Friday, October 26, 2012


I really enjoy having calzones as a change of pace from pizza once in awhile. I don't have to try to figure out how much of each pizza to put what toppings on, as everyone comes to the counter to fill his or her own. This isn't so much of a recipe, as I do typically buy pizza dough, but for a very long time I was hesitant to try making calzones and thought maybe some photos and instructions could boost someone else's confidence too.

I cooked the sausage first, and then added some onions and pepper to the pan. After a few minutes I put some sliced mushrooms off in a corner by themselves and also threw in a handful of frozen spinach (also quarantined with the mushrooms).
The dough at our grocery store comes in 28 ounce balls. I leave the dough on the counter for a few hours before I am ready to start preparing. I cut one ball into four hunks. Each hunk of dough gets rolled out to maybe 1/2". I don't use oil or flour, just a dough roller that is like a mini rolling pin. If you haven't ever rolled out pizza dough, it takes some effort and muscle, in my opinion. It's kind of like you have to "break" the elasticity, before it stops pulling back to a blob. As you can see, the shape is not important, as long as some sort of half can be found. You can also see that I like everything that was in the pan! I put mozzarella cheese down first, followed by small scoops of ricotta cheese. This one was rolled out on the back of a cutting board, but two others were rolled out right on the pizza stone.
After your fillings are inside, you pull the dough over and seal it. I really squeeze the edges together, and sort of squish (highbrow cooking term there) them until the original seam isn't as visible, so they don't burst in the oven. Cut a few holes in the top for venting.
Bake them in a preheated 425 oven for about 18 minutes. They will start to brown and the dough will feel crusty, and "thud" when you knock on it.
Hungry? I know a lot of people put tomato sauce in their calzones before they close them up, but I haven't tried that (mainly because it is not what I grew accustomed to). We serve our sauce on the side for dipping. I admit that we used sauce from a jar this night. I have a general rule that if I put effort into what the sauce is going on (stuffed shells is another example), then I might not make a pot of sauce.
I hope you'll try these, and have fun with the toppings! This is just a sampling of what we had. Some of our other favorites are pepperoni (no kidding) and meatballs.