Recipe- Italian Stromboli

So this week on The Great British Bake Off it was ‘Bread’ week (step forward Mr. Paul Hollywood looking rather smug). The bakers were challenged to a quick bread (typically soda bread); make some baguettes- this ended up with me screaming repeatedly at the TV and finally a 3-d bread sculpture. Yup- bread. Now while I didn’t attempt any of these in the vein of Bake Off fever, I did make something to keep up the theme itself.

I’m not sure why but over the past couple of weeks I’ve had stromboli on the brain. Please don’t be alarmed it isn’t a medical condition. Strombloi is in fact a stuffed loaf of Italian origin. Or as some people like to call it ‘Pizza Roll Bread’. Now for me that name just doesn’t do it justice. I much prefer it’s ‘Stromboli’ title (go ahead call me bourgeoise!). And so stromboli would be my #TheGreatBeardedBakeOff recipe for this week’s theme. Yes I know it’s not one of the challenges but I like to think outside the box; left of the middle etc etc – ’cause I’m crazy like that!

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Italian Strombloi

500g strong white bread flour

7g fast yeast

10g fine sea salt

40ml extra virgin olive oil

350ml warm water

1 tablespoon dried oregano

4 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping

125g buffalo mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces

75g sun-dried tomatoes, patted fry of any oil, roughly chopped

12g fresh basil leaves

80g prosciutto ham

Method

– In the bowl of a stand mixer place the flour; salt (to one side); yeast (to the opposite side; oregano and 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese.

– Add the olive oil and 300ml of water.

– Using the dough hook attachment, mix the ingredients for 2-3 mins until fully combined. Add the remaining water in 2-3 pours until it’s all incorporated. Increase the speed in accordance to your machines instructions and continue to knead for 8 minutes. By the end of the kneading time the dough should be smooth and elastic.

– Once the dough has risen, tip it out onto a lightly oiled work-surface and knock the dough back until all the air has been removed. Flatten in to a rectangular shape, roughly 40cm x30cm, with the long edge facing you. It doesn’t need to be perfect.

– Over the surface of the dough scatter the remaining 3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Then scatter the mozzarella pieces; the sun-dried tomatoes and the basil leaves. Lay the slices of prosciutto at intervals over the dough surface to finish filling it.

– Working on the long edge, roll up the dough in to a sausage shape, trapping the filling inside. Normally with stromboli it s left as a long loaf  but I prefer to roll itself into a spiral shape and tuck the end underneath. This is entirely up to you.

– Place the rolled up dough onto a baking sheet line with baking parchment. Leave to prove in a warm room until roughly doubled in size.

– Preheat you oven to 220 degrees C.

– When proved, lightly spray the surface of the dough with water, and sprinkle with semolina and some finely grated parmesan.

– Place a baking tray filled with water into the bottom fo the oven, and place the baking tray with the dough on the middle shelf. Bake the dough for 20 mins, after which reduce the oven temperature to 190 degrees C and bake for another 10 mins or until it golden and sounds hollow when tapped underneath.

– Once the loaf is baked remove from the oven place on a wire rack to cool. This tastes great as a picnic loaf or served with some fresh salad as a delicious alternative to pizza!

– Enjoy!

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