Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Have I told you how much I make pizza? I make it a lot. Sometimes as much as once a week. On average, about three times a month. The dough is so easy, it makes great leftovers for lunch, and it's a good way to use up bits and pieces of things in the fridge like leftover veggies or different kinds of cheese.

Like all recipes I get really comfortable with, it was time to play around a little with this one. Stromboli apparently started in Philadelphia, but how does anyone really know these things... All you need to know is that it's pretty much a pizza rolled up. It's a baked roll of dough traditionally filled with pepperoni (or other Italian cured meat), cheese, peppers, onions, and olives. But my inner Kevin McAllister wanted it plain. Ok, not plain cheese, but just cheese and pepperoni.

I'll give you the pizza dough recipe here again, instead of just linking to it, because seriously - if you haven't tried making this dough yet you need to. It's from Smitten Kitchen.

1 1/2 cups flour (can replace up to half of this with whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg (not for dough, for eggwash to brush on dough)
pepperoni, cheese, or whatever you want for filling

Stir dry ingredients, including yeast, in a large bowl. Add water and olive oil, stirring mixture into as close to a ball as you can. Dump all clumps and floury bits onto a lightly floured surface and knead everything into a homogeneous ball.

Knead it for just a minute or two. Lightly oil the bowl where you had mixed it, dump the dough in, turn it over so all sides are coated, cover it in plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two, until it has doubled in size.

Dump it back on the floured counter, and gently press the air out of the dough with the palm of your hands. Fold the piece into an approximate ball shape, and let it sit under that plastic wrap for 20 more minutes. ( If you want 2 strombolis - or pizzas - just double the recipe and cut the dough into 2 equal parts here.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the dough until about 1/4 inches thin, and approximately 8" x 13". I didn't roll it out as thin as I do to make a regular pizza, but close. Layer whatever ingredients you want for your stromboli onto the dough, leaving about an inch border on all sides.

When you roll out the dough it doesn't have to be a perfect rectangle, but try not to make it a totally irregular shape so it's easy to roll up. Brush eggwash along one of the borders (I put it on the long side at the top of the photo). Start rolling with the side opposite the eggwash. Roll evenly but not too tight. Seal the end with the eggwash.

Bake on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal for 20 minutes. That's a mini baking sheet, the stromboli isn't really that big. Remove from oven, brush more eggwash over the top and sprinkle some grated cheese on top - parmesan, asiago, mozzarella, whatever - and bake for 5 more minutes. You could even put it under the broiler for a minute to get it extra crispy on top.

As you can see, mine busted open. It doesn't really matter, it all gets sliced up anyway. Not sure if I rolled it a little too tightly, or if there was an air pocket in there. Let it cool for a couple minutes then slice it up.

Perfect for an appetizer. Dip the slices in a little marinara sauce...delish. Maybe next time I'll add more than pepperoni and provolone. Or maybe not.

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