Friday, May 20, 2011

revisiting STROMBOLI (...always a welcome visit!)

I was thrilled when Elle from Feeding my Enthusiams asked me if I'd mind if the Bread Baking Babes baked up "my" Stromboli this month.  Bake away, babes!  And this gave me a fantastic excuse reason to bake up another loaf for myself the family.  Not that this loaf needs a reason, per se...but you know how the stack of things to-try builds up and sometimes your favorites get forgotten for a while.  Fortunately, distance makes the heart grow fonder.  For step-by-step photos of the process (well, kinda...more so than this post), check out my original Stromboli post. I switched up the meats and cheeses a bit this time round...half and half prosciutto and salami and a mix of both smoked provolone and smoked mozzarella.  PLUS, I added some sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil or liquid...although I'm sure they would be fine if you wiped them off a bit first) that I sliced up; those added a great little punch to each bite.  That's what is so fantastic about stromboli...it has the potential to be a different loaf every time if you change-up the fillings.

While at first glance this bread looks gorgeous and detailed...it is actually very simple and pretty darn quick to make.  Only one short rise of the dough...plus a couple of ten minute rests...and a rolls and poke and you send it into the oven.  Be sure not to skip the "poking" step, this gives a place for the steam to escape so that your bread doesn't end up soggy and blown-out.  One hour seems like a long time to bake, but it ensures that everything will be hot and melty throughout...and a beautiful, thick crust will form.  (Start checking it after about 50 minutes if you really start to fret.)  While the hardest part is probably waiting to slice into it, do try to hold off for at least a half an hour or so...this will help the bread to compact a bit and hold together...so that you get a clean slice.
Stromboli
same dough (different fillings) as my 
first adaptation from Ultimate Bread by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno
makes 1 loaf

2 tsp. instant or rapid rise yeast
1¼ c. water
3½ c. unbleached flour
1½ tsp. salt
3 Tbs. olive oil

for the filling:
8 oz. smoked Provolone, sliced thin or shredded
2 oz. smoked mozzarella, sliced thin or shredded
3 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin
4 oz. Prosciutto, sliced thin
4 oz. Salami, sliced thin
handful of fresh basil leaves
handful of sundried tomatoes, sliced thin

for topping:
olive oil
coarse sea salt
a couple fresh sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked from stems
freshly ground black pepper
Sprinkle yeast into 1 c. of the water, in small bowl.  Leave for 5 minutes to then stir to dissolve.

Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in center and pour in dissolved yeast and the oil.  Mix in flour from sides of well.  Stir in reserved water, as needed, to form a soft, sticky dough.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead until smooth, silky, and elastic...~10 mins.  This may seem like a long time to knead, but it really benefits the texture.

Pour dough in a clean, oiled bowl and cover with clean kitchen towel.  Let rise until doubled in size, anywhere from 1-2 hours...mine only took about an hour to double this time (I used rapid rise yeast- probably a factor)...so watch it!  Punch down and chafe* for a few minutes minutes.    The texture of the dough is so gorgeously soft and pillowy now.  Enjoy it!  Lightly cover and let rest 10 minutes.
Turn your oven to 400° F to preheat.

Shape into a 14" x 8" rectangle, stretching with your hands and fingers.  Cover w/ clean towel and let rest another 10 minutes.

Spread your fillings evenly over dough.  Roll up the dough like a swiss roll, starting at one of the shorter sides, but without rolling too tightly.  Place on oiled baking sheet.  Use a skewer or a carving fork to pierce several holes through the dough to the baking sheet.

Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, then sprinkle with some salt, and rosemary leaves, then grind some pepper over the whole thing and give it another drizzle of olive oil.  Bake in preheated oven for ~50-60 minutes, until golden.  Cool for a bit on a wire rack.  Once you've waited as long as you possibly can...

Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, slice, and devour!
Thanks for bringing my old friend Stromboli back for a visit this month, Elle...unfortunately it seemed to vanish far too quickly.  I need to convince him to stay longer than 10 hours next visit....

sharing this post with:
*Bread Baking Buddies (in conjunction with Bread Baking Babes).  This month's bread, Stromboli was chosen/hosted by babe Elle from Feeding my Enthusiasms(Check out the roundup here.)
*Yeastspotting!
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