This is a recipe for stromboli in general, but my favorite way to make it is like a cheesesteak. Stromboli is perfect for those nights when you want pizza, but not really. It’s the prodigy child of pizza and an awesome hoagie, and in my opinion it’s worth whatever work it takes to make it. Which, incidentally, is not as much as you probably think.
Stromboli is mostly just a pizza that you wrap up in itself, so the main issues that make it seem difficult are dealing with the dough and handling the finished product. The first time (okay, the first few times) I made stromboli, I would get to the end of creating a perfectly formed, well layered, nicely balanced piece of art – only to realize that I had to now get it onto a pan somehow. Weeping softly as my masterpiece stretched and squished in my cruel hands, I deposited my stromboli unceremoniously on the pan and start the process of trying to move on with my life.
So I’ve come up with a few tricks so that you don’t have to go through the same issues. You might be wondering whether it’s even worth the trouble, which also means you’ve never tried stromboli. It’s a blank canvas for all kinds of great flavors, and it’s a fun way to eat. As a tool for living simpler lives, I would use it instead of going to a restaurant or getting takeout as a way to make a regular night more fun. It’s also a very easy food to make into a vegetarian option. Choose a few different versions of filling, bang out a few of these guys, and have a game night or movie night with family or friends. I’ll probably show up.
Stromboli Recipe (makes 2)
1.5 recipes pizza dough :
4.5 cups bread flour
1.5 cups water
2 tsp yeast
1/2 tablespoon salt
3 tb olive oil
Pizza style –Tomato sauce and mozzarella with sausage, pepperoni, or veggies like peppers and onions
Calzone style – Ricotta, mozzarella, and meats/vegetables of choice
Cheesesteak style (my favorite) – ketchup, American cheese/mozzarella/provolone, sauteed peppers, onions, mushrooms
BBQ chicken – Pulled chicken, barbecue sauce, mozzarella, sauteed onions
Make the pizza dough according to my post on pizza that’s linked above as well (just stop before it turns into a pizza). Or use the ingredients listed above and check out the post on kneading dough to brush up on your bread skills.
Cook any of the filling that need it (raw meat or vegetables) and set aside. It’s actually easier to work with once it’s cooled, and it’ll heat up again in the oven.
Once the dough is risen, pat or roll it into a wide rectangle (something in the neighborhood of 14″x18″). Use a pizza roller to slice in half lengthwise to have two skinny rectangles.
Set one rectangle aside, and place the other on a sheet pan. Actually, I like to bake my stromboli on a baking stone, so instead I laid my dough over a thin rectangle of parchment paper so it would be easy to slide onto my pizza peel.
Layer the middle third of the rectangle with your sauce of choice for the filling you picked.
Spread your filling over the sauce, and top with cheese (and more sauce if desired).
Now to close it. You can just fold the edges over and slice some vent holes if you want, but we like to braid the top since it looks fancy. As with all things in the kitchen that involve patience or some level of fine motor skills, Rachel is a lot better than me at the braiding, so you’re seeing her technique in the photos.
For bonus points, mix up an egg white wash with 1 egg white and a splash of water. Brush over the surface of your completed stromboli, and sprinkle on something cool like sesame seeds or oat bran if you’d like. The egg white will give your dough more of a shine and a better color, and additionally it will act like a glue for whatever else you sprinkle on top.
Repeat this process for all of your stromboli, and then bake in a 425°F oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove when the crust is firm and golden-brown.
Let it rest for 5 minutes (trust me), and then slice and serve. Alternatively, you could divide your dough to make individual-sized stromboli so that everyone can pick their own filling.
Try it out and let me know what you think! Also– sign up for the updates and the newsletter by plugging in your email below. I control everything that goes out, so no worries about spam or anything.
Until next time, foodies!