Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Customer Appreciation Day Stromboli - Cooking for a Crowd 3

For the Customer Appreciation Day for my husband's business, I have basic menus that I use when Cooking for a Crowd, but I do change it up some. One of my menu plans has bit of an Italian flair and includes Stromboli, Pasta Casseroles, Meatballs, Salad of some kind...We're in the dairy industry, so we always have a soft serve ice cream machine for the day. That ice cream is always a hit! I bake cobblers, cakes... to go with the soft serve ice cream and offer toppings and cones.

I'll start with the Stromboli. For our group of 150 people, I made 20 stromboli. (I had other main dishes to go with it and we had just a few left over. My family make quick use of the leftovers.) I began preparing the stromboli a month in advance and after baking they were wrapped well in foil and frozen. (I do have extra freezer space, so this worked really well for me for advance preparation.)

Recipe I use for the Dough for Stromboli:
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/8 cup canola oil
3 cups all purpose flour

Each batch of this dough recipe makes 1 stromboli. I just whipped one up whenever I had time...after work, on the weekends, in the evenings...

I used my bread maker on the dough setting and simply added the warm water, sugar and yeast to the pan and let it sit a bit until it becomes a little foamy. Then add the other ingredients and let the machine do the work on the dough setting.

Once the dough has gone through the rising cylces in the machine, remove the dough and place on a greased sheet baking pan. Press/roll out the dough to almost the edges of the pan. Add toppings of choice. Since I made 20 stromboli, I varied the fillings with various meats, cheeses, vegetables. I did combos such as pepperoni & provolone with mushrooms & basil; ham & swiss with mustard/onion/butter/poppy seed spread; browned ground sausage, fresh mushrooms; all veggie. Don't overfill. You'll quickly get the feel for the correct amount of filling where you can easily roll the dough without the toppings coming out. Once you've added the fillings, starting at one of the long side, roll the dough over the fillings forming a log of filled dough. Tuck the seam under the stromboli and neatly tuck the open ends of dough under, sealing and making sure all of the toppings are covered and well secreured inside the dough. With a sharp knife, cut 3-4 small slits in the top of the stromboli. Brush with an egg wash and bake in preheated 400 degress oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool, wrap well & freeze.

I defrosted the stromboli by placing it in the refrigerator the day before our event and then reheating the still foil wrapped stromboli in a 350 oven until heated through. I then stacked them in a roaster to use from while the extras kept warm in the oven on low. Sliced and served.

These were a big hit and I usually keep a couple of stromboli in the freezer for spur of the minute guests. Pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, cheese & a sprinkling of dried basil seemed to be the favorite combo.

I liked making the individual batches of dough and making the stromboli over a few weeks as time permited and freezing them. You could also use ready made pizza dough or bread dough from the freezer case of your grocery.

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