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Recipe: Stromboli

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In recent months we finally learned how to make Momma's famous stromboli - that delicious turnover filled with meat and cheese. We're not of Italian stock, but it's a good bite. And while this should work with any white bread, we're including a recipe to try at the end of the entry.

After you let your bread rise, roll it out on the counter into a rough rectangle, pushing with your fingers to get some corners in there. Make sure the width of the dough is three times the width (diameter) of a slice of provolone. Hang on, you'll see.

For a classic stromboli, once you have your rectangle, layer pepperoni "longways." Top that with a layer of provolone (two medium-cut deli slices are a good thickness), then add another layer of pepperoni.

Now that your filling is arranged, cut horizontal slits in the dough to either side. Roll up the top end and pinch it under, then alternate, reaching each strip across the filling diagonally like a big 'ole straight jacket. Pinch the bottom end shut again or the greases will run out.

Bake the stromboli for about 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees, making sure to rotate if your oven heats unevenly. It's done when the bread sounds hollow when you knock on it with your knuckles, or when the bottom starts to get a bit golden-brown.

Now, we'd had so much success with the recipe, we decided to try a new one using the same template: pumpernickel bread filled with a spinach-artichoke dip (pictured).

The bread recipe we used, after the jump.

Stromboli

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/3 cups rye flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 2/3 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 2/3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Mix the dry ingredients. Blend and heat the liquids (a meat thermometer helps determine the right temperature, the yeast we use needs 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit) and add them.

    After that you just have to add flour to the bowl (white, rye, or wheat, a bit of which we threw in for good measure) until the dough isn't too sticky to knead.

    To knead, just keep dusting the outside of the dough and the counter with flour and push it at (it's not that technical, really), working the flour in. When you can toss the dough ball hand to hand easily with very little stickiness, you're probably ready to go. (Just remember it will be a little stickier than white bread dough because it has molasses in it). Grease the ball and a bowl, drop it in and let it rise for an hour, then follow the same steps we just went through with the different filling. We baked it at 375 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes.

    The filling we'd do different next time, so we won't bother sharing the recipe. Suffice it to say you should limit the creamy ingredients and emphasize the spinach and artichokes themselves. That said, ham and Swiss might just be a safer bet for the filling. We're always inviting more stromboli-style combo ideas. If you have any -- maybe a Reuben -- rye bread filled with sauerkraut and corned beef? -- leave them in the comments.

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