Stromboli Success

Remember awhile ago when I made stromboli? And it was something of a fail? Let me refresh your memory. Well, I put on my big girl panties, and I tried again. And it worked!

IMG_2284Look at that rolled up pizza deliciousness!

Some key things we did differently than the last attempt:

  • Avoided over stuffing. It’s tempting to pile on the toppings like you would for a pizza. Don’t give in. A little goes a long way in the toppings realm.
  • Left a 3 inch border for rolling. It helps. Just do it.
  • Had better dough to begin with. My new trick for raising dough is this–set your oven to warm, put a dish of warm water on the bottom rack of the oven, and the bread in a covered bowl above it. Once the oven preheats (to warm), turn the oven off. This creates a lovely little warm and humid place for dough to rise. Especially if your house is dry, this is a great way to go!

For the recipe and complete directions for your own stromboli success, head on over to Lauren’s Latest.

Stromboli

Stromboli and I have yet to make peace with one another. This is my second attempt. I would call it a success over the first, but still not a sweeping victory. If you don’t care to hear about the lessons I learned, then feel free to hop right on over to Lauren’s Latest to read about her (lovely) stromboli, and how you, too, can make one for yourself.

That said, mine still tasted just fine. Just fine, I tell you! I made the dough. Rolled the dough. Sauced it. And topped it.

And rolled it up! Good to go, right? Wrong. Here’s where things got a bit complicated. Do not, under any circumstances, think you can transfer your stromboli onto another cooking surface. You can’t. I don’t care how great you think your pizza stone is. Your stromboli will not move from the surface on which you created him. He won’t. He’s stuck. And so, you bake him where you make him. Done.

All that said, the stromboli (potential) disaster, turned out pretty tasty!

Definitely something to make again! I will succeed!

Lessons I learned:

  • Do not move the stromboli after you roll the dough
  • Do not over-stuff the stromboli-a little will go a long ways
  • A little egg wash goes a long ways-do not, under any circumstances, dump an entire beaten egg on top of the stromboli (massive amounts of smoke will result)

Go see Lauren for the recipe. You won’t be sorry! I recommend following her directions down to the letter. Do as I say. Not as I do.

Apple Dumplings

Apple dumplings just scream down home cooking. Nothing gets more authentic. It’s like apple pie, taken to a higher level of awesome. I’m not sure why. It’s just the way it is. Try it for yourself. I dare you.

Apple Dumplings

Based on The Alternative Consumer

Serves 3

First, make your dough. This is easy.

You’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup butter, chilled
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Cold water, about 6 Tbs.

1. Chop 1/3 of a cup of COLD butter into small pieces. Cut the stick the long ways so it’s cut in half. Then flip the stick and cut it in half the long way again. Now, the stick is in long quarters. Cut through, resulting in small cubes of butter.

2. Mix 1 cup of flour with 1/2 tsp. salt. Use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut the butter into the flour. The ultimate goal: little bitty chunks of butter coated in flour.

3. One tablespoon at a time, add COLD water to the dough. You want to add just enough water to bind the butter and flour together into a ball. I used about 5 Tbs. to make this happen. You may need more or less. Once mixed, form the ball into a log, and cut into even thirds.

4. Move the chunks to the fridge to chill.

Second, prepare your apples. Small granny smiths are best, but any baking apple will suffice.

1. Peel.

2. Core. If you don’t have an apple corer, follow steps 1 through 3 of this wikihow.

Third, assemble your dumplings.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 2.5 Tbs. butter (the leftovers from the stick of butter from the dough)

1. Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Cut the butter into thirds.

2. Remove dough chunks from the fridge. Roll each chunk into approximately a 6 by 6 inch square.

3. Put an apple in the center. Fill the core with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Put one of the thirds of butter on top of the filled core.

4. Pull the dough up around the apple. Dip your fingers in water if you’re having difficulty getting the dough to seal. Transfer to pie tin.

Repeat steps 2 through 4 for remaining apples.

5. On stove, dissolve half cup sugar in 1 cup water. Pour mixture over apples.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until apples are golden brown.

Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top and serve with a hearty scoop of ice cream.

There you have it! Delicious. Heavenly. Apple. Goodness. You won’t be sorry.

Just for the record….

…it still tastes fine.