Achma

With my shiny new kitchen aid, Smurfette,  I’m going to make Achma.  Achma is the Abkhazian form of Khachapuri (which is cheese stuffed bread).  However this is less of a bread and more like a cheese lasagna. The recipe requires that I use the flat beater and the pasta sheet roller. I’m excited to start, smurfette is ready to spin!

The recipe I have says 11oz of flour. I do a calculation of this being  a bit more than 1 1/3 cup of flour. After mixing and making the dough it is really wet. It seems wrong, but I need to let it rest for 30 minutes, so I figure it will change when resting. It doesn’t it is a sticky mess and I have to add a lot of flour to get it through the pasta roller and it doesn’t seem to make to large of a sheet to cover a pan.

Bad pasta

I deiced to redo the recipe as this just seems wrong. I end up looking at a few variations and  find a recipe that suggests 2 1/2 cups which is much more normal. However I don’t have enough eggs to make the meal so off to the store. Well it is getting to be late afternoon and this was to be my lunch, so I grab a quick snack at the store.

With a little food in my belly and cleaned up my mess I’m ready to start again. The dough now is too dry, Sigh. I try and hand knead it, but it is way sticky. Then it dawns on me I have a dough hook and but the dough back in the bowl and run it for a few minutes. The dough looks way better! Phew.

Dough

 

When I roll the dough it is really long. I don’t have a ton of table space so decide to do everything one at a time: roll, cook and layer. Dough rolled out

This takes a long time. I’ve basically finished the recipe in time for dinner; thankfully I had a snack. All I have to do is throw it in the oven for 30 minutes and clean up the big mess I made.

A mess

 

As it cooks I can smell the butter melting and I am salivating to try. I pull it out and the top is crisp and the melted butter and cheese are bubbling around the corners. I let it rest for a few minutes then cut in. The top is crispy and the middle is soft like pasta. The taste is buttery, but I couldn’t really taste the cheese. I don’t think it is bad and can see it being served as a bread vs a stand alone cheese lasagna. It maybe the cheese I bought isn’t strong enough to be melted or if this is the way it should taste. I guess I have to plan a trip to Abkhazia to find out.

IMG_3561 IMG_3566

 

Well this is the end of my journey  with  Abkhazian food. I really like the Adjika, Abkhazura with Tkemali sauce. The Achma is good, but I think I need to taste an original to have a better opinion. My next country will be Afghanistan.

 


 

Recipes

Achma

Original recipe can be found here

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 stick butter (6 oz), very soft
  • 8 oz salted bryndza, crumbled
  • 8 oz suluguni, shredded
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fit with the paddle attachment, add the flour, salt and eggs, and mix over low speed until homogeneous. Add the milk, and mix for another 2 minutes, with dough hook. Form a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for at least 30 minutes
  2. Combine cheeses in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Flour well, and, with a pasta machine, roll each piece to the next-to-finest setting. Each sheet should be as thin as a crepe. As you work on a portion of the dough leave the remaining in plastic wrap.
  4. Grease a 9×13 pan with some of the softened butter
  5. Cook one pasta sheet in salted boiling water for 1 minute, shock in ice water, pat dry with paper towels, then arrange into the dish to form 1 layer, cutting as necessary. Cover the layer with 1/4 of the butter, spread with a knife or an offset spatula. Cook and arrange another pasta sheet the same way, and top with 1/4 of the brynza and suluguni. Repeat this procedure 3 more times.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, then finish under the broiler for 2 minutes or until well-browned. Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

 

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