A while back I decided that it was very important to me to get my family away from processed foods. To cook things from scratch like our grandparents did is also great for the kids. They realize that "hey, dinner doesn't come from Stouffer's", or whatever other large prepackaging food conglomerate is out there.
You can share the joy of cooking with them. They will learn that cooking is fun and shouldn't be a chore. You can also use it as an opportunity to teach them recipes that you grew up with. It's a way to pass down your heritage, and for them to know they can be proud of it because they see that you are.
Here is an easy recipe for stromboli. What I like about it is the dough is home made. It's not store bought crescent dough. It's dough that you can make and control the ingredients. It's also one of those foods you can cook ahead of time and freeze. So on a busy day when you are rushed you can just pop it out of the freezer and put it in your toaster oven or oven. It can also include multiple food group, your carbohydrates, vegetables, dairy, and meat. How's that for a complete meal?
I used the stromboli dough recipe from King Arthur Flour.
Again, the bread maker is handy here. I don't know how I lived without it.
Remember that instant yeast is just the yeast dissolved in a solution of warm water and sugar. In this case it is 2 tsp of yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup of warm water and 1/4 tsp of sugar.
Here are the ingredients for the Stromboli dough.
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 7/8 to 1 1/8 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons garlic oil (or olive oil)
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon Pizza Dough Flavor (optional but good)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
If you are kneading by hand, let the dough rise for at least an hour. Here is what mine looked like after the first rise. It took more than an hour to rise this much. So after the dough cycle ended, I just kept letting it rise until the dough rose to the point I wanted.
After the dough has risen, roll it out into a rectangle shape. ( The dough is sticky. I rolled it right on my baking sheet that was covered with parchment paper. I placed flour on it and the rolling pin. You definitely need the flour to prevent sticking. Don't be shy with it. )
Fill the dough with your toppings, leaving at least a one inch border of dough. For the toppings I used broccoli sauteed in olive oil with garlic. I also sauteed spinach in olive oil and onions and garlic.
I placed these fillings on the rolled out dough and then proceeded to top them with cheese. I used mozzarella and parmesan on the broccoli half and feta, mozzarella, and parmesan on the spinach half.
I then proceeded to roll it up. I pinched the ends.
Then cover the stromboli and allow it to rise again for about 30 minutes.
Then pop it in a pre-heated 400F oven. Allow it to cook until the dough turns a light golden color. It took 25 minutes in my oven.
Take it out, slice, and serve as is or with tomato sauce.
This may have sounded like a lot of work, but it really isn't. The actual hands on time was probably 30 minutes. The largest amount of time is waiting for the dough to rise. In between rising you can get your filling together, or get some chores done.
The end product is so worth it. Give it a try!