I made this recipe from Darra Goldstein’s excellent The Georgian Feast. I brought it to a Super Bowl party, and it was a big hit–a savory, finger-food that’s quite filling but also a little different. The texture wasn’t the same as the lobiani that I bought on the streets of Tbilisi, but it was still very good. My friends suggested, though, that they would prefer a different spice blend; I’m not sure what would be good though. Any suggestions?
Makes 2 incredibly large breads (fortunately you can freeze it after you cut it)
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) softened butter
2 cups sour cream (light worked fine)
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda, divided into quarters
1 pound dried kidney beans, soaked overnight to soften
3 or 4 medium onions
2/3 cup vegetable oil (yes, you do need that much or else it gets dry)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons salt
Black pepper to taste
one egg yolk to brush on top while baking
Cream the butter. Beat in the eggs and sour cream. Mix in flour to make a soft dough.
On a well-floured board, roll the dough to a 15 x 18 rectangle. The dough will be INCREDIBLY sticky at this stage, but it will calm down fast, so just do your best the first few times. Sprinkle the rectangle with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Fold the dough into quarters and reroll, repeating the baking soda, fold, re-roll procedure until the baking soda is used up. Place the dough into a floured bowl, cover it and leave to rise for 6-8 hours indoors or 2-3 hours in the sun.
For filling: Boil the kidney beans for about one hour. Drain, and then mash. Dice the onions and sautee them in the oil until soft. Stir the onions (and oil) into the kidney beans, and add the spices. Divide in half, and set aside.
Before you start assembling the bread, preheat the oven to 350* F. When the dough has risen, divide it into two parts. Roll each out in a large circle, keeping the inside of the circle thicker than the outside. Place the filling in the center, and bring the dough up around it, forming a sort of ball. Flatten this out, to a large disc. Brush the top of the bread with beaten egg yolk, and bake for 40-45 minutes until browned.