Stromboli is just like pizza that is rolled up into a stuffed bread roll. It saves cooking space in the Dutch oven. Instead of cooking one large pizza in my 16 inch Dutch oven I can cook two of the equivalent Strombolis.
I don't really have a recipe for Stromboli and I don't really have a recipe for sourdough. I just make it by what feels right, so I will try to describe what I did or do.
The dough is the same whether I am making bread, pizza, focaccia or whatever.
Remove Sourdough culture from fridge and pour contents into a large plastic bowl. Add about a quart of very warm water and 3 cups of flour. (Water at 110 deg F. should be good.) Stir. The mixture need not be lump free. Leave overnight to
In the morning remove one cup of this mixture to save as your culture.
To the remaining mixture add 2 heaping teaspoons of salt. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough. I'm guessing here that its about 6 to 7 cups. If I had used 1 ½ quarts of water I would use a heaping tablespoon of salt. and 9 to 11 cups of flour. I add flour one cup at a time as I stir until it is not a sticky mess anymore. Then I pour it all out on the counter and begin to knead by hand. As I knead I work in any loose bits that fell away from the main dough ball and add more flour. I knead for 10 to 15 minutes by hand until the dough becomes quite smooth. Then I set the dough back in the bowl and cover it and leave it to rise for 1 to 2 hours. After this time the dough should have doubled in size or pushed the lid off the bowl. I push it down and begin kneading it gently. At this point it can be made into bread, focaccia, pizza crust, Stromboli or whatever.
Before I do anything else I grease my 16 inch Dutch oven with olive oil. Hey this is Italian cooking; it has to be olive oil. You can use a smaller Dutch oven and just make a smaller stromboli.
Before working the dough I get some of the toppings ready (or since we are talking about Stromboli I should say stuffings). First I sliced two sweet onions top to bottom in thin wedges. I chopped up a bunch of fresh chives from my garden and filled a cereal bowl with chopped chives.
I dumped the sliced onions and about ½ cup of chopped chives into a skillet and added about a tablespoon of olive oil and 3 fresh minced garlic cloves and sautéed them until the onions and chives were tender.
I opened an 8 oz can of tomato sauce and stirred in fresh minced basil to taste. (1 or 2 teaspoons?) I also like to add a little oregano, fresh if I can get it, and crushed or chopped rosemary.
Remove a lump of dough about the size of a softball from the main batch of dough. At this point I took a half a cup of chopped chives and kneaded them into the dough until they were well dispersed into the ball of dough.
After rolling the ball of dough I began to press it flat on the counter top. I gradually worked it into the shape of a pizza crust. I am trying to make a large pizza crust, but since I am going to roll it up it I make a large rectangle instead of a circle. I want it to be about 25 inches long and 18 to 20 inches wide. No I didn't measure it, I'm just guessing. I roll it out like a big rectangular pizza crust, except I am not spreading it out on a pizza pan or a stone; I am just rolling it out on the counter hoping that I can roll it up later and that it won't stick to bad.
Then I pour ½ of the tomato sauce onto this spread out raw crust an spread it around with a spoon until it covers the surface evenly, except that I leave one inch along one of the long edges free of any sauce. It doesn't matter which side I choose. I leave this free of sauce so that when I roll the dough up I can seal that edge.
After I spread the sauce I spread ½ of the onions on top. Then I liberally cover that with shredded mozzarella cheese. I spread out pepperoni slices and liberally scattered whole pitted olives. Whole olives don't work so well on pizza, but they do fine in stromboli. Other stuffings might include cottage cheese, peppers, or just about anything that might go good on a pizza.
Now comes the challenging part. First I wet the edge that has no sauce with a finger so that it will stick well when it is all rolled up. Along the edge opposite the side we left free of stuffings and sauces we must begin to roll the whole thing up like a carpet. Gently pull the dough off the counter top and fold a small amount, like an inch, over on top of the rest of the dough, and slowly and gently continue rolling the whole thing up, like a carpet. As I get close to the edge I begin to lift that edge and pull it up to the top and try to get it to seal or stick to the back side or out side of the dough that is rolled up. I also gather the ends up and pinch them together so that the whole thing is sealed and looks like a log or a great sausage roll and only bread dough is exposed on the outside.
Now I carefully pick the whole roll up and place it carefully along the side of the Dutch oven. It should go around one half of the oven leaving room for one more Stromboli along the other side.
After placing the Stromboli rolls into the Dutch oven I let them rise for at least an hour. Then I set the Dutch oven on the coals. I am aiming for about 400 deg. F. That means about 14 coals on the bottom and 22 to 24 on the top? I don't really count, so I'm guessing again here. I pretty much cover the lid in coals. I bake this for about 50 minutes to an hour. I tell when it is done mostly by the smell.
When the crust is baked to a good golden brown color it is done. I carefully lift the strombolis, one at a time out of the Dutch oven with a large BBQ spatula and lay them on a bread board and let them sit for a few minutes so that the cheeses can set up. Usually I leave one in the Dutch oven to keep it warm while the other is being eaten.