This is what happens when you find yourself bored to death on a summer evening when you’re supposed to do the cooking at home: you take one of your staple recipes, prepare it the usual way until about two or three steps to the end, and then do something totally mad with it.
In this case, I wanted to make a pizza for dinner – and ended up rolling it into another Italian treat: stromboli. Stromboli is similar to a calzone in the sense that it involves pizza dough encasing a savoury filling. However, unlike a calzone, stromboli is rolled into a cylinder before being sliced into spiral-patterned bites. That said, any leftovers are easily tucked into lunchboxes the following day for nifty snacks or light lunches.
The recipe here is how I usually do stromboli, but feel free to throw in your preferred fillings and sauces.
- 500 grams all-purpose flour
- 300 mL water
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil or rendered ham fat or lard
- 1 sachet fast-acting yeast
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup commercially prepared pasta sauce, halved
- 1/4 cup salty ham, chopped finely
- 1/2 cup diced pork sausage
- 1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems and caps sliced thinly
- 1 red onion, peeled, halved, and sliced thinly
- 1 eggplant, peeled and diced
- 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese, halved
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, yeast, and herbs. Heat the water and oil together in a heatproof bowl for a minute and a half on HIGH in the microwave. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the water mixture. Mix until well-combined. Knead for ten to twelve minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with a clean dishcloth and allow to rise in a draft-free area for an hour.
Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees / Gas Mark 7.
Remove the dishcloth from the risen dough. Divide the dough into two. Cover one half of the dough, then roll out the other half onto a floured surface into a rectangle approximately 1/2-inch thick. Spread over half the pasta sauce, then evenly scatter over half the toppings and half the cheese. Roll up from the broad end and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Leave to prove for 20 – 30 minutes; then brush the surface of the rolls with the eggwash.
Bake for ten minutes, then lower the temperature to 375 degrees / Gas Mark 5 and bake an additional fifteen minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for about two to three minutes before slicing. Slice the rolls into twelve portions each.
Makes 24 stromboli.