Sunday, June 24, 2012


There’s a few different stories about the true origin of Stromboli, but for the sake of regional cooking week, we’re going to assume that it was indeed invented in the town of Essington, outside of Philadelphia.  The basic idea is a meat-y (or vegetable-y, if you’re into that sort of thing) filling inside pizza dough. Not to be confused with calzones, which are just pointless.

Stromboli (yields 2 big ass strombolis)

Pizza dough (recipe follows)
½ pound Italian sausages, casings removed
1 cup diced onions
1 lb. package of mushrooms, sliced
2 serrano peppers, deseeded, deveined, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ pound pepperoni
¼ pound capicola ham
¼ pound pancetta
Tomato sauce
2 cups grated mozzarella
1.5 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Fresh basil (a handful), chiffonaded
Fresh parsley (a handful), chopped
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water for egg wash

First things first - In a large sauté pan over medium heat, brown the sausages. Remove and let cool. Add the onions, mushroom, and peppers, and cook on medium/medium low for about 7 minutes, until the onions are softened and the mushrooms have released their liquid. Add the garlic, season with salt, pepper, and oregano and cook for a minute more. Remove from heat and let cool.

Assembly – on a lightly floured surface, divide the dough in half, and roll one half into a rectangle approximately 16 inches long and 12 inches wide. Scoop on half the onion mixture, half the sausage, half the meats, a ladle full of tomato sauce, half the mozzarella, and ½ cup of grated parmesan. Top with the basil and parmesan. You’ll want to stack all of the filling in a line, off center (closer to you). Brush the far side of the dough with the egg wash. Fold the dough up creating a lazy cylinder. Bring the far side up last, pressing it against the near side of the Stromboli. Transfer to a baking sheet and cover, letting the dough rise/proof/whatever it does for 20-30 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the dough and fillings.

Baking - Preheat your oven to 375°F. Bake the strombolis for 20 minutes, rotating the two between oven racks halfway through. After the 20 minutes, top the strombolis with the remaining parmesan cheese, and cook for 5 minutes more, until the cheese is golden. Don’t be tempted to use the broiler for this, or you’ll just end up burning the tops. Ask me how I know. Apparently when you take these out of the oven you should let them rest for 10 minutes, but I sure wasn’t about to wait.

Pizza Dough

500 Grams (about 4 cups) all-purpose flour
300 grams (about 1 ¼ cup) water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Add about half the water to a bowl/container and add the sugar and yeast. Let the yeast do its thing for 10 minutes or so – it will be foamy. Place the flour, remaining water, yeast/sugar/water mixture, salt and olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with the dough hook to combine, then mix for 5-8 minutes, or knead by hand. Once the dough is nice and smooth, break off a piece and stretch it. If it stretches until translucent, you’re in business. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, transfer the dough to the bowl, cover and let rise until the dough has doubled in size and doesn’t spring back when you push your finger in, 2-4 hours depending on how warm it is in your kitchen.


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