Friday, 4 April 2014

Herbed Wholewheat Stromboli with Cottage Cheese--My 101st Post!

This is my 101st post and really happy and humbled by the huge appreciation and acknowledgment I have received through my blog. Thank you all for your love and support.
While I had some grand plans to celebrate my 100th post, but somehow I missed the chance. So decided to celebrate the 101st post with something I love to do, "Bake". This is my second attempt at making a Stromboli and I can see myself getting better at it. I improvised on the technique of pleating the strands as well as the texture of the crust. As they say, it can only get better and sure it is and what a gorgeous Stromboli it was. The best part of this Stromboli is the health factor. No butter, no cheese and no guilt. You can have as much as you want and feel full without feeling sore. The filling is totally your choice and you can have endless possibilities. I did a grated paneer and red bell pepper filling with caramelized onions with a hint of garlic. You can also check my first attempt with Stromboli where I used minced chicken for the filling. Happy baking!


For the dough
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/8 tsp dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 tbsp warm milk
1/8 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil (or any oil)
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder

For the filling 
1/2 cup paneer grated
1 medium onion, very thinly sliced
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 red bell pepper chopped
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 sprig fresh coriander or celery chopped
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp sugar
Dash of red chilli flakes
1 tbsp olive oil

For the assembling
2-3 tbsp tomato pasta sauce or any tomato base sauce
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash; vegetarians can use milk)
2-3 tbsp grated cheese (optional)

For the filling
In a pan, heat the oil. Add the onions and garlic and fry till the onions are translucent and the garlic turns golden in color. Add the sugar. Keep frying the onions till they turn golden in color. Be careful not to burn the onions. Add the grated paneer and with the back of the spatula, smooth out the mixture. Add the dry herbs and mix well. Tip in the chopped bell pepper and coriander and stir. Add salt as per taste and mix well. Keep covered on medium flame till the bell pepper is just cooked but not completely out of crunch, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool.


For the dough  
Take warm water and milk in a small bowl and add sugar and sprinkle in the yeast. Stir the mixture until yeast is dissolved and water has turned a tan color. Let it stand until foamy. This will take about 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add flour, all the herbs, garlic powder, and salt. Then add the yeast mixture little at a time and oil. Knead the dough till it is smooth, not sticky, when squeezed. Do not make the dough too dry. Wholewheat dough needs to remain a little moist as it absorbs the moisture after some time and results in a soft texture. Making the dough too dry will result in a dense texture. Transfer to a clean surface and knead for another 5 to 10 minutes. You will see that all the stickiness disappears after kneading for a while and you get a smooth baby bum like dough (yeah, that's the reference experts give for the texture of the dough!)  You might need to grease your hands with a dash of oil if it is still quite sticky.

Grease a medium bowl with oil and place the dough in the bowl, smooth side up. Cover tightly with a plastic wrap or aluminium foil and place in a warm spot (I kept in the microwave) until doubled in size, about 1hour. 

Remove the wrap and press your fist into the center of the dough to punch it down. Fold the dough back onto itself four or five times and transfer to the bowl for the second proofing, about 1 hour till doubled in size. Take the dough out and punch it down 4-5 times. Now with a rolling pin, roll the dough into an oval shape evenly out from the center until it measures about 7 to 8 inches in diameter. Maintain a uniform thickness. You can enjoy a thin crust Stromboli by rolling it thin. 

  Now spread out the tomato pasta sauce in the middle of the oval base from one end to the other, leaving the sides. With the help of a spoon or butter knife, even out the tomato base. Now put in the filling onto the tomato base carefully spreading it out without touching the sides. You can sprinkle some cheese on top if you like your Stromboli to be more of cheese. Now, with the help of a butter knife, make diagonal straight cuts, about 1 inch in diameter, on the sides and gently fold into the center in a crisscross fashion. Repeat till the end.

Now, beat the egg and with the help of a brush, apply the egg on the top.


Pre-heat the oven at 220 degree celsius for 20 minutes. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and preheat that as well. That will serve as the pizza stone and will give you a crunch at the base as well. Transfer the Stromboli into the preheated oven. I had rolled the Stromboli on a parchment paper and simply placed it on top of the pre-heated other parchment sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until a golden crust is formed. You might reduce the temperature to 180 degree celsius towards the end. Remove from the oven and let it cool on the tray for 5 minutes. Serve hot. 


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