So, on those nights, I generally make a huge ball of dough for their pizzas plus my own, and often have a small ball of dough left over. If I don't make a 4th pizza right then, I just stick it in the fridge and use it the next day, usually on another pizza, though occasionally I like to do something a little bit different with it. Strombolis are one of my favorite uses for extra dough, though I don't always feel like going to the deli and asking for 3 slices of capicola, 3 slices of soppressata, 3 slices of the large sandwich pepperoni, and so on.
This is basically a version of a stromboli , though here in central NY, they tend to call it a sausage roll. Most strombolis here are certain to have pepperoni, capicola and cheese in them whereas these sausage rolls are a lot like a Gianelli's sausage and pepper sandwich, which is de rigueur for politicians to grab at the New York State Fair, but this one is all rolled up in pizza dough and baked to golden-brown deliciousness.
Sausage and Pepper Roll (Stromboli)
For the dough:
For the filling:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 T RapidRise Yeast
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
- Italian seasoning (optional)
- garlic powder(optional)
- onion powder (optional)
- 1/2 cup hot water (between 120-130 F)
- 1 T olive oil
- olive oil
- 1 sweet Italian sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 vidalia onion, chopped fine
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped fine
- 1 T minced sun-dried tomato
- 1 T Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded cheese - I used 1/2 cup mozzarella and the remaining 1/2 cup was a blend of provolone, asiago, parm and romano
- olive oil
- basil leaves
- shredded parm
Make the dough: Preheat the oven to 450. You want the kitchen to be good and warm.
Put 1 cup of the flour in a large bowl along with the yeast granules, salt and Italian seasoning, garlic powder and onion powder.
Mix very well with a whisk, breaking up any clumps.
Test the temperature of the water (very important when you are using RapidRise yeast). When it is about 125 F, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon until all of the water is incorporated.
On a well-floured surface, dump out the dough. At this point it is a wet, scary-looking, shaggy mess. Don't worry. You still have 1/2 cup of flour nearby.
Knead the dough and work in the extra flour one small handful at a time. It takes a good 4-6 minutes to get the right amount of flour in. Because there is oil in it, the dough will still be slightly tacky, though not sticky. If it's sticky, keep adding flour.
How I like to knead: I fold over half the dough and press it in, then I turn the whole ball of dough a quarter turn, and keep on folding and pressing, adding more flour to the counter and to the dough as it absorbs. You may need more or less flour depending on the humidity.
Once the dough is slightly silky, shape it into a ball, re-flour a bit of the counter, set the ball on it and dust it with more loose flour then cover it with a cloth. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, longer is better, you can even make this a day ahead and let it have a long, slow cool rise in the fridge, but this dough works well the same day too.
Crumble the Italian sausage and cook in some olive oil over medium-high heat until it starts to brown.
Add the onion to the sausage and saute until the onion becomes translucent. Then add the bell pepper and cook until soft.
Toss in the minced sun-dried tomato and Italian seasoning and cook until the veggies are all soft and sausage is all browned.
Add the marinara sauce and stir to coat. Cook another 2 minutes, then turn off the heat.
When you are ready to shape the dough, remove the cloth. It ought to have risen nicely - if it did not, chances are the kitchen is too cold or the yeast died.
Punch it down.
Lower the oven's heat to 400 F.
Oil a pan with olive oil (or cooking spray).
Place the ball of dough on a piece of parchment paper on top of a 15 x 10 in. cookie sheet and starting in the middle of the ball, flatten it gently. DO NOT PULL or STRETCH THE DOUGH That will just rip holes in it. With your fingertips, press down, gently flattening the dough until it is a large rectangle the fits your cookie sheet.. Take your time. If the dough seems stiff and unyielding, let it rest in a warm place for 5 - 10 minutes and then continue shaping.
Let it sit in a warm spot and rise 10 minutes.
Now to assemble: Leaving an 1 inch border around the dough, lay down a layer of 1/2 the shredded cheese. Next, add the browned Italian sausage, onion and pepper mixture. Finally, top with the remaining cheese.
Very carefully, roll it the long way pretty tightly, pinching the seams.
Brush the top with olive oil - I make a garlic-infused olive oil, but any olive oil is ok.
Bake in a preheated 400-degree F degree oven for 12 minutes. Take out and brush the tops with a bit more olive oil and sprinkle the tops with shredded parm. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes until golden brown.
Remove to a wire rack to cool, and let sit for a good 5 minutes before slicing.
Top with fresh basil and a wee bit more shredded parm if you like.