06 November 2012
I have rewritten this sentence five times. I was going to start by writing: "I have two favorite Georgian dishes." Then, I realized... that the number two doesn't sum up my true list of favorites as I remembered another 'favorite'. After remembering and adding one more dish, upping the number of favorite Georgian dishes each time, I am now starting again and just going to say. I love the Georgian meal of adjarouli and decided to make a mini version for a recent weekend breakfast.
To make the dough...
Let one envelope of active dry yeast proof in a large bowl with 2 teaspoons of sugar, 1 pinch of salt and 1 1/2 cups of warm water. Allow to proof for about 15 minutes and then add 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 3 cups of flour. Knead until well combined (adding up to one cup more of flour as needed in order to create a smooth dough-- it should not be sticky), place in a clean bowl and cover with a towel. Allow to rise for two hours.
To assemble the mini adjarouli...
For four small adjarouli, you will need a ball of dough for each one (a bit smaller than the size of a baseball), four pats of butter, four slices of mild white cheese (I used edam), four eggs and a bit of flour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Shape the dough into an oval, pinching the ends to form the distinctive adjarouli shape. The dough should be smooth and a bit thicker around the edges. For this smaller version of the Georgian classic, I made them about the length of my hand from wrist to fingertips. Place the dough, once shaped, onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Place a piece of cheese in the middle of the dough.
Place into the oven and bake for about 7-10 minutes-- until the dough is slightly puffed and firm on the bottom. Remove from the oven and press the back of a spoon into the dough where the cheese has melted. This will form a well for your egg to sit in. Gently place an egg into each piece of dough-- taking care not to crack the yolk. Add a pat of butter near the egg and return to the oven to cook for just a few minutes longer. Ideally, the yolk will be soft, but the white of the egg will be firm. (Note: in a traditional adjarouli, the egg does not run over the edge of the dough, but this version is smaller and some of the egg will cover or escape the outline of your creation.) I decided not to brush the edges of the dough with additional butter, but for a more golden version you could brush the dough with melted butter prior to cooking the egg for a few minutes longer.