Monday, January 31, 2011

Lots Happening in February

I shouldn't have any trouble posting in February as it's a busy month. First there's the Super Bowl. If you are planning a party or going to one, here is an appetizer, that's almost an entree and a family favorite. This recipes is from Baking Baking and Beyond (click on the link if you don't have a copy yet) and easy to do.

Refer to my previous post is you aren't used to working with yeast. By the way, I grew up in Pittsburgh and have lived in MN for 30 years, but I won't tell my pick!

Stromboli
I don’t put pizza sauce inside so the meat and cheese flavors will predominate. I’ve served this for dinner, but it makes a popular snack when everyone is gathered for the big game. You can use various deli meats and cheeses and add olives or hot peppers—just don’t fill the stromboli too full. Provolone, a mild Italian cheese with a smoky flavor, is perfect here.

MAKES 12 TO 15 SERVINGS

Basic pizza crust (see below or use any pizza dough)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 pound sliced pepperoni
1/4 pound sliced hard salami
4 ounces Provolone cheese, sliced or shredded
1 egg, beaten
Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400°F with rack in lower third. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
Place dough on lightly floured surface and roll out to a 15 x 12-inch rectangle. If dough becomes difficult to roll, let is rest briefly.
Brush dough with olive oil. Arrange pepperoni, salami, and Provolone cheese down center of dough. Fold both sides toward the center and pinch together to seal. Brush egg over top of dough. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and place on prepared cookie sheet. The easiest way to lift the dough is with large metal spatulas at each end. Cut several slits into dough.
Beat 30 to 35 minutes or until stromboli are well browned. Cool slightly before slicing. Serve with pizza or marinara sauce for dipping.

BAKER’S NOTE: Cover the baking sheet with a silicone baking mat for easy clean-up since leaks do occur.

basic pizza Crust
1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105–115°F)
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil


Sprinkle yeast over warm water in small bowl and let stand about 5 minutes. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Stir in yeast mixture and olive oil. Continue stirring until flour is absorbed. Stir in remaining flour until a soft dough is formed. Dough will be sticky to start with, but after kneading it becomes easier to handle.
Place dough on well-floured surface and shape it into a ball. Place your fingers on top of dough ball, curled slightly, and pull dough toward you; then push it away, using palms of your hands. Turn dough 1/4 turn and repeat. Knead dough 6 to 8 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic.
To judge whether dough has been sufficiently kneaded, place it on work surface, pull both ends gently, and release. Dough should be elastic and spring back. Little blisters of air should be visible just under the surface.
If dough is sticky, gradually add flour while kneading. Do not use more than 3 cups flour, total. Shape dough into a ball by pulling sides underneath forming a smooth top. Cover dough and let it rest while you prepare toppings. I just invert a bowl over the dough for this short rest. The crust is ready to use for the Stromboli.

Heat oven to 450°F. For crispest crust, place rack toward bottom of oven.
Grease two 12-inch pizza pans. Leave about 1 inch around edge of each pan ungreased so dough has something to cling to as it is stretched to fill pan. Place half of dough in center of each pan, and push it out to pan edges, rotating pan as you go. Form a raised edge around the crust’s perimeter.
Bake crusts 7 to 10 minutes or until they are just beginning to brown. Remove from oven. (The crusts can be frozen at this point. Cool to room temperature and wrap tightly before freezing.)

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