Sunday, January 02, 2011


This year, my share of the holiday meal plan comprised lasagna for Christmas Eve, and stromboli for New Year's Day. Stromboli takes about as much time and effort as homemade pizza (and the same ingredients, pretty much), but it's a much classier dish that's more of an "event". Here's how to make it.

  • Pizza dough, about 1-2 pounds, made fresh from your favorite recipe
  • Pizza toppings like:
    • Browned Italian sausage, sautéd with onions, garlic, and/or peppers
    • Slices of mozzarella cheese
    • Sliced pepperoni
    • Etc.
  • Melted butter
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  1. Prepare the dough as directed.
  2. While the dough is rising, prepare toppings. Slice, sauté, etc.
  3. Melt a few tablespoons of butter.
  4. When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured pizza peel.
  5. Pound the dough down, the cut it in half. You can make strombolis from each half or freeze one half for later use.
  6. Preheat the oven, with your pizza quarry tiles or pizza stone, to 350.
  7. Roll out the dough into a roughly rectangular shape, about as thick as you would for a New-York-style pizza.
  8. Spread the toppings over all but the outer edges of the dough. Cheese should be on top. Do not include sauce! Guard against the temptation to overstuff; it won't taste better, and it'll make it hard to roll up and cook unevenly.
  9. Roll the dough up into a spiral. (You might be hard-pressed to do more than fold it in half, if you overstuffed it.)
  10. Pinch the dough closed (you might need a tiny bit of water for this). You probably won't be able to pinch the main seam (just make it face down) without a lot of water, but you will need to pinch the ends.
  11. Brush the top of the dough with the melted butter.
  12. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  13. Transfer from the peel directly to the stones.
  14. Bake for about an hour, until loaf is golden brown and feels bready, not doughy.
  15. Optionally, heat up some spaghetti sauce near the end of the baking time.
  16. Slice into slices about 3/4" thick and serve with sauce for dipping on the side.
It keeps for days and is good served cold or reheated.

The photographs show the process of assembly and the final result of the one I made for New Year's Day. The fillings are Italian sausage with garlic and onions, mozzarella slices, and grated Locatelli Romano. All the pictures can be clicked to see full sized versions. You can see all the ingredients gathered in the first picture; those are sesame seeds in the tiny bowl in upper left, the sausage mix in a pan, and the cheeses in upper right. The dough has just come out of rising, been pounded down, and then cut in half before this picture.

Next, you see the dough rolled out, topped, and then rolled up. You can see how it looks ridiculously lumpy. Don't worry about that; it'll cook out from that to an even bread-loaf appearance.

In the next picture you see both loaves brushed with butter and sprinkled with sesame seeds. From here they went into the oven. One of them burst a little and overflowed some cheese, but it still came out fine; that's the one I cut up for dinner, and that's what you see slices of in the final picture.

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