Although it’s similar to a calzone—made from pizza dough filled with melted cheese and meat or vegetables—a stromboli is typically rolled into a log rather than folded in half. This three-cheese version—the perfect way to celebrate National Cheese Day—can be varied using all sorts of different fillings. Try pepperoni and olives; roasted zucchini and squash; or spinach, mushrooms and feta. The recipes for the dough and pesto make twice as much as you will need for this recipe, so double the quantity of fillings and make two if you like, or save the remaining dough to make pizza later in the week.
Three-Cheese Stromboli with Pesto and Red Peppers
For the dough:
- 3 1/3 cups (17 oz./530 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) whole-wheat flour
- 1 package (2 1/2 tsp.) active dry yeast
- 1 Tbs. sugar
- 1 Tbs. kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz./310 ml) warm water (110°F/43°C), plus more as needed
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed
For the pesto:
- 2 Tbs. pine nuts
- 2 1/2 cups (2 1/2 oz./75 g) packed fresh basil leaves
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 tsp. fine sea salt, plus more as needed
- 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
For the filling:
- 1 roasted red bell pepper
- 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 large egg, beaten
1. To make the pizza dough, in a food processor, combine the flours, yeast, sugar and salt. Pulse to mix the ingredients. With the motor running, add the water and olive oil in a steady stream, and then pulse until the dough comes together in a rough mass, about 12 seconds. If the dough does not form into a ball, sprinkle with 1 to 2 tsp. water and pulse again until a rough mass forms. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Process the dough again for 25 for 30 seconds, steadying the top of the food processor with one hand. The dough should be tacky to the touch but not sticky. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form into a smooth ball. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and spongy, about 1 1/2 hours.
3. While the dough is rising, make the pesto: In a small dry fry pan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pine nuts to a plate and let cool to room temperature.
4. In a food processor, combine the toasted pine nuts, basil, garlic, olive oil, and sea salt. Process for about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add the cheese and process until combined, about 5 seconds more.
5. Season to taste with additional sea salt. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
6. Place a pizza stone in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450°F (230°C). Once the oven has reached 450°F (230°C), let the stone heat for 15 to 30 minutes longer, without opening the oven door.
7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down, and shape into a smooth cylinder. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, dusting with flour only if the dough becomes sticky. Cover both balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes. If you are using only one ball of dough, place the second ball in a gallon-size sealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 months. (When ready to use, thaw the frozen dough for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature.)
8. On a floured pizza peel, stretch or roll out the pizza dough into a 10-by-14-inch (25-by-35-cm) rectangle. If the dough springs back, let it rest for about 10 minutes before continuing. With a long side facing you, spread the pesto over the dough, leaving a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border on each short side and a 3-inch (7.5-cm) border on the long side farthest away from you. Scatter the roasted pepper over the pesto. In a bowl, stir together the cheeses, season with salt and pepper, and dollop all over the pesto and roasted peppers.
9. Using a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg on the uncovered edges of the dough. Fold over the 2 short sides to the 1-inch (2.5-cm) mark and brush the tops with the egg. Keeping the short sides tucked in, tightly roll up the stromboli lengthwise away from you. Crimp the seams tightly to seal and turn the stromboli seam side down on the peel. Brush the stromboli all over with the egg. Using the tip of a sharp knife, make a few slits along the top of the dough, about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Season the outside lightly with salt and pepper.
10. Carefully slide the stromboli from the peel onto the hot stone in the oven, keeping it seam side down. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Using the peel, transfer the stromboli to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Carefully cut crosswise into slices and serve right away. Serves 2 to 4.
For this and more ideas for pizza you’ll want to serve every night of the week, check out our new Pizza Night, by Kate McMillan