What is the difference between a stromboli, a calzone, and a pizza?
At least the way I understand it, the pizza is flat (duh), the calzone is a pizza that has been folded in half and pinched together at the seams, and a stromboli is a pizza that has been rolled up into a spiral loaf.
Stromboli have always intrigued me, but the classic preparation involves a thick layer of greasy pepperoni. Maybe that sounds great to you, but even before I became a vegetarian, I avoided pepperoni like the plague.
This version, with green pepper and onion and a ton of melty cheese, is just right for me!
Quick! Run to your farmer’s market and buy some fresh veggies! Let’s make lunch!
I highly recommend making your own pizza crust for this! The crust sets the whole tone for the stromboli. My favorite recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated!
At this point, I generally wrap one of the dough balls up and freeze it for later! But you could also make a double batch of stromboli (in which case, don’t forget to chop an extra onion and pepper)!
I wrote the recipe below to make 2 strombolis, but feel free to freeze half the dough and halve the filling ingredients if you would like to make one at a time.
Green Pepper and Onion Stromboli
crust lightly adapted from The New Best Recipe
makes 2 strombolis/serves 8–10
½ cup warm water
2¼ tsp. active-dry yeast
1¼ cups tepid water
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups bread flour
1½ tsp. salt
4 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup parmesan, plus ¼ cup
2 medium yellow onions, sliced thinly in half moons
2 green peppers, julienned
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, torn
1 egg, whisked with 1 tbsp. water
marinara for dipping
Make the crust dough. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let it sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tepid water and olive oil.
Whisk the bread flour and salt together in a mixer bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl and stir, using the dough hook, until the mixture comes together, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Set the mixer to medium-high speed and knead for 5 minutes.
Turn the dough out into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1½–2 hours.
Divide the dough in half and shape into two small balls. Set onto a lightly floured surface, cover, and let relax another 15–30 minutes so they will be elastic enough to roll out.
When ready, roll out the dough balls one at a time to about 10″x15″. Layer with half the cheese, vegetables, and oregano, leaving a 1″ edge. Roll the dough up into a log, trying not to disturb the fillings. Brush one edge lightly with the egg wash. Press the edges together to seal. Repeat with the second ball of dough and remaining fillings.
Turn the seam side down and set the log onto a cornmeal-covered cookie sheet. Let rise another 30 minutes.
When ready to bake, heat the oven to 375°. Brush the strombolis with the egg wash.
Bake the strombolis for 20–25 minutes, until puffed and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and top each with 2 tbsp. parmesan. Bake another 5 minutes, until the cheese is crusty and golden.
Serve with spicy marinara for dipping.