Plenty of pizza shops and Italian restaurants offer stuffed breads with various fillings, known commonly as stromboli. It makes me chuckle that it’s considered to be an authentic Italian food when by most accounts, it originates from just outside of Philadelphia. Wherever it comes from, stromboli is great with a salad as a meal, or sliced up as a snack or appetizer on its own. The filling can vary as much as you want, based on what you have on hand. The only thing that’s super consistent with the stromboli I make is that I always use mozzarella or provolone cheese, as they seem to melt up just right to “glue” the whole thing together. Growing up, we always called it “pepperoni bread,” and my mother always kept her variations simple. I refer to it as stromboli, because the filling for this isn’t at all limited to pepperoni. This is a great way to use up leftover meats and vegetables you have hanging around. For this one I chopped up some ham and some meatballs, then layered them on top of mozzarella and sauce.
Any time I bring this to or serve this at parties, people ask me how I make it. It’s embarrassingly easy, especially if you already have pizza dough. If you don’t already have pizza dough you can buy it pre-made at most grocery stores (just be sure to buy it thawed, not frozen) and some local pizza shops will even sell you their dough if you ask. Making your own isn’t difficult if you choose that route. For the one below, I used pre-made pizza dough that I had leftover from a make your own pizza party. Whatever method you use to obtain the dough, let it come to room temperature and rise before rolling it out. As far as fillings, the sky is the limit except where volume is concerned. I try to use about 6-8 ounces of shredded or sliced cheese, and then not more than two cups of toppings not including a thin layer of sauce if I’m adding any. Otherwise, I find it difficult to roll this neatly and tightly and maintain a good seal. The kids devoured this, but then again I’m not sure who wouldn’t.
- 1 lb. pizza dough, risen and at room temperature
- 6-8 oz. sliced or shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese (can use other cheeses, these work best for me)
- 1 C. pizza sauce (optional)
- up to 2 C. toppings such as: ham, chopped meatballs, chopped broccoli, olives, mushrooms, etc.
- olive oil
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, brush the parchment paper with olive oil. Alternately, you can use a large pizza stone if the final 14 inch stromboli will fit.
Stretch or roll dough out on a floured surface to a 10×14 inch rectangle.
Sprinkle the cheese evenly across the rolled out dough.
Spread the sauce, if using, evenly across the cheese (the cheese goes first to avoid having the sauce seep through the bread making the stromboli soggy).
Sprinkle the toppings evenly over the sauce and cheese.
Roll the dough tightly, folding the long edge in on itself and repeating until the dough is tightly and completely rolled up into a 14 inch long log.
Press the ends to seal in the toppings and check to make sure there are no open tears in the dough. If there are tears, press the dough together to seal the tears so that the sauce and cheese don’t bubble out of the bread.
Place the stromboli onto the prepared baking sheet or onto the pizza stone.
Brush the top of the stromboli with olive oil.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the dough is cooked through.
Slice into 1 inch slices and serve hot.
Makes: approximately 14 one-inch servings.
Source: Diana Dishes original