Monday, February 8, 2016

Super Duper Homemade Calzones

So  yesterday was the Superbowl and my hubby had a hankering for calzones. Not any old calzones but the ones  he remembered from his days working at a pizza joint back in New York. He gave me his basic specs and found a recipe he thought would be ideal and then we went ingredient shopping. No sir, these were definitely not your garden variety calzones! I made a double recipe of dough as shown in the recipe and went to town preparing them. They ended up being HUGE! Like he said, now "thatza a calzone!" In retrospect I would prefer a commercial or good homemade pizza dough, since there is a lot of bread in each serving, but it sure was good! He ate one, I ate half and we have 2 in the freezer for another time plus the other half of mine for his dinner tonight. Serve with warm marina sauce drizzled on top, or in a small bowl for dipping.

<adapted from this recipe>

Ingredients (for 2 huge calzones)

  • *1 (.25 ounce) package active dry  yeast
  • *1 cup warm water
  • *1 tablespoon olive oil
  • *1 teaspoon white sugar
  • *1 teaspoon salt
  • *2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour,            divided
  • *1 teaspoon olive oil
  • *1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • *1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella 
  • *Parmesan cheese
  • *1/2 c Canadian bacon
  • *1/2 cup diced pepperoni
  • *1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • *1 tbsp basil or Italian seasoning 
  • *1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water and 1 tsp olive oil (for the "wash")


    2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. When soft pour into medium bowl (use large bowl if doubling recipe) and add the oil, sugar and salt. Mix in 1 cup of the flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the rest of the flour, until dough is smooth and workable. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, or until it is elastic. Place dough in a bowl containing 1 teaspoon olive oil, then flip the dough, cover and let rise for 40 minutes, or until almost doubled.

    2. 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    3. 2. While dough is rising, combine the pepperoni, Canadian bacon, chopped peppers and basil leaves or Italian seasoning in a small bowl. Toss well, cover bowl and refrigerate to chill.
    4. 3. When dough is ready, punch it down and separate it into 2 equal balls (4 balls if you have doubled the recipe). 
    5. 4. Roll each out into a THIN circle on a lightly floured surface, one at a time. 
    6. 5. A so-called authentic calzone recipe said to do it this way, so I did: Fill each of the two circles with half the mozzarella on the lower half of the circle topped with filling (refrigerated pepperoni, Canadian bacon, pepper and spices), then scooped ricotta cheese, salt and pepper and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Fold the top over the fillings and secure edges by rolling/folding up,  pinching and pressing with a fork. Brush the top of each calzone with beaten egg mixed with oil and a bit of water and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet (I used a perforated pizza pan for 2 of the ones I made from the double recipe placed on the middle rack and a cookie sheet topped with silicone sheets on the second-from-lowest oven rack). REPEAT WITH REMAINING DOUGH (BALL). As you can see, these are humongous. 
    1. 6.Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 minutes (as above) until cooked through and a beautiful golden brown. Serve hot with marinara or a favorite spaghetti sauce heated for dipping or drizzling.

    Please note: I saved some money by using a bag of Italian Mixed Shredded Cheese containing Parm, Mozza, Asagio and Romano. That saved me time, too, by letting  me spread this on the bottom of each circle without having the expense of Parm to sprinkle on top and gave a little extra flavor. I found the  mix of egg/water/olive oil gave it a beautiful sheen and color.

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