Gus has been getting his little leg muscles all warmed up these past couple of weeks and is raring to hit the ground running at the 5 mile walk to support the Animal Humane Society in honor of his big brother Spike that he never got a chance to meet. There is still time to get your donation in if you would like to support us in this worthy cause! Please check out our donation site!
While tonight's pizza is wrapped up similar to last week's Egg and Bacon Bread, this Buffalo Chicken Stromboli is baked as a loaf and has a completely different theme inside!
As always, you can use your favorite pizza dough - I made a pound batch of our user-friendly whole-wheat pizza dough, but pick one up from the market or stop by your local neighborhood pizza place and buy a pound! We've been known to do that long before I started making our own - they usually sell them fairly cheap and if it pushes you to start making your own pizzas at home, all the better!
While our homemade batch was off rising, I got right to work preparing the filling as I wanted it to have a chance to cool down before we slathered it on the dough. In a moderate slick of melted butter and olive oil, we softened a few stalks worth of chopped celery and a couple chopped carrots. After they yielded to the heat, we stirred in a couple cups worth of shredded cooked chicken and a whopping half cup of cayenne pepper sauce (we are loyal to Frank's Red Hot) for a vivacious bite. If you already know you that you'll need to tame that wild heat level, measure out a quarter cup or so of tomato sauce and add enough hot sauce to fill up the remaining half cup.
While the juicy filling cooled, I stretched out the malleable dough into a large rectangle, then covered the top with the cooled mass of chicken and veggies. For the cheeses, we used a combination of milk Monterey jack, then amped up the volume by throwing on a smattering of pungent blue cheese crumbles. For a mild onion bite, sliced scallions were the last topping before we rolled the dough up to form the long stromboli. Do be sure to leave a clean, unfilled edge around the outside of the dough - as you roll it up, the fillings will want to slightly squeeze out and that gives them a place to go, rather than spilling out the sides. After sealing the edges and tucking the ends under, the dough was given a bath in a light egg wash. This will give the loaf a golden shine once baked, but it is also there for one more purpose... to stick on some sesame seeds!
Since this a rolled pizza, you'll need to allow extra baking time for the center to cook through - rather than the typical 12 to 15 minutes of a flat pizza, this one needs at least 30 to 40 minutes. Also note the fact the baked loaf should be left to rest for at minimum of 5 or 10 minutes before you slice into it to give the cheese a chance settle. While I'll take blue cheese any which way, it is always iffy for Jeff... sometimes he revels in the distinct flavor, other times he feels it dominates too much for his tastes. In this stromboli however, he enthusiastically gave his blessing that the cheese paired so well with the other ingredients and agreed that its strong presence was needed. The chunky bits of celery and carrot were a nice surprise (and a good way to sneak them in!), while the heat from the cayenne pepper sauce quenched our urge for the spicy burn.
Buffalo Chicken Stromboli