OK, a calzone isn’t technically a heritage recipe yet but in a hundred or so years it will be so I’m just ahead of my time!
I think the calzone is Italian, at least it sounds like it. I bet in Italian the word ‘calzone’ means, “ARGH! I just dropped my pizza on the floor, luckily it folded over on itself so I can still go ahead and eat it!” (or something like that).
This recipe makes two nice big dough balls. You can get 4 giant sized calzones, two 16″ pizza’s or a combination of 1 pizza and 2 calzones. Whatever…
The dough can be frozen or refrigerated after proofing (doubling in size)to be used later on. I make mine in the morning along with my bread then refrigerate it until I’m ready to make it for dinner. Cooling it in the refrigerator makes it easy to work with and it won’t really begin to rise until after you have made your pizza or calzone and let them warm to room temperature just before baking. Now…here’s the best recipe! (Remember, I used to own a pizza shop in the Florida Keys so I know good dough!)
3.5 cups bread flour (plus 1/4 cup for rolling)
1.5 cups warm water (approx. 110F)
2.5 tsp. active dry yeast (room temperature)
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. honey
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (plus a drizzle for greasing)
Optional- 1 Tbl dough enhancer – ( * See dough enhancer below this recipe)
1) Combine bread flour, honey, active dry yeast, enhancer and salt in a bowl. Mix well.
2) Add warm water and olive oil to the mixture. Knead until the dough begins to form into a ball.
3) Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead with the palm of your hands until dough forms a smooth, firm ball (approximately 15-20 minutes). Use the extra flour to dust your workspace if necessary.
4) Continuously fold the ends of the ball under itself until most of the air pockets are released.
5) Grease the bottom of a large bowl with a drizzle of olive oil. Place the dough into the bowl and cover with either a damp cheesecloth or plastic wrap.
6) Place bowl in the oven with the light on and let it proof to double its size (approx. 1- 1.5 hour depending on the weather). To check if the dough is ready, poke the risen dough with a finger. If the indentation remains and holds its shape, then dough is ready to be rolled out.
* Dough Enhancer (professional bakeries add this to achieve the properties of ‘store bought’ bread. it does make a difference)
in a bowl mix all ingredients together then store it in the freezer in a plastic container.
1/3 cup lecithin granules
1 tsp vitamin C powder or ascorbic acid (canning acid)
1 tsp ginger, ground
1 cup of powdered milk
1 tsp salt
1 Tbl sugar
1/3 cup of vital wheat gluten
Add 1 heaping Tbl to each loaf of bread mix or dough ball
Mix all ingredients and store in tightly closed glass jar.
Add to other dry ingredients in equal amounts as the yeast.
To make a calzone…
Follow the above recipe to make your dough. Once it has risen to twice it’s size divide it into the desired sizes for which product you are making. EG; divide in half for two 16″ pizza’s, into four for calzone’s or any combination of the two.
Here I am making calzones but for lack of room will only show two being made.
To make a round disc, fold the cut ends into themselves. The edges will ‘glue’ together instantly but need to be molded a bit. Afterward, use a rolling pin on a flour dusted surface to form two 12″ circles.
Now it’s time to add the fillings; Using your eyes, divide the disc into top and bottom halves. You will only fill the lower half!
First apply a good coat of Ricotta cheese. Make sure you leave the edge free of filling as you will need to fold this edge into itself to form the crust.
On top of the Ricotta cheese, start layering your desired fillings. I like to add pepperoni, black olives, mozzarella on top o0f the Ricotta cheese.
Black Olives 🙂
Banana Peppers 🙂
Lots of Mozzarella Cheese! 🙂
After adding all of your fillings, it’s time to close up your calzone. Fold the top completely over the filled bottom half.
To prevent the ends from popping open during baking, fold the two corners over onto themselves.
Next comes the part that’s hard to describe. Start at one end and begin twisting the edge kind of like making a rope. I use one hand to fold over the edge and then follow with the other hand to fold the edge over one more turn. This makes a tight seal that will not open during baking.
I then temporarily place the calzone’s on parchment paper on my pizza screens to finish the calzone.
Using a fork, puncture the calzone to prevent swelling and bursting with any design you wish. I use names because each calzone is made to whatever toppings the other folks want in it.
Using a brush, brush on a good layer of olive oil and then sprinkle with dried basil. The olive oil protects the surface from drying out while baking.
Next, get your dipping sauce prepared. Standard pizza sauce works best for this. I make my own.
Remove the calzone’s from the parchment paper and place them directly onto the pizza screen then place the calzone’s in a 400 degree oven in the center rack. Placing them in an upper rack risk burning the top.
17 to 20 minutes later this is what they should look like when done. Since all ovens bake differently, watch your calzones so they don’t burn!
Remove the calzone’s from the pizza screen and place on a cutting board. I use flexible cutting pads so that I can transfer the cut up calzone directly onto a plate.
Lastly, beautify your plate so your guest feel like they are in an expensive restaurant… minus the TV and dog staring hungrily at you while you eat!