Use this dough recipe and the filling/toppings below to create 2 Homemade Strombolis. See all recipe notes before beginning because you can save half of the dough for another time or make other dishes with it (such as pizza or breadsticks). More filling suggestions, helpful step-by-step photos, and a video tutorial are included in the post.
Homemade Dough for 2
- 1 and 1/3 cups (320ml) warm water (between 100-110°F, 38-43°C)
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons instant or active-dry yeast (1 standard packet)
- 1 Tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 and 1/2 cups (438g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and work surface
Fillings for 2
- 3 Tablespoons (43g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 pound thinly sliced meats such as Italian cold cuts, deli ham, or large pepperoni slices*
- 3/4 – 1 pound cheese (about 3 cups shredded or about 16-20 slices deli cheese)*
Egg Wash & Topping for 2
- egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
- optional: sprinkle of chopped fresh or dried parsley, sea salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and/or parmesan cheese
- Whisk the warm water, yeast, and granulated sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes. *If you don’t have a stand mixer, simply use a large mixing bowl and mix the dough with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula in the next step.
- Add the olive oil, salt, and flour. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for 3-4 minutes (for a visual, watch me do it in the video above!). The dough can be a little too heavy for a mixer to knead it, but you can certainly use the mixer on low speed instead. After kneading, the dough should still feel a little soft. Poke it with your finger – if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading.
- Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray– just use the same bowl you used for the dough. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until double in size. If using instant yeast, this takes about 1 hour. (Tip: For the warm environment on a particularly cold day, heat your oven to 150°F (66°C). Turn the oven off, place the dough inside, and keep the door slightly ajar. This will be a warm environment for your dough to rise. After about 30 minutes, close the oven door to trap the air inside with the rising dough. When it’s doubled in size, remove from the oven.)
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Shape the dough: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air. Divide in half. (If you aren’t making 2 strombolis, freeze the other half of dough. See freezing instructions below.) On a lightly floured work surface using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll each half of dough into a 10×16 inch rectangle. I like to use my hands to square off the edges, as shown in the video above. If the dough keeps shrinking as you try to shape it, cover it lightly and let the dough rest for 10 minutes before trying again. (The gluten just needs to settle.)
- Add fillings: Mix melted butter and garlic together. Spread all over each rectangle. Sprinkle each with parsley. When you start layering on meats and cheeses, leave a 1 inch border on the bottom and sides and a 3 inch border on top. (Basically you’ll have an empty 3×16 inch gap on top that only has butter/garlic on it. This is because when rolling, the fillings will be pushed forward. See photos and video above if you need a visual.) Arrange a layer sliced meats onto each dough, usually about 8-10 slices on each depending on size and thickness of slices. Add a layer of cheese. Repeat with more meat and cheese until all is used– about 1/2 pound meat and 1/2 pound cheese per stromboli. Brush all edges with egg wash, including 3 inch gap at the top. This helps the stromboli hold its rolled shape. Slowly roll each into a tight 16 inch log, folding in the two ends as you roll. See me do this in the video above. Dust your hands or the dough with flour if things become too sticky. Carefully transfer each to lined baking sheets. Pinch or tuck in ends to seal if they became unfolded.
- Brush each stromboli with egg wash and, if desired, optional toppings. Using a very sharp knife, cut 3-4 slits into the tops of each, which helps steam escape. At this point, you can cover shaped stromboli tightly and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown– if you have an instant read thermometer, the center of the stromboli should be at least 200ºF (93ºC). If meats are particularly greasy (like pepperoni), some grease will spill out the sides. Cheese may bubble out the sides or top slits, too. If baking both at the same time, rotate pans halfway through baking and extend bake time (if needed) by 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a cutting board and slicing.
- Serve plain or with pizza/marinara sauce for dipping.
- Cover and store leftover stromboli (slices or whole) in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Freezing Dough: This dough recipe is the same as my pizza dough recipe. It yields 2 strombolis. After the dough rises and you divide the dough in half (step 5), you can freeze half of the dough. (If you want to freeze all of this dough, I recommend you still divide it in half and freeze separately.) Shape half or halves into a ball(s). Lightly coat all sides of the dough ball(s) with nonstick spray or olive oil. Place the dough ball(s) in a zipped-top bag and seal tightly, squeezing out all the air. Freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the frozen pizza dough in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or overnight. When ready to make stromboli, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest for 30 minutes on the counter. Continue with step 5, punching down the dough to release air if needed.
- Overnight Dough Instructions: To prevent these notes from getting too crowded, see pizza dough post for overnight dough instructions.
- Refrigerate Shaped Stromboli Ahead of Time: See end of step 7.
- Freezing Shaped Stromboli Before Baking: Instead of freezing the dough as a whole, you can freeze the shaped stromboli before baking. Fill and roll stromboli as directed in step 6. Do not cut slits or add egg wash (step 7). Carefully place filled/rolled stromboli on a piece of plastic wrap. Sprinkle with flour to help prevent sticking. Wrap up tightly. To preserve freshness, I recommend a layer of aluminum foil over the plastic wrap as well. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw, still wrapped, in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Brush with egg wash, add optional toppings, and cut steam slits. Place stromboli on a lined baking sheet and bake as directed. Since stromboli is pretty cold going into the oven, it will take a couple extra minutes to bake.
- Freezing Baked Stromboli: Allow baked stromboli to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil (or a layer of both), and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw, still wrapped, for just 1 hour at room temperature. Bake, lightly covered with aluminum foil, in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 30 minutes.
- Amount of Dough/1 Stromboli: My homemade pizza dough, written in this recipe above, yields about 2 lbs of dough, which is enough for 2 strombolis. If you only want 1 stromboli, freeze half of the dough as noted in step 5 or make a pizza such as extra cheese pizza, margherita pizza, or BBQ chicken pizza or a batch of cheesy breadsticks. If you’re only making 1 stromboli, make sure you halve the filling ingredients. For the egg wash/topping ingredients, it’s difficult to halve the egg, so whisk 1 egg with 1 Tbsp water, use as directed, then discard any leftover. (You’ll have leftover egg wash even if you’re making 2 strombolis.)
- Fillings & Vegetable Stromboli: Butter + garlic + parsley is a great spread for the dough before adding the meats/cheeses. Feel free to use more garlic and parsley or swap parsley for another herb or Italian seasoning. You can also use pizza sauce. See next note. Use 1/2 pound of various sliced deli meats per stromboli, this could be about 20 slices per stromboli but that depends on the thickness of your meat. Avoid using small pizza pepperoni slices. For best results (and flavor), use large pepperoni slices from the deli counter. You want about 1/2 pound of cheese per stromboli as well. If using shredded cheese, I recommend 1 and 1/2 cups per stromboli. If using sliced deli cheese, I recommend 10-12 slices per stromboli. You can also mix– I usually use 6-8 large slices provolone and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. For a meatless option, you can add cooked mushrooms, cooked chopped broccoli, or cooked sliced peppers (blot excess moisture if you can), spinach, or basil leaves (chopped or whole)– 2 cups of vegetables per stromboli (plus your cheese) works well. Options are endless here. You can’t really go wrong because if you’ve used too much filling, you won’t be able to roll it up.
- Want to add pizza sauce? You can add pizza/marinara/tomato sauce to the filling. Feel free to skip the melted butter and garlic (or leave it on, doesn’t matter) and spread 1/2 cup of sauce onto each rolled out dough before layering on the meats and cheeses in step 6. If you ever need a homemade sauce to try, we really like this homemade pizza sauce.
- Egg Free: Skip the egg wash if needed. You can brush each shaped stromboli with 1 Tablespoon melted butter instead.