Enough Stromboli to Feed the DA

… aka, Dolan’s Army.  🙂

Last Friday, the first Friday of Lent, was our Little Flowers Girls Club Meeting.  We have a wee club by LFGC standards:  5-10 girls and their moms who meet in members’ homes, as opposed to the standard 20-40 kids who meet in the parish basement.  However, our size makes us more flexible.  We can easily carpool to a Dominican monastery or to have breakfast with the CSFN.  We can make a walk around the block in springtime a search for violets and a lesson in the virtue of humility (that’s St. Catherine Laboure in Wreath I, of course).  And we can make post-meeting dinner for all our families in one kitchen, provided that kitchen has two ovens. 

Ours does. 

Our club is in Wreath II right now, and our saint for February is St. Angela Merici, an example of the virtue of prudence. Cooking is a great way to teach kids about such an abstract virtue as prudence.  We make prudent choices when choose safety over just rushing in:  we cook with grown-ups to keep us safe, we don’t toss knives around, and we pierce the dough of the stromboli so it doesn’t burst open from the steam and splatter the inside of Mrs. Mackerelsnapper’s oven with tomato sauce and vegetable bits. 

Triple Batch of Stromboli Dough
(You will need a LARGE mixer for this.) 
4 1/2 tsp instant yeast
4 1/2 tsp sugar
3 c warm water (just a little warmer than baby bath water)
6 T olive oil
1 T salt
7 1/2-8 c flour
additional flour and oil for dough prep

Place yeast, sugar and water in the bowl of your mixer and let bloom for 5 minutes.  Attach your dough hook to the mixer and add oil, salt, and 7 1/2 c flour to the yeast-water.  Mix on low speed until the dough forms a single, solid ball that rotates around the bowl with the motion of the hook.  The dough should be slightly tacky but not sticky.  If the dough pulls away with your finger when you tap it, add the rest of the flour and mix until dough is tacky.  Remove dough from bowl and cut into three equal portions.  Form each portion into a ball, rub with oil and place in an oiled bowl.  Cover and leave in a cool (but not cold), dry place until ready to use. 

Preheat oven to 375F.  With floured hands on a lightly floured surface, stretch out each ball of dough into a rectangle.  Keeping 1 1/2″ of the edges clear, top the dough with pretty much anything you’d like (sauce, cheese, veggies–meat when you can), but don’t overfill:  think of it as a large pizza turnover.  Moisten the edges with water to help the stromboli seal, then roll up the dough loosely and slash with a sharp knife to let the steam escape, pinching seams firmly.  Bake at 375F for 35-40 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped.  Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving (especially if you have kids eating it and you don’t want them to burn their little mouths). 

  • I made this twice for a total of 6 dough blobs and left it in a covered Tupperware thatsasupermegabowl thing in a cool, but not cold, place shortly before the meeting.  Then we let the kids do the stretching, topping, and rolling.  With ours, we had no leftovers, and another family (the mom is a friend of mine who won’t even eat red sauce on spaghetti) said even she loved the ‘boli they took home. 
  • Catechesis note: as the girls stretched out the dough, we talked about how Jesus is the bread of life who has come to feed us, but He also came to take our sins upon himself.  Then, just as He was pierced for our sins, we pierced our strombolis five times, once for each of the crucifixion wounds.  Then he suffered death and was placed in a tomb, just like we place our strombolis in an oven.  Then  we wait for his rising, just like the dough rises in the oven.  To this day, Jesus gives us Himself in the Eucharist, real food for eternal life. 

About Erin McCole Cupp
Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her short writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, Parents, The Philadelphia City Paper, The White Shoe Irregular, Outer Darkness Magazine, and the newsletter of her children’s playgroup. She is a contributor to CatholicMom.com and has been a guest blogger for the Catholic Writers Guild. Her other professional experiences include acting, costuming, youth ministry, international scholar advising, and waiting tables. When Erin is not writing, cooking or parenting, she can be found reading, singing a bit too loudly, sewing for people she loves, gardening in spite of herself, or dragging loved ones to visitors centers at tourist spots around the country. Find out more about her novels and other projects at erinmccolecupp.com .

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