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Michael Israel

Senior Manager Culinary Development
The Cheesecake Factory

California Cheese Khachapuri

Recipe courtesy of Chef Michael Israel, The Cheesecake Factory
Sponsor: California Milk Advisory Board

Makes 6 khachapuri


Khachapuri Dough:

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ ounce active dry yeast
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons warm water

Cheese Filling:

  • 18 ounces Real California TomaProvence cheese, rind removed and grated
  • 18 ounces Real California Toma cheese, rind removed and grated
  • 6 eggs
  • Chopped chives, as needed
  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed


  1. To prepare the Khachapuri Dough, combine flour, yeast, salt, sugar, 2 cups warm water and olive oil in large food processor. Pulse until the dough forms a ball.
  2. With motor running, process dough while drizzling in 6 tablespoons warm water, for 1 minute. The dough should be very loose and sticky.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until doubled in volume.
  4. Place bowl in refrigerator and let rest for 15 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  5. Scrape dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Pat into a rectangular shape then cut into 6 equal pieces.
  6. Gently tuck the corners of each piece of dough underneath to form a ball with a smooth top.
  7. Place on a lightly floured sheet tray and refrigerate for 10 minutes or up to 3 hours.

To prepare the Cheese Filling

Combine the California Toma Provence and Toma cheeses and press to form 6 equal balls.

Assemble Khachapuri

  1. When ready to assemble Khachapuri, preheat pizza oven to 550°F and place pizza stone or upside-down sheet pan in bottom third of oven.
  2. On a floured surface, press one ball of Khachapuri Dough into an oval 9 inches long and 7 inches wide.
  3. Press one cheese ball into the center of the dough and slightly flatten.
  4. Fold the dough up and around the cheese and twist the ends to make a boat shape.
  5. Using a pizza peel or large floured spatula, place into the heated oven.
  6. Bake until the cheese is melted and the crust in light golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. While the Khachapuri is baking, crack one egg into a small dish.
  8. Remove Khachapuri from oven and make a shallow well in the center of the cheese.
  9. Place the egg into the well and return to the oven. Continue to bake until the egg is set, 6 to 7 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and brush the crust with extra virgin olive oil.
  11. Sprinkle the chives over the cheese and egg.

Chef Note:

Khachapuri is meant to be eaten as a bread and dip, where the edges of the dough are torn and dipped into the yolk and cheese fondue that forms as it bakes.

Project Management: Summit F&B
Photography: Carlos Garcia // Food Styling: Peg Blackley & Bree Williams


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