Lately I have been hooked on making my Italian Stromboli recipe. I started when I was making so many loaves of my favorite bread, the best bread recipe I have ever made; turns out great every time. I usually make 12 loaves at a time.
After I make the bread I usually wrap and freeze eight to ten loaves and bake two or four depending on what plans I have for it. One day when I was mixing the bread dough I thought I would make a pizza with one loaf portion of the dough. Then, I thought I make pizza all the time. I wanted to make something different. A Stromboli!
STROMBOLI DOUGH RECIPE OR THE BEST BREAD RECIPE
Combine yeast and water and let set 5 minutes.
Place in mixing bowl 3 cups flour; add yeast mixture, milk, sugar, shortening and salt and blend.
Gradually stir in enough flour to make a soft dough.
Turn out onto floured surface and knead until elastic about 10 minutes.
Place dough into a well greased bowl and turn to grease top of ball.
Cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until double in bulk.
Punch dough down and knead four or five times; divide dough in half (makes 2 Stromboli recipes or 2 loaves of bread)
If making bread, place dough at this point in greased bread pans.
Cover and let rise until double in warm place.
Bake at 375F degrees for 35 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped
The pizza, the calzone and the Stromboli recipe are all very similar and I love the flavor of all three. There has been a lot of discussion as to the differences in the three. To me all three are made with pizza dough; or if like me I always use bread dough. Of course we all know that pizzas are rolled out flat; mostly round but some prefer to make the long on a tray. Then we want to pile them with our favorite pizza sauce and ingredients; for me lots of cheese. In the brief history of pizza that I know, we are taken way back when, to Southern Italy where the first mention of pizza appeared in the town of Gaeta. My history of pizza goes back to age of ten when my sister ordered our first pizza from Vic Cassanos in Dayton Ohio. Pizzas were beginning to be a craze in our area; everybody talking about them. Although my first taste was not a good experience, since that day they have continually improved and the Cassano pizza became one of my favorites; I loved it cut in the little squares.
The calzone is actually a folded pizza; some call a calzone sandwich. As the story goes these calzones came about as an easier way to eat pizza; often standing rather than sitting. There is another version of this sandwich from Puglia (Southern Italy) which is made small and is fried. It also is made with pizza dough and basically the same ingredients as pizza.
I decided to do a little research about my delicious Italian recipes; and the favorite of many of you readers. I was sure it had to originate in the little Island of Stromboli off the coast of Sicily but I can’t find anything to that effect. From what I have read, to my surprise, my Italian Stromboli recipe is not Italian at all. It originated right here in the Unites States; Philadelphia to be exact by Romano’s according to my information.
As I said, I chose this day to make Stromboli with some of my bread dough. Many people call the Stromboli recipe a turnover. I make mine in a “jelly roll style”. My Stromboli recipe differs from my pizza and my calzone in other ways also. First, as you can tell one is quite large; I cut it in slices about 1 ½ inches wide. Another way is that I do not use any pizza sauce inside but rather I like to serve the sauce on the side. The flavor of this is so delicious, some do not even want sauce with it; I prefer the sauce also.
HOW TO MAKE STROMBOLI?
The following is what I allow for each Stromboli recipe; I like mine stuffed full but it depends on what you like. I buy a good quality pepperoni (I like the large round thin slices), sliced mozzarella cheese and provolone cheese from the local little market.
Roll half of dough to 9 X 13 inches approximately.
Layer the mozzarella cheese (LEAVE 2 INCHES ON FAR SIDE LENGTHWISE. When you roll the filling will push over)
Make a layer of cooked sausage on top of cheese.
Top sausage with garlic, then onion, then green pepper, olives and mushrooms.
Add salt and pepper if desired; I find it has enough since my sausage is well flavored.
Make a layer of provolone cheese on top.
Start rolling dough up lengthwise tightly from the closest side to you like a jelly roll.
Place seam side down on greased baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven at 400F degrees until top is browned; serve with pizza sauce on side.
NOTE: Add a side salad and this makes a wonderful meal.