Calzones

January 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

We have been eating a lot of pasta and rice lately and I was trying to change it up. Then we watched Parks and Recreation, where Ben was depressed and trying to start a calzone restaurant to cope. While not depressed, I thought calzones sounded pretty darn good.

These are especially fun because you can individualize them and put whatever you want on each person’s. I even made a wheat dough for myself since I prefer it to white. We had a bunch of ingredients left over, so we did the same thing the next night- only made them into personal pizzas instead.

These are surprisingly easy, and the dough doesn’t take all that long to rise. I will suggest making sure you seal them well, so you don’t end up with a sunken pirate ship looking thing like what I made for poor Andrew:

As you may have figured out from other posts, we eat a lot. I am writing the recipe for each individual calzone, but individual for us could very well serve more than one person at your house.

Ingredients  (for each calzone- multiply by the number that you’ll need)

  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups of flour, divided
  • pizza sauce
  • cheese
  • other toppings (we did pepperoni, salami, onions, mushrooms, and green peppers)
  • butter or oil and seasonings for the top (optional)
  • Other: pizza stone, large spatula, corn meal

Recipe

First, make your dough. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add one cup of flour and mix well. If it is very sticky, add flour by the tablespoon until it forms a dough that doesn’t stick to your hands. Knead it for about 3 minutes. Pour a little oil in the bowl. Spread it around the sides of the bowl and roll the dough in it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave the dough to rise for about 45 minutes, or until doubled.

Meanwhile, cut up any toppings that you will need and keep them ready. When the dough has been sitting for about 30 minutes, preheat your oven to 400° and place a pizza stone in it to heat up.

Make your calzones. Take each ball of dough and roll it out until it forms a wide oval or circle. In the middle third, spread your sauce and add your cheese and toppings. “Fringe” each side like this:

Then, fold the fringes over so that they overlap. Make sure to press them tightly into each other so it doesn’t all fall open, like mine did in the picture at the beginning. (Don’t worry, it still tastes delicious even when messy). Brush melted butter or olive oil on the top, and then sprinkle seasonings that you like. We used sea salt, oregano, and crushed red pepper. (These would work just fine if you just folded the edges over to seal it, but we were trying to be all fancy.)

Open the oven and sprinkle cornmeal on the pizza stone. (This will help keep the calzones from sticking). Using a large, heavy duty spatula  (like what you would use for steaks on a grill) or pizza peel, transfer each calzone to the pizza stone. It would probably help to sprinkle cornmeal on the spatula as well. If you are really unsure about this step- when we made pizzas the next day, we put each one on a piece of foil and transferred that to the stone and it worked well).

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let it cool on a rack for a couple minutes before you eat it.

*If you don’t have a pizza stone, this should work on a regular sheet pan. I would maybe decrease the temperature to 350° and let it cook a little longer.

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