26 January 2015

Eats: stromboli

As I mentioned last week, the extended Team P are pretty big fans of the Packers. At one point I believe the name “Aaron Rodgers P” was floated for Baby P. He even has his own tiny Packers gear (provided by his Wisconsin-dwelling godparents), which he rocked for the NFC championship.

“Go Pack Go!”

So while I need to acknowledge that the Super Bowl is happening this weekend, and that you might need some tasty treats for the game... I want you to know that it pains us deeply that we will not be cheering for the Packers. Just so you know.

But because there’s a chance you’ll be having or attending a shindig this weekend, I did want to queue up a recipe you can share: stromboli! It’s perfect football food in that you can eat it with your fingers, it involves a dip, and there’s a carb-meat-cheese trifecta. I pinned this recipe ages ago and finally got around to making it. It takes a bit of time, but don’t worry, you’ve got almost a week to plan ahead!

We start with the dough. (The original recipe makes enough dough for two loaves, but I halved it to just make the one.) Dissolve 1 1/4 teaspoon yeast in 2/3 cup warm water. Give it a few minutes to let it foam up, then add two tablespoons vegetable oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a cup of flour. I also sprinkled in some garlic powder, because mmm, garlic. Mix!

Note that I mixed everything with the dough hook, because I am lazy, instead of switching from the paddle to dough hook. It all comes out fine in the end.

Add in another heaping cup of flour and continue to knead on medium speed with the dough hook for ten minutes or so. It’ll look dry and crumbly at first, but eventually comes together into a soft ball. If it doesn’t, just add another tablespoon of water.

Give it a good spray-down with cooking spray, then wait to let it double in size! I think I ended up waiting close to two hours (because... new baby) but the source says you can wait 45 minutes. Then punch it down and roll it out:

Aim for a 15 x 12” rectangle – the dough should be pretty thin, even thinner than mine there. Mine was also a bit dry (you can see how it has dried bits in the softer rolled-out dough); I could’ve added a bit more water above!

And now for the best part, the filling! I added several slices of deli ham, pepperoni, and Italian seasoning...

Then slices of provolone, shredded mozzarella, and more pepperoni and Italian seasoning. There are measurements in the source but who cares, just load it up!

All that matters is that you can close it up, like so. I folded it over and pinched the seams tight. If they won’t seal, stick your finger under the running faucet and then run it along the edge to help the dough stick together. Then brush it with olive oil, dust it with cornmeal, and sprinkle – you guessed it – more Italian seasoning.

Finally, it’s time to bake! Pop it in a preheated 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes, until it’s starting to brown. And that’s it!

I confess, in the photo above, mine isn’t fresh out of the oven (because, again... new baby). I had to make it and immediately refrigerate it, which explains why my slices below don’t have melty cheese oozing out, as they should.

I just threw them into the toaster oven to reheat, which is not very food-bloggery, but it does show you what to do with your leftover stromboli, eh?

By the by, those slices are part of what makes a stromboli a stromboli, if you, like Mr. P, were wondering exactly why this isn’t a calzone. They’re similar, but a stromboli is more like a sandwich, both in the bread and the way it’s sliced up. There are other differences, but I admit they’re similar enough – enough that I’ll dip either in a side of marinara!

There’s also the obvious difference that you’d feel weird bringing a calzone to a Super Bowl party, but a delicious stromboli like this one would be a real crowd-pleaser! So even if your team isn’t in the game this Sunday, you can always be in the spirit for the food. Enjoy!