Sunday, November 15, 2009

Vegetable Stromboli & Pizza Dough Recipe

So it's been a week since our last post, its not like we haven't been cooking, its just that we haven't had anything blog-worthy to post.  This week was a lot of quick meals thanks to Trader Joe's and their wonderful frozen foods selection.  We did make Sloppy Joe's this week that I enjoyed, but Bec wasn't wowed by them so alas they will not be appearing here.  Well yesterday morning after breakfast I felt like making some pizza dough. I wasn't sure what I was going to make, but the recipe I use makes enough for 4 pizza's or stromboli's, or whatever else I feel like covering with tomato sauce and cheese.  I knew we were going to be making some other things this weekend (blog posts to follow), so I thought an easy meal for Saturday night would be a pizza or stromboli.

We voted on a stromboli.  Now my mom used to make these all the time when we were kids, and her traditional way of making them was with pepperoni and mozzarella.  It is still my favorite version, but I also enjoy this version that we created several months ago for Bec's birthday party.  Since we have a lot of vegetarian friends, and I should probably eat more vegetables than pepperoni, we came up with this delicious recipe.

There's 2 recipes here, one for the pizza dough, which I borrowed from this blogger, and one for the stromboli.  I found this pizza dough recipe earlier this year when I was trying to make a thin crust pizza that I could be proud of.  This is it what I was looking for and I love it!

Pizza dough:

3-1/2 cups bread flour (or part bread flour, part white whole wheat, or part semolina flour)
1 cup warm water (between 95 and 115F; it should feel comfortable on your wrist.)
1 packet active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt

In small bowl, stir water and honey till honey dissolves. Sprinkle yeast over water; stir; let sit at least 5 minutes til it bubbles. Place 1-1/2 cups flour in work bowl of food processor with salt; pulse to combine. Pour yeast mixture over flour; pulse several times to mix. Add oil and pulse till incorporated. Add remaining flour and pulse till dough forms, adding more water or flour as needed to get the right consistency. You want a soft dough, but it shouldn't stick to the work bowl. Place the dough on a floured board and knead for about a minute to build the gluten. Place the dough in a greased bowl; turn to coat both sides; cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for about 45 minutes, or till doubled. (I usually put my dough in the microwave, turned off, of course, because it's a nice warm spot. Test for doubling by pushing two fingers into side of dough. If dent remains, dough has doubled.)

Punch your fist into the center of the dough and smack it around to deflate the bubbles.  Now you have some options:

1. If you want to use right away, let the dough rise again now -- back to the microwave. The second rising will be shorter, maybe 25-30 minutes. Check the dough by pressing two fingers near the edge. If dent remains, dough has risen enough. Punch it down again and shape it and divide it up into 4 equal parts. Its now ready to use.

2. Let the dough cure in the fridge -- separate it into 4 balls. Flatten to discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in coldest part of fridge (lower back). This will slow the yeast down so the dough won't over-rise in the fridge. You should be able to leave it there for a few days, but I usually take it out the second day and punch it down, then put it back, just to be sure it doesn't over-rise. You do not need to let it rise again when you take it out to use it, but bring it to room temperature before rolling it. It'll roll much more smoothly then.

3. Freeze the dough for future use -- It'll be ok for at least a month. Just wrap it in plastic wrap, put it in a freezer bag, and freeze. When you're ready for it, take dough out, and bring it to room temperature before you try to roll it. That may take a few hours, so plan accordingly. And don't worry if it starts to rise again. When you're ready to use, just punch it down first and then roll it to shape. Yeast dough is a funny thing: the more you handle it, the better it is.


1 disc of pizza dough (brought to room temperature if refrigerated)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, cut in half and sliced thin
1 large red pepper, seeds removed and cut into 1/4" strips
1 medium container sliced baby bella mushrooms (about 8oz)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 oz. mozzarella cheese (use the fresh stuff and grate it yourself)
pretzel salt (optional)
your favorite tomato sauce for dipping

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the olive oil and add the onions and a pinch of salt, stirring and coating them evenly. Lid the pan and let the onions soften for about 5 minutes.  Add the peppers and another pinch of salt, stir well, cover and let them cook about 10 minutes, stirring often so the onions don't burn.  You want the onions to get to a nice golden brown before adding the mushrooms. Once onions are well browned but not totally caramelized, add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt, and stir well. Cover again and let the veggies cook another 5 minutes stirring every couple minutes.  After 5 minutes take the lid off and stir, the mushrooms should be browning nicely and the onions should be well caramelized.  Use you judgment and cook them longer if need be.  When they are done, turn off the heat and add the garlic, stirring well to combine.  Add the mixture to a bowl and sit aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a cutting board with a little bit of cooking spray, and stretch out the pizza dough to a rectangle about 12 x 16" wide. This dough is very easy to stretch with just your hands.  Sprinkle the vegetable mixture and cheese evenly over the bottom 2/3 of the dough, it doesn't matter which goes on first, just as long as the vegetable mixture isn't too hot.  Start rolling from the bottom up. You may have to kind of fold it a little to get it started. When you get towards the top, try and roll it so you get one wrap around the entire roll that is just dough.  This will help insure a strong crust and lessen the chances of oozing cheese and vegetables. As you can see below, I kind of went a little too far up with the filling, resulting in some oozing cheese and veggies.

Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet, seam side down, and spread a little bit of olive oil all over the stromboli. I find it easiest to just pour about a tablespoon into my hand and spread it on with my fingers. Lastly, and optionally, sprinkle a heavy pinch of pretzel salt on top. I suppose a tasty sea salt would work here too, but the pretzel salt adds a nice crunch.  Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the stromboli is a nice golden brown.  Let it sit for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Serves 2, or more if having for an appetizer.

We like to serve it with my homemade tomato sauce for dipping.  But that's another blog post...

Download the pizza dough recipe here!
Download the vegetable stromboli recipe here!


Bec said...

I like when you randomly decide to do Italian things, like making pizza dough... :)

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Since I'm not an onion and pepper person how about mushrooms - black olives and cheese stromboli. I wonder if my wonderful nephew would like to put that concoction together and see how it tastes. If it's good I'll be over for some of that... All My Love, Auntie :) xoxoxoxox said...

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