Calzone

Pants leg style is how I roll:

This is my favorite way to make a calzone, the dough and fillings are rolled (like a jelly roll) instead of folded. The dough is easy to make and I followed this Hearth Bread recipe but cut the ingredients in half.

If your new to dough making a food processor makes this very easy. But you can make it in a bowl with your hands if you don’t have a processor. Just have fun with it.

For the dough:

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast (used rapidrise because that’s what I had)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (start with 2-1/2 then add if needed)
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt

If using active dry yeast add it to the water with the sugar and let proof for a bout 5 minutes. I used Rapidrise yeast and just tossed it in the processor with the flour and salt. Pulse a few times dry and with the processor running slowly add the water. Pulse it until the dough pulls away from the sides and forms a rough ball. If it’s to sticky add some more flour and pulse.

Remove dough to a floured surface and knead a couple of times and make a ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or damp towel. Let rise for 1 to 2 hours.

Now comes the fun part, on a floured surface turn out the dough and roll into a rectangle. When rolling turn the dough a couple of times so it doesn’t stick.

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Next the filling:

While the dough was rising I went to work on what I was going to stuff it with. This is where you can get very creative. I have used leftover BBQ and rib meat, the combinations are limitless. Just watch the amount of wet ingredients you use.

For this one I made a tomato based sauce using 1 small can of tomato past and one cup of water. First I sauteed some finely chopped onion (2 tblsp.) and toasted the paste along side of the onions. Then added 1 large finely chopped garlic (about 1 tablespoon), anchovy paste and some pepper corns. After a few minutes I added the water and mixed it to make the sauce. A taste test revealed it need some sugar and salt. Cook sauce for about 30 minutes, add more water or some chicken broth if it reduces to thick.

In another pan I cooked some Italian sausage with the casings removed until browned. Drain and reserve, here is a photo before I added the water.

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On the rolled dough I used about 1 cup ricotta cheese dabbed around, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, about 1/2 cup of sauce dabbed around, about 2 hand fulls of baby spinach, and added the sausage (broken into bite size pieces). You need to make sure whatever your adding has allot of flavor so I added some chopped pickled chili peppers. Save the rest of your sauce for dipping.

Spread the ingredients evenly over the dough and starting with the widest part of the dough roll it into a loaf. Pinch the ends and the seams. For easy clean up I place the calzone on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and let rise while your oven preheats to 450 degrees.

Slash the top of the loaves and brush with 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds and place in oven. I like it crispy so I place a pan in the oven with a couple of cups of water on the bottom shelf.

Bake for 15 minutes then turn down the oven to 400 degrees and bake another 15 minutes. Remove and allow the calzone to cool and “set” for 10 to 15 minutes.

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Cut into pieces and serve with some marinara sauce for dipping.

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If I was serving this to a guest I would put the sauce in a bowl, but this was for me and I was hungry. Mop it up!

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