Stromboli, like its cousin the calzone, is a flexible way to combine favorite toppings and bread. I’ve been making a ham/cheese/pickle stromboli for decades now. It has become a holiday favorite. Even when the children are spending Christmas with the in-laws they request a loaf of ham stromboli. But as a vegetarian, I am always experimenting with meatless stromboli versions too.
This particular version combines favorite Italian vegetables like tomatoes, artichokes and peppers with lots of cheese. All are stuffed into a sourdough pizza dough.
Basically, stromboli is cheeses and other ingredients like vegetables or meats, all rolled or stuffed into bread dough and then baked. Stromboli is similar to a calzone, but it is loaf shaped instead of a folded round. When sliced, each piece of stromboli looks like a spiral. Think of stromboli as a bread version of the jelly roll, while calzones are a bread version of turnovers.
Use your favorite pizza toppings like thinly sliced pepperoni or spinach leaves in your stromboli, but go easy on the sauce.
Sometimes I add a little tomato sauce to the filling, but often I just serve sauce on the side. Too much sauce or wet vegetables will leave your dough sticky, especially if you use a sourdough base. Sourdough adds flavor to stromboli and helps it stay fresh longer, but you can make stromboli using any pizza dough recipe.
It really isn’t difficult to make your own sourdough starter. You can use the method I prefer, found on my website Make Your Own Sourdough Starter. Or follow the methods found in earlier Mother Earth News articles, including Creating Homemade Sourdough Bread From a Starter Mix, and a previous blog post, A Beginner’s Guide to Sourdough.
• 2 cups sourdough starter
• 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 ½ cups semolina flour
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp pizza seasoning (optional)
• ¾ - 1 cup water
• 2½ cups chopped, lightly steamed vegetables (I used a combination of zucchini, black olives, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers)
• fresh spinach or arugula leaves
• approximately 8 ounces shredded cheese (I used a combination of smoked mozzarella and gouda)
1. In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl, combine the starter, flours, olive oil, salt, pizza seasoning and water. Knead until the dough is smooth and shiny.
2. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl 2-3 hours. Divide dough in half. Reserve ½ dough for another stromboli or keep for later use.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 10-by-17-inch rectangle. Spread with the vegetable mixture. Cover with spinach leaves. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
5. Tightly roll up from one of the long ends. Lightly wet seam to keep the roll together. Move to a parchment lined baking sheet.
6. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until lightly browned. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Serve slices as an appetizer along with bowls of marinara sauce, make it a meal with a green salad, or tuck slices into your lunchbox for a change from peanut butter sandwiches.
Renee Pottle is an author, Family and Consumer Scientist, and Master Food Preserver. She writes about canning, baking, and real food at SeedtoPantry.com. Read all of Renee's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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