Tuesday, January 18, 2011

When the Moon Hits your Eye

     What's better than pizza, but bread with pizza stuffed into it. Pizza is one of those foods that is hard to mess up. If you can melt cheese, you can pretty much make pizza. Provided you stay within the parameters of what is appropriate on pizza. You all know what I mean! My friends in Alaska, might put smoked salmon on their pizza, while those from Cali might have avocado, still those from the south will top their pizza with Cajun shrimp. It is a personal conviction.

     I figured why not test the boundaries of what people expect from pizza. The roll-up fashion is Stromboli. The ingredients are rolled up and then baked. I am pizza's biggest fan, and what (if I could let it pass my lips)? should I ever stuff it with.

     No sauce because it would leak out, and then cause a blow-out. Resulting in a soggy dough, and an over-all messy finished product. When selecting ingredients to put into pizza dough, you have to think about the composition of the ingredient. Cheese, but not too much cheese. Meat, but it needed to be cooked and drained. The vegetables had to be small and cooked.

     I have tried many stuffed breads or Stromboli's. Here are some pointers, to what you should or should not wrap in dough. As far as meat goes. Pepperoni is fine, as an enhancement. However don't make it the main ingredient, when cooked it leaches so much oil(which sounds gross) that you'll be blotting 3 minutes before your guests arrive. Deli meat, such as sliced from your local deli, contains lots of water, and when cooked the water leaches, right into your dough. Icky, no one likes wet bread. Ground meat that could be drained after cooking was the best bet.

    When picking vegetables, think about the finished product. Choose vegetables that leach little or no water. Peppers, onions, leeks, green onions, broccoli and cauliflower are among some of them, that I could think of. Those vegetables that leach too water are tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach. If you use these vegetables that are full of water, drain, squeeze when ever possible and blot with paper towels. Because when you reheat these vegetables, within the dough, they will leach even more water.

     Cheese is not that tricky, if you understand cheese. Brie~bad idea! Parmesan, you are still within the parameters of making it work. American Cheese, not so good, there is some moisture and it seems to rear it's ugly head when melted. Provolone and Mozzarella just like baby Bear's bed in Goldilocks~"just right". Melts beautifully, little moisture to disrupt the finished product.

     The moral to the whole story, is to wait and be patient. Don't cut too early, otherwise the things that mean anything in pizza, leak out. Patience grasshopper!

Sausage Stuffed Bread or Stromboli

1 pound Italian sausage(casing removed)
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 fat cloves of garlic minced
1 egg
1 cup of pepperoni minced
1 1/2 cups mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup olive oil

In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add the warm water and oil and mix on 2nd speed with a dough hook until the dough comes together and no longer sticks to the bowl. You might have to add extra flour. My experience is that the dough is still somewhat tacky, so I add more flour slowly, until the dough is no longer sticking to the mixing bowl at all. Remove dough from bowl and knead for five minutes. Grease the same mixing bowl and add the dough back, cover and let rise in a warm place, until doubled. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, cook the Italian sausage. Add the onions, peppers and garlic after about 5 minutes to the pan. Cook until the sausage is done. Drain well, cool slightly and throw into food processor and mill just a bit finer. Add the minced pepperoni and egg to the Italian sausage mixture, mix well. Add mozzarella, and set aside. Roll the pizza dough in the shape of a large rectangle. Spread the mixture over the dough leaving and inch border all the way around, sprinkle with the granulated garlic, dried oregano and grated Parmesan. Brush the top edge with water, fold up the bottom and the sides, then continue to roll toward the moistened edge, like a burrito. Place on greased parchment, seam side down and brush liberally with olive oil. Bake in a 350F oven until golden brown. Cool and slice.

  Great restaurants are, of course, nothing but mouth-brothels. There is no point in going to them if one intends to keep one's belt buckled.~Frederic Raphael


camellia said...

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Kimber Leszczuk. said...


Dafni said...

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