Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Stromboli, almost my way

Last month I tried a new approach with my KNE food column by giving my review of some local cuisine. Several of my coworkers raved about the stromboli at Pizz-A-Roma. I'd had stromboli a couple summers ago while listening to
an open air concert at Ravinia in the Chicago suburbs. We had a picnic spread of munchies, of course, and my mom's coworker Sue and her husband brought homemade stromboli. What a treat. The flavors of pepperoni pizza, but compacted
into a doughy coil with a crispy edge. I've often thought about that meal and thought of it right away at the mention of Pizz-A-Roma's stromboli. I was a little disappointed when I went to taste the Hoptown version of the dish: Ground beef, ham and cheese sandwiched between two halves of a thoroughly buttered baguette. Not that it tasted bad... I just found the presentation lacking. So fast forward four weeks. I got the craving again. I had to do it. Even if it meant a very messy kitchen and an all out punching match with my breadmaker.
My finished product, billowing hot steam as it came out of the oven at 11 p.m. last night is seen here, along with a little of the process. The top picture is Joe and my lunch... after it had been refrigerated overnight. Not quite what I had in mind (I guess I didn't stuff enough or roll as tightly as I should have). But definitely on the way toward a true (in my mind) stromboli.

If you're interested:
Put in a breadmaker on "dough setting" in this order
1 1/4 cups water
2 T olive oil
4 cups bread flour
2 T sugar
2 tsp salt
seasonings (rosemary, basil etc.)
1 pkg yeast (.25 oz) (make a divet in the flour to hold it)

Pizza or spaghetti sauce of choice, I used Prego mushroom
Sliced mushrooms
Turkey pepperoni

Roll out the dough into a big rectangle... as thin as possible.
Spread on toppings, then roll it up like a rug. Smoosh it flat, without bursting the seams, then pinch the edge of the dough in to seal. Mine obviously came unsealed. So don't really worry about that step. Bake at 425 until it looks done :-) maybe 20 or so minutes?

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