Sandwiches are the “go to” or “to go” lunch meal. Growing up in an Italian American family my mother made everything from Italian favorites like eggplant focaccia sandwiches to the traditional American PB&J. I always preferred the Italian lunches. 🙂
To help distinguish the differences between a calzone, stromboli, and sandwich loaf, I’ve borrowed a few definitions from the internet:
Calzone – A typical calzone is made from salted bread dough, baked in an oven and stuffed with salami or ham, mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan or pecorino cheese, as well as an egg. Different regional variations on a calzone can often include other ingredients that are normally associated with pizza toppings.
Stromboli is a type of turnover filled with various cheeses, typically mozzarella, Italian meats such as salami, capicola and bresaola or vegetables. The dough traditionally used is Italian bread dough.
A Sandwich Loaf is a stacked party entree that looks like a cake. This food was quite popular during the mid 20th century in the United States. This is NOT the sandwich loaf I make.
I found my sandwich loaf recipe in the Los Angeles Times about 20 years ago. I’ve made this recipe for occasions from dinner parties to picnics. I usually make it for a group of people, however, it can be made in individual portions. The ingredients are similar to a calzone and stromboli.
Start with pizza dough and roll out to baking sheet size, season and add grated cheese.
Layer meats and cheeses of your choice
Surprise ingredients are hard boiled eggs and olives. I also add thinly sliced tomatoes and red onions sometimes.
- • 1 recipe pizza dough (homemade, store bought, or 1 pound frozen bread dough thawed)
- • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- • Assorted cold cuts, (ham, salami, capicola, mortadella, etc.)
- • Assorted cheeses (American, Swiss, cheddar, provolone or your favorites)
- • 2-3 hard boiled eggs sliced
- • ¼ cup sliced black or Kalamata olives or olive tapenade
- • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and parsley
- • Olive oil
- Roll dough into a rectangle about 15x10 inches on a lightly floured board.
- Sprinkle dough with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, oregano and parsley.
- Add parmesan cheese.
- Spread with layer of cold cuts and cheese slices. Top with hard-boiled egg slices and olives.
- Fold edges in and start rolling from narrow end – so it looks like a long jelly roll.
- Rub outside gently with oil and sprinkle more salt, pepper, garlic, onion, parsley and oregano.
- Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes – until golden brown.
Of course you can use any of your favorite ingredients in this recipe. Be creative and try variations. Here are some suggestions:
Pizza loaf: use pizza ingredients start with spices – lightly layer pizza sauce, sausage, pepperoni, mozzarella – roll up and cook same as above.
Kids version: spice for children’s taste, layer their favorite meats and cheeses. Roll up and cook same as above.
Vegetarian: use your favorite vegetables (spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant) layer cheeses like fresh homemade ricotta, parmesan, pecorino, and spices. Roll up and cook same as above. HINT: may want to sauté some vegetables ahead – depends on vegetables and your taste.
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. People are usually impressed by how great the loaf looks when sliced and served on a platter, and it tastes great!