Monday, April 23, 2012

Italian Stromboli

There are so many things I love about strombili. I love how the fresh pizza dough wraps around the delicious filling and bakes up in a neat package. I love choosing flavorful ingredients to stuff inside to accomodate whatever I'm hungry for and have on hand. I love slicing into it and serving the pieces to anxiously awaiting guests as the steam escapes and everyone ooohs and aaahs as the delicious filling is revealed. And I especially love that stromboli is not super common on menus or in cookbooks. Everyone loves it, but it is always a treat. Good news stromboli fans, this delectable meal is easy and fun to make at home! Just make a batch of pizza dough (or use your favorite store-bought kind), roll it out, load it up with toppings and roll it up. Then bake to perfection and serve with pizza sauce. Enjoy the ooohs and aaahs!

Italian Stromboli
Flavorful and fantastic for a crowd!
Serves 8

Basic Pizza Dough, recipe follows, or 2 rounds of your favorite dough
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
1 cup sliced yellow onions
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell peppers
1/2 cup thinly sliced green bell peppers
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 pound sliced ham
1/4 pound thinly sliced pepperoni or salami
2 cups grated provolone
2 cups grated mozzarella
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water to make an egg wash
1 cup finely grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet and set aside.

In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat until browned and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Add the onions, bell peppers and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until very soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and Italian seasoning and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cool.

Punch down the dough and divide half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough to a large rectangle, about 10 by 14 inches. Spread half of the cooled sausage mixture across the dough leaving a 1-inch border. Overlapping slightly, layer half of the ham, pepperoni, provolone and mozzarella cheeses over the top. Using a pastry brush, paint the border of 1 long edge with egg wash. Starting at the opposite long end without egg wash, roll up the dough into a cylinder, pinching the edges to seal. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining ingredients. Let the dough rise, 20 to 30 minutes.

Brush the top of each stromboli with egg wash. Bake until nearly completely golden brown and starting to crisp, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle each stromboli with Parmesan cheese and return to the oven until the cheese is melted and the dough is golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes. Slice thickly and serve with pizza sauce.

Basic Pizza Dough:
1 cup warm (110 degrees F) water
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, sugar, and 1 tablespoon oil and stir to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until all the flour is incorporated but the dough is still slightly sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky, 3 to 5 minutes.

Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse

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