Garlic and Mozzarella Stromboli has been in my recipe collection for many years although I have only made it a few times. I recently made it to accompany an antipasto spread just for a change from the usual crostini or garlic bread.
As you may already know I love to research the origin of foods that I cook and my curiosity got the better of me on this one as well. It turned out to be time well spent as I ended up with a bit of a geography lesson, a little food history and the answer to my Stromboli dilemma.
Stromboli is pizza or bread dough filled with cheese and sometimes deli meats then rolled jelly roll style and baked. Unlike traditional pizza there is no tomato sauce in the filling. I had never heard of Stromboli until coming across this recipe and don’t recall my mother ever making one for us. I guess we didn't miss it for all the Calzone and Panzerotti that graced our table.
There are several opinions on the origin of Stromboli but the most interesting is that there is a volcano on the island of Stromboli off the coast of Sicily believed to be the inspiration for the name of this delicious bread. The story goes that its inventor named it after the island and its erupting volcano.
Each time I’ve made it, regardless of how well the seam was pinched closed, the cheese filling always managed to ooze out while baking. I found this very frustrating and somewhat of a failure until learning that it’s quite normal for the cheese to erupt from the side of the loaf like the erupting volcano on the island of Stromboli.
Who could have known! The name given to this bread now makes perfect sense and I’ve realized that all efforts to stop my Stromboli from erupting were in vain.
It seems that there are many who are ready to take credit when something delicious is discovered. I’m more inclined to believe that many years ago a hard working Nonna in a town too small to make it on a map began rolling up her pizzas making it easier for the grandchildren to pick up and eat.
We’ve come a long way since the first Stromboli was ever made and may never know the exact ingredients and fillings that were used. It really doesn't matter since in this day and age it’s pretty much open to one’s interpretation and taste.
Garlic and Mozzarella Stromboli
2 teaspoons dry yeast
¼ teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded mozzarella
½ cup shredded smoked mozzarella
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
1 clove garlic minced
oil for brushing
- Mix yeast, sugar and one tablespoon whole wheat flour over warm water for about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix egg, oil, salt, yeast mixture and remaining whole wheat flour until well blended.
- Add remaining 2 1/2 cups flour gradually (add ½ cup at a time until a soft sticky dough forms, you may not need the full amount of flour called for)
- Knead dough about 1 minute, place in a greased bowl and allow to rise for 1 hour.
- Mix all filling ingredients until completely coated with the egg. Refrigerate.
- Roll into a 12 by 16 inch rectangle.
- Spread filling over dough in an even layer leaving a 1 inch border all around.
- Roll up jelly roll fashion, pinch ends and tuck under.
- Place on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal to prevent sticking.
- Cover and let rest 30 minutes.
- Brush top with olive oil, prick all over with a fork. Bake 15 minutes in a preheated 400 degree F oven then reduce heat to 375 degrees F. and continue baking for 20 to 25 minutes until golden.
|Oops! don't forget the garlic|
Notes, Tips and Suggestions
- Be prepared for cheese to erupt from Stromboli and forever remember that there really is an erupting volcano on the island of Stromboli.
- This loaf freezes very well, just defrost and heat through before slicing and serving.
- Smoked Provolone works as well as Smoked Mozzarella.
- For a less bread like more crusty loaf skip the second rising of 30 minutes and bake right away.
- The cheese that erupts on to the pan caramelizes and is absolutely delicious!
- Plan a trip to the island of Stromboli.