Homemade Stromboli Recipe - Italian Calzone Dish

Strombolis are delicious and though they require some effort, they can be made at home.
Strombolis are delicious and though they require some effort, they can be made at home. | Source

A couple of my favorite Italian foods are the stromboli and calzone. I personally prefer strombolis but sometimes a restaurant only carries a calzone and surprisingly the names are misused often and used interchangeably.

The names are used differently in Italy, but here in the United States a calzone is a large turnover shaped pocket made of pizza crust. The fillings are usually mozzarella and ricotta cheese and any other toppings that are chosen. Common toppings include pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage, ham and onions. A Stromboli is basically the same product but without ricotta cheese, and sometimes with marinara inside.

I try a stromboli or calzone at nearly every Italian restaurant I visit and find that quality highly varies. To me the main thing that makes one calzone or Stromboli better than another is the crust. Those that are made with a high quality dough tend to be better than one made with a frozen dough. My favorite restaurants that carry the product tend to bake them until the crust develops a nice crispness on the outside but a soft bread on the inside.

For toppings I like pepperoni and mushrooms (with garlic if it is offered.) But I branch out and try some of the specialty options when I go to a new restaurant. Here is a recipe I have used to make at home strombolis. I find that they don’t turn out quite as good as the local pizzeria but it certainly fits the bill when the craving strikes and I can always try new topping combinations. This is not the world’s easiest dish to make since you have to make the dough then construct the Stromboli so I don’t recommend it unless you have the time and patience to devote the task.

Ingredients:

  • · Pizza Crust Dough (The recipe I use, which is Emeril Lagasse’s follows.)
  • · 12 ounces Pizza Sauce (I use jarred but you could use any recipe you choose)
  • · 4 cups Mozzarella Cheese or Italian cheese blend
  • · Toppings to taste (Pepperoni, ham, sausage, mushrooms, peppers, onions, garlic, or whatever strikes your fancy)
  • · 1 egg beaten (to make egg wash)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a cookie or baking sheet. If you are using any meats that need cooking such as sausage or ground beef go ahead and cook and drain them, adding the onions, garlic, peppers and mushrooms near the end of the cook time. Otherwise you can choose to just sauté the veggies in a bit of butter.

Punch the dough down and separate it into two pieces. Roll each of the pieces out into a large rectangle that is around 10 by 14. Spread all desired toppings inside, I prefer to serve the pizza sauce on the side but you can use that as well if you prefer. Top with the cheese and roll the dough into a large cylinder. Pinch the ends and let rise for around 30 minutes. Brush tops with eggwash and bake for around 20 minutes or until golden brown. Slice into 2 or 3 segments and serve.

This is the pizza crust recipe I use, if you have a favorite feel free to experiment! This recipe is by Emeril Lagasse:

Basic Pizza Dough:

  • · 1 cup warm (110 degrees F) water
  • · 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
  • · 1 teaspoon sugar
  • · 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • · 3 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • · 1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, sugar, and 1 tablespoon oil and stir to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until all the flour is incorporated but the dough is still slightly sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky, 3 to 5 minutes.

Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

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