Fiance and I’s favorite food in the world is pizza, and there is no hesitation about that. During our first week or two in Cape Town, we ordered some pizza from a local restaurant because it’d been awhile since we indulged, only to find that Americans and South Africans have completely different conceptions of what pizza is. I feel like I can safely generalize that because we’ve had pizza from about five different restaurants now, and none of them were like the pizza we get at home.
Qualities of our favorite American pizzas:
2. Relatively thick and airy crust, like 1/2 inch minimum.
3. Somewhat spicy and very flavorful tomato sauce, and a good helping of it.
4. Pretty cheesy.
5. Greasy, crispy pepperoni.
Qualities of South African pizzas we’ve had:
1. Individual sized, which we didn’t know to expect when ordering. In other words, appropriately sized for normal humans.
2. Very thin, dense crust. Some restaurants liken it to pitas.
3. Simple tomato sauce.
4. Lighter on the cheese.
5. Pepperoni is hard to come by, but avocado, bacon, and feta is a hugely popular pizza combination (that’s fine with me!).
What I’ve learned from this is that here in Cape Town, pizza is a normal, reasonable dinner food. In the US, it’s a “I had a long week and feel like stuffing my face with as much of the goodness as I can take” meal. Pizza is a food you eat when you want to hate yourself afterwards.
I’ve given up on pizza from restaurants here and stuck to making my own since I think I’ve got my crust and sauce down pat. Then I decided that since I’m going to the effort of making it myself anyways, I’d try something a little fun with it.
I used my basic pizza crust recipe, and after it had risen rolled it out into a big rectangle.
Then topped it with cubed mozzarella. I’m using the cheaper stuff here, but go ahead and use the good stuff. Just make sure you use lots of cheese
Then other toppings of your choice. Pepperoni is usually what we’d use, but it’s very hard to come by in the grocery store here so we used salami, along with some parmesan and Italian seasoning.
Then roll it up. I probably shouldn’t have laid toppings out so close to the edge because the cheese did melt out, but a little melty cheese never hurt anyone.
Pinch the edges close, then move it to a greased cookie sheet. Not pictured, but I brushed the top with a little melted butter and topped with parmesan and Italian seasoning.
Then baked it for a good 25 minutes until it was golden brown.
I think “pizza log” would be an equally adequate name, but “stromboli” sounds a bit nicer. We dipped our slices into a spicy tomato sauce, and it was perfect! Cheesy, bready, and everything good in this world.
Get the Recipe:
- 1 1/2 cups cubed mozzarella
- 1 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
- 15-18 pieces of pepperoni
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 tsp shredded parmesan
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Gently whisk the water, yeast, and sugar together. Let sit until proofed and foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Add the salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and olive oil and mix until combined.
- Using the dough hook on your standing mixer, slowly add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is no longer sticky. If you don’t have a standing mixer, add the first two cups of flour and mix with a wooden spoon. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time, or until no longer sticky.
- Using the dough hook or by hand, knead the dough for four to five minutes.
- Coat a bowl with olive oil, add the dough, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a large baking sheet with olive oil. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, approximately 9×12 inches, about 1/2 inch thick.
- Top rolled dough with filling ingredients, or your fillings of choice. Roll the dough up long ways and pinch the end to the log once completely rolled.
- Move the stromboli log to the greased baking sheet. Brush melted butter on top and sprinkle on parmesan and Italian seasoning.
- Bake for 22-30 minutes, or until completely golden brown.
- While the stromboli is baking, combine all ingredients for sauce in a medium sized saucepan. Let simmer over low heat until stromboli is ready.
- When finished baking, slice stromboli into 1-1 1/2 inch thick slices and dip into tomato sauce.