Broccoli & Cheese Stromboli

Last week I posted a recipe for Spinach, Mushroom, and Ricotta stuffed shells. When I still had leftover ricotta in the fridge (it was on sale!), I was determined to use it up. So, what did I make? Stomboli, of course. More cheesy carbs. Sorry to do that to you. 
Stomboli is basically a good excuse to add more cheese and pizza dough to every bite. And hey, I’m not complaining about that. This recipe can be whipped up much faster if you keep pizza dough freezer, a practice I highly recommend (just thaw it out in the fridge the night before or on the counter for a few hours). Not as much as I recommend having cookie dough in the freezer, that’s just dangerous. 

Recipe Rundown

Taste: Cheese and broccoli, what a winning combination. Oh, and the salted crust is pretty darn good too.
Texture: The pizza dough is crisp on the outside, soft inside, and encases warm, melting cheese filling. Heaven.   
Ease: Like I said above, much easier to prepare if you have pizza dough ready to go. Also, check out the video I linked to within the recipe for tips on shaping the stromboli.
Appearance: It looks like a loaf of bread stuffed with cheese. Mmm.
Pros: Like having a pizzeria in your own kitchen. Also, this would be a fun recipe to make with kids.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? I’ll definitely make stromboli again, next time with a different filling for fun.

Broccoli & Cheese Stromboli
Makes one 12-inch stuffed roll; serves 4-6
From Pizza by Brigit Binns

  • salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 oz) broccoli florets
  • 2/3 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 oz sliced provolone cheese, torn into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 ball thin-crust pizza dough (recipe follows), at room temperature
  • all-purpose flour for dusting
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil for brushing
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 F. Let the pan stone heat for 45-60 minutes.

Fill a saucepan with one inch of water and bring to a simmer. Place broccoli in a mesh strainer or steamer basket and place over the simmering water, not letting the broccoli touch the water. Cover and steam for 5-7 minutes until crisp tender. Remove strainer or basket from saucepan and let cool. Coarsely chop the broccoli and set aside. In a large bowl combine the ricotta, provolone, and basil. Mix well.

Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a pizza peel or large rimless baking sheet and place the ball of dough in the center. Dust the top of the dough with flour and, using a rolling pin, roll out to a 9-by-12-inch rectangle of even thickness. If the dough springs back, let it rest, uncovered, for a few minutes then continue. This video by Peter Reinhart demonstrates how to shape pizza dough for stromboli. Cover the dough rectangle with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 10 minutes.

With the long side of the dough facing you, spread the cheese mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border uncovered on all sides. Scatter the broccoli evenly over the cheese and season generously with salt and pepper. Starting with the long edge nearest you, gently roll up the dough, lightly compressing the filling. Crimp firmly to seal, but avoid pressing down too hard. Turn the stuffed roll seam side down, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise for 5 minutes. Brush the roll lightly with olive oil, cut a few small steam vents in the top, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Carefully slide the roll-topped parchment onto the hot pizza stone. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Using the pizza peel or a rimless baking sheet, remove the stromboli from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Let the stromboli stand for 15 minutes then use a serrated knife to slice it crosswise into rounds.

Thin Crust Pizza Dough
Makes 2 balls of dough
From Pizza by Brigit Binns

  • 3 1/3 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) quick-rise yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F), plus extra as needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra as needed

 In a food processor, combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, 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 1-2 teaspoons of water and pulse again until a rough mass forms. Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes. Process again for 25-30 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 large oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in warm place until doubled in bulk and spongy, about 1 1/2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down, and shape into a smooth cylinder. Divide the dough 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 before proceeding with your chosen recipe. If you are only using one ball of dough, place the second ball in a gallon-size zipper-lock bag and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to use, thaw for 3-4 hours at room temperature.

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5 Responses to “Broccoli & Cheese Stromboli”

  1. #
    1
    Tracey — March 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Not that I needed another excuse to eat cheesy carbs, but I'll take it :) Your stromboli looks so good! I think I may even have some ricotta lingering in my fridge so I'll probably make this sooner rather than later…

  2. #
    2
    whozyerdanny — March 12, 2011 at 11:48 am

    One of my favorites!

  3. #
    3
    Peggy — March 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I love cheesy carbs! I say, bring 'em on! This stromboli sounds fantastic!

  4. #
    4
    twospoons — March 14, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Ooo, what a pretty way to present! I usually make calzones but these look much more impressive.

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