This recipe is absolutely incredible. The crispy, flaky crust is amazing, but even when you get past the crust, the filling will change your life. Layers of smoked ham, mozzarella and basil pesto make a simple, no-fuss filling with amazing melt-in-your mouth results.
If you have access to a bakery (even a grocery store bakery), you can often get French bread dough rather than the actual bread. If you aren’t a bread-baker, I recommend that, or buying frozen bread dough to work with to simplify your life. If you can’t find French bread dough, white bread works great, too. If you have time on your hands, though, try making my homemade French bread dough. It’s not a tricky recipe, and the result is SO worth it.
If you’re going for quick-fix, feel free to buy pre-shredded mozzarella and store-bought dough. It comes together in a flash.
This stromboli is great by itself at any temperature, but is also fantastic paired with minestrone or other favorite soup.
(also, by way of explanation, I didn’t have quite enough mozzarella, so I used some cheddar too, which explains the hints of yellow cheese in the photos.
Ham, Basil, and Mozzarella Stromboli
1 loaf French bread dough that has risen to double-size and been punched down
1/4 c or more basil pesto (I use Classico brand)
1-1 1/2c mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 lb. smoked sandwich ham
On a floured or greased surface (I spray my counter with cooking spray), roll bread dough into a large rectangle. Spread pesto over dough. Sprinkle mozzarella over pesto. Fold each slice of ham in half and layer across the mozzarella. Starting at one long end, roll slowly as you would a cinnamon roll until you reach the other side. If you can, pinch the dough together along the seam to prevent bursting. Place seam-side down on baking sheet or French loaf pan. As you can see, I forgot to put the seam on the bottom, and mine burst on the side.
Bake at 400 for approximately 30-40 minutes or until golden on top and cooked through. Butter the top of the loaf to soften and cut into slices. Store leftover slices in the refrigerator.
*** other suggestions: Classico brand sun-dried tomato pesto; ham and cheddar cheese; peppered turkey; pepperoni;