Cooking journal: Stromboli and pizza

More experimenting with making a good dough for yummy comfort food.

So I had a couple of things going on here, to test.  The first was to compare the store-bought dough available at my local HEB to my own dough, to see if I noticed any difference.  The second was to try a couple different kinds of options – quick-bake pizza versus a wrapped style like Stromboli.

My dough recipe for this set of experiments was:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
I mixed these up and divided the dough into two oiled ziplock and tossed them into the fridge to rise for a couple of days.  The commercial dough sat in the fridge for the same couple of days, so it could fully thaw.

For the Stromboli, I sautéed a pound of sliced mushrooms.  I also sautéed a box of frozen spinach with 3 tsp chopped garlic, a generous sprinkle of nutmeg, and a sprinkle of black pepper.  Once it was fully hot I spooned it onto some paper towels to drain and cool.  Before adding it to the Stromboli I squeezed it to get rid of as much water as possible.

I made two Stromboli – one from my own dough (half of the recipe above) and one from the commercial ball of dough.

Preheated the oven to 400.  Rolled the dough out into a large square – about 10×12 inches, which made it a bit less than half-inch thick.  I laid out a thin layer of provolone, leaving a bit of dough uncovered on sides and ends.  on top of that I spread out the mushrooms and spinach.  Rolled the thing up, pinched to seal the ends and edges, set it on parchment paper, slashed the top every couple of inches.  Then baked it for 28 minutes on my hot pizza stone (just slide parchment paper onto and off of the stone).  

Served with jarred marinara.

Result:  The commercial dough came out better than the homemade.  I think because the commercial one had slightly more volume?  The homemade one seemed to take longer to cook and didn’t brown up as nicely.  Also, these came out ENORMOUS.  I cut one in half to feed both of us, and it was a large meal.  So the other got left for another night and it wasn’t quite a good on re-heating.  So in future – make  only one at a time, or serve more people at once!  

These were tasty and I should probably do them again sometime. 🙂

For the pizza, I divided the dough into two, rolled out each piece to about 1/2 inch thick, let it rise on a piece of parchment paper while the oven with a stone in it rose to 450.  Then slid the parchment paper onto the stone, baked for 10 minutes, removed and added pizza sauce (Classico), mozzarella, and pepperoni.  Slid back into the hot oven for another 5 minutes.  

These were fine.  I think I used too much sauce, so they were kind of messy.  

The pizza dough recipe above comes out a little bland.  

Conclusion:

I’m not at all sure that the extra effort to make my own dough is worth the result in flavor.  The commercial stuff tasted just fine, wasn’t real expensive, and was easy to use.  

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