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  • janelvoth

Homemade Calzones!



Calzones are a favorite in our house! We LOVE to make homemade pizza as well, but sometimes it’s just easier to make a quick calzone. The dough doesn’t need to rise as long and then everyone can customize their own calzone with the fillings they want rather than compromising with the pizza! With 4 kiddos, and a full schedule, calzones are often the way to go when we are in the “pizza mood!”


The first thing I do (if I remember) is to get some sauce started. I don’t have a favorite marinara. Most of those jarred sauces have lots of sugar and salt. I prefer just buying a large can of crushed tomatoes and adding my own seasonings. We have fresh thyme in our flower beds, so I love to add that as well as some basil, garlic salt, pepper, oregano, etc. If you have “Italian seasoning” in the pantry, that’s a great option. Then, to offset the acidity of the tomatoes, I add about 1 or 2 tsp of sugar. I let that simmer all afternoon. On days I forget, I just try to cook it a bit warmer to speed up the process. But it tastes best when I remember to start it in the early afternoon.


OK, I could ramble on forever about calzones, sauce, and the fillings! Let’s just get to it!


We have a wonderful small book called “500 recipes for pizzas, flatbreads, etc.” There is a calzone recipe, but I have altered it to fit our family’s needs and preferences. My version is below.


Ingredients:

1 cup white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup bread flour

Yeast

Salt

Sugar

Olive oil

Warm water


Instructions:

- Preheat oven to 450F. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven on the bottom rack to start heating up. If not, just get a regular baking sheet that can handle the high temperature.


- Using a standing mixer with the dough hook, add 2 cups of flour (doesn’t matter which ones), the salt, sugar and yeast and turn on low.


Once that has mixed slightly, add the olive oil and warm water.



- After this is blended in, the dough will be very wet. Add the rest of the flour ¼ cup or so at a time. If it gets too dry, add more water. If it’s too wet, add more flour.


- Once the moisture is good, allow to mix with the dough hook for about 3 or 4 minutes to knead the dough.

*Moisture is good when you poke the dough and slightly feel it want to stick to you, but no dough actually is left on your finger.


- After the kneading is done, cover with a towel and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.

While the dough is resting, I start to chop up all of the fillings. You can do just about whatever you want! We typically have:


Pepperoni Black Olives Peppers Onions Mushrooms Mozzarella cheese

Artichokes


- Sometimes, I like to make pesto and use that with the sauce, or instead of. You really could do whatever you want here! Some other ideas are:


Shredded chicken Pesto Feta Cheese BBQ Sauce Cheddar Cheese Green Olives Ground beef Canadian Bacon OK, I’m getting hungry! Really anything you like will work.


- After the dough has rested, generously flour your work surface. There are 6 of us, and the recipe I gave above provides 6 nice sized calzones. You could try to stretch this to 8 smaller ones, or 4 that are much bigger.


- Cut the dough into 6 evenly sized pieces.


- Roll the dough in your hands into a ball.

- Lay on the work surface and using a rolling pin, roll into a thin circle about ¼ inch thick. The dough will be very stretchy, so roll a few times to get it to stay out.

- Next, start adding your fillings! Leave a space around the end just like you would if you were making a pizza. Only put the ingredients on one side.

- We put sauce on the entire circle, but the bigger fillings on one half. Then it’s easier to fold!


- When done with fillings, use some cold water and lightly wet the edge all the way around.

- Fold over in half. Stretch the dough if needed.

- Pinch the seam and fold over and push down. This is almost like a pie crust.



- Using a sharp knife, cut a couple of slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Our kids try to cut their initial so we know who’s calzone is whose!


- Place the finished calzone on a plate to get out of the way and continue with each dough ball.

- Place on pizza stone (if using) and bake for 14-16 minutes. If you don’t have a stone, you can place on a baking sheet.

- The calzone is done when the crust looks slightly brown.



Serve and enjoy! I always make a big Caesar salad to go with our calzones. The kids love to dig into them right on the top. The husband likes to cut his in half. I like to start on one side and slowly work may way across! 😊 Sometimes they are big enough that we have leftovers, but not usually!


ENJOY! Happy Cooking,

Janel



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