a bowl with oil, add the dough, and turn to coat; cover with plastic wrap and let rise until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. Meanwhile, mix the cheeses together in a bowl; season with black pepper.
3. When the dough is ready, heat the oven to 475°F, with a baking stone in it if you have one. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle half of the cheese mixture over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Roll one side of the circle toward the center, then repeat with the opposite side so that there is a gap of about 4 inches in between the 2 rolls (see illustrations below). Pinch the open ends of the rolls together on both sides and twist them together (the resulting shape should look something like a boat).
4. Carefully transfer the boat to a lightly floured peel, floured baking sheet, plank of wood, or flexible cutting board or put it on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese mixture into the opening in the middle. Slide the boat onto the baking stone if you're using one or put the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden. Crack the egg into the middle of the boat and bake until the egg is partially set, 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how firm you want the egg. Remove the boat from the oven, put the cubes of butter in the middle if you’re using them, and serve as soon as you’re comfortable tearing into it with your fingers.