I might be giving away my Pennsylvania secrets here (even though this southern kind of PA didn’t hit my life until my pre-teens/early teens) but Stromboli is a blessed thing. A very small regional pocket of goodness (other areas try to mimic or claim, but it’s just not the same), and yes, my mom makes the best ones. As a later teen, hosting some significant parties, my mom would crank out stromboli like nobody’s business and appreciating teens would inhale them. Every now and again, I get a mean need.
What exactly is a stromboli, you might ask – or perhaps you think you know, and maybe you even do, but just in case: it’s generally a long giant hot pocket of cured meats, cheeses, and for us a little olive salad. Your mama might argue with my mama about sauce inside, or how ‘poofy’ the crust should be, or exactly what meats and veg should be in it, but this is what ours is like. What makes it different than say, a calzone? Well, again – you could argue all this, but a calzone in my experience has at least ricotta and is definitely poofier and is shaped different. Living with a full on bread maker now has taught me that shaping is sometimes a remarkable difference between one thing and another (shaping changes crust, crumb, and your mouth’s ability to taste flavor in different ways making it an entirely different bread between shapes). But some folk get a little pizza sauce for dipping.
I’ve made turkey stromboli and veggie stromboli (think mushrooms, peppers, maybe thinly sliced eggplant but nothing too wet like zucchini unless you’ve cooked it first, I might even cook my mushrooms and peppers first – if nothing else would deepen the flavors) but classic is our favorite. It used to be really hard to find (synthetic) nitrate-free cold cuts but now Hannaford makes some (Nature’s Promise) and Fiorucci makes the Italian meats. We serve it with a lightly tossed vinaigrette salad (’cause we feel a little guilty without the roughage). Stromboli is just as good cold the next day.
- 1 – 1lb pizza dough, stretched out on a big baking sheet with parchment paper and a little cornmeal to about a 12″x18″ rectangle, airbake pans work great but having an edge for any juicy meat/veg run off is better in my opinion – could also work on a baking stone if you are really good at the peel (preheat oven stones)
- 1/4 lb Genoa (soft) Salami (not too thick, not too thin)
- 1/4 lb Capicola
- 1/4 lb Ham (not honey ham, could sub Turkey here, too)
- 1/4 lb Provolone
- 1- 8 oz bag of Shredded Mozzarella (we use Cabot Rustic Cut)
- 1 jar of Manzanilla Olives
- 1 can of Black Olives (any size)
- 1/2 jar of Roasted Red Peppers
- 1 small Onion or medium Shallot, peeled and halved (optional)
- Pizza sauce for dipping (optional), consider warming (can put in an oven dish and into the oven for last 5 minutes of cooking stromboli)
- 1 egg white or a little olive oil for glazing (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a little food processor, chop (not too finely, not puree), the olives and roasted red pepper (and halved onion, if using), set aside
- Stretch out dough and layer up the center (leaving 2-3″ either side naked) the salami, then capicola, then ham, and provolone in alternating rows (like scalloping)
- Then spread the olive salad over the meats, again, up center of dough.
- Top olive salad with shredded mozzarella.
- Then fold one long side of dough to at least halfway across – stretching slightly – over the top of the center layers of meats/cheeses/olives. Fold one end in over the edge of this ‘envelope’, then the other side to meet or just over the previously folded long side. And then the last end, folded over to complete the package. Pinch in any holes along the way (don’t stretch so thin that the dough breaks, but if it does a bit, pinch the dough back together). The dough should be sticky enough it all sticks together easily. The whole thing at this point should be about 6-7″ wide and 16″ long (ish).
- At this point, if you think you like a hard crusty top, egg wash over it lightly before baking. If you like a more traditional pizza type top, brush a little olive oil over it. Or you can opt out of either.
- With a sharp knife, score 3-4 slashes down center of stromboli diagonally, to let the steam escape (so it doesn’t explode – ha!).
- Pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees or until the top looks golden and crusty. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Slice into 2-2.5″ strips across the short end so that everyone gets about 2 slices of meaty goodness and people can generally fight over the bready ends. Dip in warmed pizza sauce, if desired. Refrigerate any leftovers and have for breakfast or picnic!
2 thoughts on “Recipe Thursday – Bread Book: Stromboli”
This sounds amazing!! Do you think you’ll ever offer this at the storefront?
Thank you, Cheryl
No, unfortunately, it is not in our plans to serve food (and meats are a whole other inspection process), but we will have a little cookbook out soon with all of our Bread Book recipes!