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Chocolate-Cherry Stromboli

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Yields one 14-inch stromboli

Stromboli for dessert is a bit unexpected, but this pairing of sweet chocolate with tart cherries makes for a playful finish to a pizza party.  Since the savory stromboli uses only a half-batch of dough, this sweet one is a good way to use the other half.

  • 1 cup dried cherries (or substitute dried cranberries, or raisins)
  • 1 recipe Pizza Dough, refrigerated for at least 8 hours
  • Unbleached bread flour or semolina flour, for dusting
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toasted, chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Shape and fill the stromboli:

Put the dried cherries in a small bowl and cover with very hot water. Allow them to plump for 15 minutes, until tender, then drain the fruit thoroughly.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Divide the dough in half and return one piece to the refrigerator (or freeze as directed in the dough recipe). Dust a work surface lightly with flour, and transfer the other piece of dough to the work surface. Dust the dough with flour and press it into a rectangle with your fingertips. Roll the dough into a larger rectangle, working from the center of the dough to each of the four corners and then to each of the four sides to even out the rectangle, until it is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. It should be approximately 11 inches long and 14 inches wide, with the wide side facing you. Use more dusting flour as needed.

Scatter the chocolate chips, cherries, and nuts over the surface of the dough rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border. Tightly and evenly roll the stromboli from the bottom to the top, pinching the seam tightly closed with fingers or thumbs. Also pinch the two ends closed and tuck them under the loaf. Carefully lift the long loaf and put it seam side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush the top of the loaf with olive oil and loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap.

Leave the loaf at room temperature for about 1-1/2 hours. The dough won't rise very much but will just be showing signs of expansion by the time it's ready to be baked.

Bake the stromboli:

Heat the oven to 400ºF (350ºF if using convection). When ready to bake, brush the dough again with olive oil and cut three or four steam vents crosswise into the stromboli with a sharp paring knife, cutting all the way down through the filling to release any air pockets. Bake until the crust turns a rich golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan after the first 10 minutes for even baking. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Photo: Scott Phillips

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