As Italian as its name may sound, stromboli—rolled bread stuffed with cheese and Italian meats—is American. Some say it originated in Spokane, Washington while others say it was invented in Philadelphia.
Whichever its geographic origin, one thing is not disputed—it was named after Stromboli, a 1950 film starring Ingrid Bergman set in the Italian island of Stromboli. While making the film, Bergman had an affair with its director, Roberto Rossellini, which caused a scandal in the United States. It was a genius marketing ploy for whoever invented the rolled and stuffed bread to call it stromboli because the scandal resulted in instant name recall for the new product.
Is it difficult to make stromboli? No—if you’ve made pizza dough before.
Because that’s what it is, really, pizza dough rolled thinly into a rectangle.
The dough is sprinkled with cheese and meat and whatever vegetables you prefer. Alex, who baked last night’s stromboli, used sharp cheddar, pepperoni…
…Chopped basil, thinly sliced onion…
Roasted and chopped bell peppers, mozarella and a second layer of sharp cheddar.
She brushed the edges of the dough with egg wash.
And the edges were folded in.
The stuffed dough was rolled into a log…
And the top and sides brushed with more egg wash.
The log was transferred to a baking tray and the top was slashed to create steam vents to prevent the dough from ballooning in the heat.
While waiting for the dough to rise, Alex cooked tomato sauce for dipping the stromboli in.
That doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Be prepared to do a lot of washing though.
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or non-stick paper. Sprinkle with corn meal.
- To make lifting the stuffed dough and moving it to the tray easier, cover your work surface with cling film sprinkled with corn meal.
- Roll out the dough into a rectangle about a quarter of an inch thick.
- Spread half of the cheddar on the dough to within two inches of the edges.
- Arrange the pepperoni slices on top of the cheddar.
- Sprinkle the chopped basil over the pepperoni followed by the sliced onion and roasted bell pepper.
- Spread all of the mozzarella on top of the fillings. Scatter the remaining sharp cheddar over the mozzarella.
- Brush all the edges of the dough with the beaten egg.
- Fold in the edges.
- Starting on one long side of the dough, roll the dough into a log.
- Brush the top and sides of the log with more egg wash.
- Lifting the cling film underneath the rolled dough, transfer the log to the prepared baking tray.
- Using a sharp knife, create steam vents on the top of the log by making slashes about two inches apart.
- Bake the stromboli at 425F for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 375F and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Take the stromboli out of the oven and transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut into slices.
- Serve the stromboli with tomato sauce for dipping.