Georgian Cheese Bread
- Combine cheese, butter and egg in large mixing bowl.
- Knead vigorously until texture is uniform.
- Shape into thick round cake 8 to 7½ inches in diameter.
- Sprinkle yeast and ½ teaspoon sugar over milk in small shallow bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm place until yeast blooms and mixture nearly doubles in volume, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Combine 4½ cups flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt in large mixing bowl.
- Make well in flour mixture and add milk-yeast mixture and softened butter.
- Beat vigorously with large spoon until smooth.
- Form into ball and place on lightly floured surface.
- Knead hard 10 minutes, adding more flour or water as needed to create medium stiff dough.
- When dough is smooth and elastic, place in large, lightly buttered bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap and kitchen towel and let rise in warm, draft-free place, such as unlit oven with pilot light on, until doubled in bulk and dough springs back slowly when gently poked with finger, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Punch dough down and let rise until again doubled, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Punch dough down and roll out on lightly floured surface into circle about 22 inches in diameter.
- If rolling surface is too small, divide dough in half and roll into 2 half-circles 22x11 inches.
- Roll dough up on rolling pin and unroll carefully over buttered 9-inch cake or spring-form pan or spring-form so that it is centered, with edges overlapping more or less evenly on all sides.
- If using 2 half-circles of dough, form 1-inch seam to make whole circle and moisten thoroughly to seal.
- Carefully press center of dough down to bottom of pan.
- Place cheese filling on dough and bring up edges of dough over filling, forming thick, fabric-like folds.
- Moisten edges at top and seal.
- Let stand 10 to 15 minutes.
- Bake at 375°F in center of oven, with foil underneath in case filling leaks, until golden brown, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
- Cool 1 to 2 hours before serving.