Why, would I even think about wrapping all this goodness in store bought pizza dough?
Ermmm, not that there’s anything wrong with that; it’s just that my dough comes together with little trouble in a stand mixer, so why not just make it fresh?
I came across the basic idea for this recipe in a food magazine, but there was that issue with the store-bought dough; it called for a few too many olives for me to try and pass off to some of our friends and (possible) dining companions, and then there was the giardiniera. Really, really good – especially the Chicago style oil-packed version – but why buy a jar of Italian-style when I have my own, nicely spiced (if I do say so myself), Ciao! Piccolo in the pantry?
•16 oz (1 pint) Ciao! Piccolo, drained
•4 oz jar diced pimiento, drained
•1/2 lb provolone, sliced
•1/2 lb pepperoni, thinly sliced
•1/2 lb salami, thinly sliced
•1/2 cup chopped drained artichoke hearts
•1/4 cup chopped green olives
•1 tsp Tellicherry pepper
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/4 tsp dried parsley
•1/4 tsp dried oregano
•1/4 tsp dried basil
•1/4 tsp Cajun seasoning
•1 egg (for brushing over the dough)
First, a couple of notes: buy all means, if you like, buy your pizza dough at the market, but, please, buy your meats and cheese from the deli case (or, better, from an Italian deli). Fresh sliced deli meats and cheese have a lot more flavor than pre packaged, and you can often choose from different varieties of each – I went with the strongest, smelliest provolone I could get, and pepperoni and salami that both had a really nice bite. Usually, the nice deli folk will let you sample before you buy, and you might could save some money over the pre packed stuff, too!
So, are we making or buying the dough?
Cool, it’s easy.
Combine the flour and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer – I use the whisk attachment for this, then swap out the dough hook for the rest of the process.
Increase the speed to medium and knead for ten minutes, adding additional flour by the tablespoon, until the dough is smooth, elastic, and has cleaned the sides of the mixing bowl. I end up adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup (four to eight tablespoons) additional flour.
Once the dough has come together and nicely cleaned the mixing bowl, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to the bowl, remove the dough from the hook, shape it into a ball and place it in the bottom of the mixing bowl, turning so that all sides of the dough ball are lightly coated with olive oil.
Flatten the dough with your fist, divide in two, and shape into balls. Flatten the dough balls slightly, dust the tops with flour, place the on a floured surface, then cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 60 minutes.
Heat oven to 425º and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Roll each piece of dough out into a rectangle and spread with the meat, cheese, and veggie mixture, leaving an inch border on all sides.
Starting on the other long side, roll the dough and filling, tucking and firming up the roll as you go, pressing the end to the damp edge and tucking the ends under to seal.
Place, seam side down on the parchment lined baking pan and repeat with the second bit of dough.
Bake for 15 minutes, until the loaves are nicely browned, then cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let rest for ten minutes before slicing.
I served our first loaf with some of my Honey Mustard, and Rich liked it, but thought marinara might work better.
I just happened to have a jar of Trader Joe’s marinara in the pantry (thanks for the tip, Andrea!), so two nights later, we had the second that way for dinner.