My dilemma for the week was the heavy rains, thunder and lightning left me uninspired to go out so I had to postpone my much needed grocery shopping. I only had a few ingredients in the fridge, a package of Italian sausage and about a cup of grated cheese. I had canned tomatoes and mushrooms in the pantry which are always handy to have. I thought about making pasta but then it has been awhile since I made stromboli. I've made it a few times alternating with calzones so I was surprised that I haven't posted about it yet. So what's the difference between a calzone and a stromboli anyway? Based on my quick research, a calzone is half moon-shaped, folded over pizza baked with a meat, vegetable and cheese filling.
|thinly rolled out pizza dough with meat, vegetables and cheese|
Basically, a stromboli has the same meat, vegetable and cheese filling but the pizza dough is thinly rolled out and shaped into a log then baked. However, I need to mention that Stromboli is also the name of a small island with three active volcanoes located off the coast of Sicily. Whether it's a pizza, calzone or stromboli, nothing can beat the tasty filling combination of melted cheese and meat. I combined whole wheat and all purpose flour for the basic pizza dough that I used. I didn't have enough grated cheese so I cut up four pieces of Laughing Cow light Swiss cheese and sprinkled them over the other ingredients before rolling.
In a skillet, brown the Italian sausage then drain in a colander. In the same skillet, cook minced garlic and chopped onions. Add sliced mushrooms, chopped red and green bell peppers (optional). Return the sausage to the pan. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Combine 1 cup petite diced canned tomatoes, 1 teaspoon pizza seasoning and 1 teaspoon tomato paste and simmer until thickened. Set aside.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cup all purpose or bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast (I use SAF brand)
1 teaspoon sugar
about 3/4 cup lukewarm water (add a few more tablespoons if dough is too dry)
1 tablespoon olive oil
In a small bowl, combine yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup water. Let stand for a few minutes until frothy. This step is optional if using instant yeast. Add the yeast mixture to the flour with oil and water. Transfer to a bread machine or electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix until it forms a soft and smooth dough. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a clean cloth napkin or plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. If using a bread machine, the rising time is usually more than one hour. Punch down the dough then roll out thinly. Top with the tomato sauce, filling ingredients and cheese then roll and shape into a log. Bake at 400F for about 40-45 minutes or until cheese is melted and top is toasted. Allow to rest for a few minutes after baking before slicing.