1/6/09 | Homemade Stromboli
[ Currently Eating: Sausage Stromboli ]
And a Happy Stuffed Sausage Bread New Year to you too.
I had a nice little dollar store Cheap Eats post all ready to go today. But that’s gotten preempted (much like all my favorite shows are preempted by stupid American Football nowadays) by some crazy Stromboli action.
I know it’s hard to believe, what with my dumblefingery baking skills, but I actually made a practical approximation of a Sausage Stromboli just an hour ago in the oven. I couldn’t believe it either. I hope this is a harbinger of Cheap Eats Baking to come for 2009.
I know you’re supposed to use a pizza stone for this kind of stuff, but I was able to make one using just a Silpat on top of a cookie baking sheet. I think because the dough was thin, it didn’t matter as much. It didn’t have as crunchy a crust as a real pizza, and the cheese leaked out of the bottom, but the end result was pretty amazing. I did use a broiler tray for steam this time, so maybe that helped the crust. This one had canned tomatoes, jack cheese and cooked Italian sausage in it.
It’s about this point that I need to confess that the recipe for the stromboli comes straight outta Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (abbreviated as AB5MD from now on) which I got for Xmas. I really think they should’ve taken out the word “Artisan” – it tends to scare non-bakers like me away. At first I thought it was some frou-frou book written by a poofy-hatted chef in Limoges. They should’ve just said Amazing Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.
I hate to be one of those “book boosters”, but this bread tome is pretty damn good. I started off before this book going down the Jim Lahey No-Knead route (google it, for the NY times article, since the bastards prevent hotlinking). That recipe was the revelation, and this book extended it by letting you keep batches of pre-mixed dough in the fridge for 2 weeks.
Earlier, I’d experimented with making your own yeast – but I’ll save that topic for another day. Plus, it’s a little more inconvenient and requires more time. I just used the standard yeast packets.
I’m only on the basic master recipe in AB5MD which uses water, salt, unbleached white flour and storebought yeast. But it’s been good enough for most everything – however, I was surprised it worked well for the Stromboli because I didn’t have a pizza stone. Also, I’ve been using a combination of the Lahey method and AB5MD method for all the bread. Basically, I said forget the pizza stone and used a non-stick cast iron pot like Lahey recommended. Use the cover for 1/2 the cooking time and you don’t really need to use a steam tray. The bread comes out pretty good, though not perfect. The dough recipe is just an ordinary 6-3-3-13. That’s 6 cups lukewarm water, 3 tbsp yeast, 3 tbsp kosher salt, 13 cups flour. Mix it, cover and let it stand for 2 hours and put it in the fridge. That is all – enough dough for 8 1lb loaves. Halve the recipe if it’s too much to store.
I’ll try get a full recipe up for the stromboli, maybe an AB5MD book review as well, when I get to the other enriched doughs of later chapters. For now, it’s pretty darn good and cheap eats. It’s great to be able to make larger batches in advance instead of just one at a time like the Lahey method I was using.