I love calzones. Mine aren’t super pretty, but who cares what they look like? I love that they are so much more than pizza, but leave you just as satisfied as if they were. Unless you’re my boyfriend, then it is nothing more than a folded over piece of pizza, because you don’t like ricotta and will only tolerate mozzarella.
I found my go to pizza crust a few years ago, and it has never failed me. It is a perfect basic and super easy to customize. It’s called Jay’s Signature Pizza Crust, from AllRecipes. I used it in its most simple form for these calzones.
Begin by combining the yeast, water, and sugar.
Let stand for about 10 minutes, or until it looks like this.
Gradually add the salt, oil, and flour. I used my dough hook to knead the dough until it was no longer sticky. Place the dough in a well oiled bowl and let rise until doubled.
When the dough has doubled, punch down, divide into three balls and roll out the dough balls into ovals that are at least a 1/4 of an inch thick. You want it to be a bit thicker than pizza dough you roll out because it’s got to contain all that good stuff. This may have been a mistake I made. Naaaah. We made two calzones and used the rest of the dough for bread sticks. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees. Put your pizza stone in the oven to heat at least ten minutes before you want to cook the calzones.
Combine your chosen calzone ingredients in a bowl. I used some of the leftover cheese mixture from my stuffed pasta shells (ricotta, Parmesan, provolone, and Romano) plus some mozzarella, diced up pepperoni, and Italian seasoning. Awesome. My boring boyfriend’s consisted of mozzarella, Parmesan, ground precooked sausage (don’t put raw meat into this), and diced up pepperoni. I like the cheese, he likes the meat. Dump your lovely filling combination onto one half of your rolled out oval.
Wet the edges all the way around, then fold the half without toppings over the half with the toppings. Line up the edges, and using a fork press the edges closed. Patch any thin spots with extra dough.
Here is the part I can never get right. How in the world are you supposed to transport a fixed and ready to go pizza, calzone, anything of the sort, from the surface you made it on to the pizza stone?! If anyone has suggestions that don’t require lots of money, please tell me. My calzones were not nearly as pretty after transporting them. I …accidentally… forgot to take a picture before they went in the oven. Oops.
They grew significantly while baking. My dough poofed up into kind of a shell around the toppings, and my boyfriend’s stayed flatter and melded with the toppings a bit more. Either way, they were amazingly delicious. And easy to eat while watching the game. I made a sauce to dunk them in with just a can of tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and a bit of cayenne. We like heat around here.
Cut into strips (if your like me), grab a Diet Coke, turn on the game and watch your number 1 ducks barely scrape out a win, and be comforted by your delicious calzones.
Game Day Calzones
Dough (From AllRecipes):
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
3 1/3 cup flour
1 cup cheese combination of choice (in my opinion, ricotta and mozzarella are necessary)
1/3 cup meat combination of choice
Any other fillings you may like, such as veggies (wait, what are those?)
Seasoning (Italian, onion powder, salt, pepper, are all good choices)
12 oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper
In a mixing bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and water. Let sit for about ten minutes. Fit your mixer with a dough hook. Add salt and oil and mix. Add the 2 1/2 cups of flour. With the mixer running add the remaining flour until no longer sticky. Place dough in a well oiled bowl and let rise until doubled. When dough has doubled, punch down and divide down into three balls. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees and place pizza stone in the oven. Roll dough balls into ovals on a floured surface. In a bowl, combine your chosen fillings. Pile fillings onto one half of a rolled out circle, leaving a little room around the edges. Fold over half without filling over half with filling. Pinch edges together using a fork and pressing all the way around. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and kosher salt. Repeat with remaining dough balls. Place calzones onto the preheated pizza stone, and baking for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
While baking, combine the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a bowl. Cut calzone into manageable chunks and enjoy!