The Ultimate Italian Stromboli – Gluten Free recipe is that next hidden gem for your entertainment repertoire – just pick your ingredients and get eating!
If you don’t know me all that well, let me tell you something… I love pizza! I could probably eat pizza five days a week and not get sick of it. And on those other two days, don’t worry – we’ve got stromboli! I don’t get how anyone can get sick of such deliciousness and variety! Being serious now, yes, stromboli is very similar to pizza, literally the same ingredients, yet there’s still something different about this giant Hot Pocket! As any good gluten free foodie will tell you, the GF stromboli is like a unicorn.
What’s the Difference?
I think I just figured it out! Think about a slice of pizza, a delicious slice has limited quantity of toppings. Anything more and it gets sloppy! According to the SH Pizza Institute based in my kitchen, there is a fundamental principle of maximum toppings to cheese coverage of 65%, which goes along with the equally important slice to ingredient weight ratio. A Stromboli doesn’t abide by such requirements! It’s all self contained! Load it with as many ingredients as you want, then roll it up and stick it in the oven!
The other key difference to pizza is the sauce! If you load a Stromboli with pizza sauce before baking, you’re essentially going to end up with something soggy. I do often coat my Stromboli with just a bit of tomato paste for flavor, then serve with a side of sauce for dipping, usually just a simple marinara!
According to the Food Network, there is no special technique to sealing the Stromboli, making this recipe also fool-proof!
What Makes The Ultimate Italian Stromboli – Gluten Free
If you’ve seen my Buttery Asiago Garlic Breadsticks post, this recipe will look familiar. The difference is that you want a bit drier dough. To achieve this, I add a more flour and cornstarch to the mixture. It gives the dough a bit more substance for rolling out and wrapping the ingredients.
Secondarily, I’m not dousing the Stromboli with an amazing garlic butter mixture. It could actually be quite delicious, feel free to try it and report back! I simply brush on a bit of salted olive oil and call it a day, as there is so much flavor in the stromboli itself.
The Ultimate Italian Stromboli Lay Out
In advance, place your toppings however you want to. But there’s a trick, you’re going to need to roll those ingredients up. You will want some uniformity so every bite gets a bit of all the goodness inside. To achieve this, run your ingredients in lines and not in a circle as you would a pizza. You can also layer toppings on one another or run multiple lines of the same ingredients. The more lines of a specific ingredient, the more it will constitute the flavor of each bite. If you’re using Italian Sausage, weiner style works very well! Once cooked, you can slice them into quarters lengthwise down the dough.
How Do You Like Your Stromboli?
Pictured here is a supreme-style Stromboli. How can one go wrong with bell peppers, spinach, pepperoni, onions, olive, and mushrooms? My next favorite is the ultimate pizza lover’s debacle – Hawaiian style!!! I prefer some good smoked ham over Canadian Bacon, but to each their own! Add in some pineapple, sriracha, poblanos (optional), and cheese and I’m in hog heaven!
Best Baking Practices of Ultimate Italian Stromboli – Gluten Free
Normally, I like cooking pizza directly on parchment paper which was my first attempt of the Stromboli. Unfortunately, the bottom didn’t crisp up! So, my second attempt I preheated a cast iron pizza pan in the oven at 425°F and placed the Stromboli ladened parchment paper directly on the pan. And with that, success! The bottom was perfectly browned and crispy.
My first attempt at Stromboli, the supreme one, was enormous. I believe it was over 26 inches in length. While impressive looking it fits in the oven only diagonally. Lesson learned: I would suggest cutting the Stromboli to a maximum of 12-16 inches, as I did with my second attempt the Hawaiian one.
As with all crusts, as they bake, they become vapor barriers. Cut slits down both sides of your Stromboli. This will allow any steam to escape. Generally, vegetables and/or fungi such as spinach, peppers, mushrooms, and onions are relatively water logged being right around 90% water content – so definitely make those slits if using these ingredients.
And finally, brushing your Stromboli. I tried brushing with both olive oil and butter. In the past, for y sourdough breads, I’ve also been used a simple egg wash. While I haven’t really tried brushing egg wash on a Stromboli, I can vouch for simply using butter. Butter seemed to give a richer browning to the Stromboli crust.
Tips and Tricks
Manage the oven temperature. Someday I’ll look at my oven manual to see if I can calibrate it, but in the meantime make sure your oven is properly preheated and remains at temperature. You can easily do this by canceling and resetting the temperature. Wherever the preheat temperature starts is quite obviously the temperature your oven was last baking at.
Make your stromboli in advance! You can refrigerate it for three days if wrapped in either cling wrap or tin foil. It’s best reheated on parchment paper in an airfryer or an oven for 5-7 minutes at 400°F.
I mentioned above using a cast iron pizza pan because I prefer it to a pizza stone. Pizza stones are relatively sensitive to oils and literally can only be used for making bread or pizza. My Lodge Cast Iron Pizza Pan can be used in the oven, grill, or range and all for a variety of foods. Lodge also makes an entirely flat cast iron pizza pan, which makes it easier to slide breads on and off. For versatility, I prefer the one with a lip.
Flatten out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper after dusting the lower parchment and top of the dough with some extra gf flour. Once ingredients are added, use the parchment to help roll and shape your stromboli. Pull the bottom parchment up over the dough keeping it tight as the dough releases from the parchment and falls over on itself. (It’s much easier done than said!)
As always, I suggest using King Arthur GF Measure for Measure. No, I don’t get paid by them, but I think it’s a fantastic product.