Stromboli

10 May

stromboliAfter last week’s cheesymite-scroll-fest that took place in my kitchen there was still one lonely sachet of active dry yeast hanging around begging to be used. It brought to mind a recipe I have on my giant list of recipes to try: Stromboli. I had no idea what Stromboli was before reading this recipe, but was totally taken in by the name alone. Doesn’t it sound Italian and delicious? Or maybe like a fun card game? Or perhaps a place you’d like to visit?stromboli

I wiki’d it so you don’t have to, and sadly, it is none of those things: it is thought to have been invented by an American in the 50s and named after a movie which was set on the desolate volcanic island of Stromboli, which lies off the coast of Sicily.

Guessing and speculating aside, it is a really fun food – a little like the calzone, with its single fold to encase the pizza toppings, this little guy is a rolled up pizza! I know, I know! Too much fun! The dough on the inside has a springy give to it, the cheese gets melted and oozy and the outside is textural and crunchy.

tomato sauceFor me, it’s probably a bit of a weekend meal – time is required to make the dough and let it rise before turning it into a roll of pizza goodness. However, a more organized person than I could make the dough and sauce in advance and freeze them for use on a weeknight.

strombolistromboli

You can really go to town on the toppings and use whatever you like. I was in a massive shopping rush though, so pretty much just followed the original recipe’s ingredients list and instructions which made a pretty delicious Stromboli. The only thing I’d say is don’t go light on the cheese – it’s too good in there.

stromboliIngredients (The list is long, but don’t let that put you off! You probably have most of it in the cupboard and fridge already!)

For the base

3¾ cups plain flour

2½ tsp active dry yeast (1 sachet)

¾ tsp salt

¾ tsp sugar

1 1/3 cup room temperature water

For the sauce (or use bottled)

3 tbsp olive oil

½ large onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, finely diced or pressed

½ tsp chili flakes

Freshly ground salt and pepper

800g tin tomato puree

2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped

For two Stromboli (or use whatever ingredients you like on your pizza)

1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 packet pepperoni, quartered

1 red onion, sliced and fried in a tbsp of oil until softened

1 red capsicum, grilled and peeled *

½ block frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed of excess water

250g cheddar, grated

Olive oil

Freshly ground salt

Method

For the base

In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add the water and mix with your fingers until blended.

Cover the bowl with a clean towel and set in a warm place until doubled in volume (about 2 hours).

Divide the dough in 2 and shape into flattened balls (Each will make 1 large Stromboli).

For the sauce

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Add onion, garlic, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until onions soften. Stir in tomato puree and oregano.

Simmer over low heat for 20-45mins.

For the Stromboli

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Oil a large baking tray. Use one with low edges if you have it.

If you are making one Stromboli, roll one ball of dough out on the tray to reach the corners. (The other ball can be frozen.)

If you are making two, place a length of baking or waxed paper on the bench and roll the other ball of dough out into a large rectangle on the paper.

Spread half the sauce on each of the bases (or freeze the second half of the sauce if making only one).

Scatter toppings over each base.

Roll the Stromboli on the tray first to make one long log.

Roll the Stromboli on the paper next. Use the paper to help transfer the second Stromboli onto the space left on the tray.

Oil the tops of the Stromboli and grind a little salt onto the tops of each log.

Cook for 45-60 mins until the dough is golden brown and crunchy.

To serve: slice into 3cm slices and serve with salad alla Famiglia.

capsicums for stromboli * Grilled red capsicum are so easy and taste so much better than the vinegary ones sold in jars or at delis. Preheat the grill and oil a baking tray. Slice capsicums into quarters and lay out skin side up on tray. Place under the grill for about 10 mins, watching carefully towards the end. Once their skins are blackened and blistered remove them from the oven and transfer to a plastic bag. Twist the top if the bag shut and leave on the bench to sweat until they have cooled enough to handle. Peel the skins and discard, then slice the flesh into strips.

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