Stromboli. It has been my family’s answer to just about anything for as long as I can remember. Comfort food or party food. Snack food or meal food. Picnic food or real-plates food. Total junk food or only-kinda-sorta junk food. Whenever we had a family get-together, someone always showed up with stromboli. We snacked on it before family dinners, and for weeks afterwards. Italians.. we can never make too much.
Stromboli reminds me of the best times. Big, loud family parties, learning to cook with my mom and aunts, inhaling piece after piece after dance recitals still in full costume, ski trips with best friends, long car trips. And in college, right around 2 am, we used to eat left-over stromboli right off the baking tray sitting cross-legged on the kitchen floor. But that’s a whole other story.
It’s like pizza, but even less messy and even more convenient. You can make it ahead of time, freeze it, and just pop it in the oven when company arrives or take it with you wherever you go. And, you can stuff it with just about anything you like. Here, we’re just doing the classic pepperoni, but we do ham, sausage, veggie, pesto chicken, buffalo chicken, barbecue chicken. The possibilities are endless.
And fully portable.
You Will Need:
For the Dough
1 packet yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
pinch of sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
For the Roll
1/3 lb deli pepperoni sliced thinly
1/2 lb mozzarella, freshly shredded
Start by proofing the yeast. Stir the yeast into the water with a pinch of sugar. Stir and stir until the yeast has dissolved. Set aside for about 5 minutes until you begin to see the yeast foam on the top.
In a big bowl, or a KitchenAid mixer, combine the flour and salt. Pour in the yeast/water mixture and the olive oil. Stir to combine. Then knead for a couple minutes. The dough should pull cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.
If the dough is too sticky still, add another tablespoon of flour.
Set the dough aside in a warm place to raise for about an hour.
Once the dough has risen, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle. Starting on one long end, lay the pepperoni down in an overlapping fashion. Don’t let there be any gaps! Gaps are boring.
Now we’re rolling! Start with the pepperoni heavy end, the one we started with before. Roll ‘er up tight! Keep working. She will unravel a little, but keep at it, and you will succeed.
Once you reach the opposite end, pull and tuck the corners in on themselves. Then press up the long seam to seal all that love and cheese inside.
Place the stromboli log on a baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust begins to golden-brown. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
Slice the stromboli into bite-size swirls, and serve!