by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Friday, May 20, 2011
revisiting STROMBOLI (...always a welcome visit!)
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.
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
coarse sea salt
a couple fresh sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked from stems
freshly ground black pepper
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.
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!
*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.)
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.