Calzones – just another something tasty you can make with pizza dough! It also seemed like the next step in the progression after pizza and garlic knots. They seemed a bit daunting since they take a little more effort, but they were worth the extra work! The cheese used really just asks for some marinara to go along with it. I guess you could say the cheese is a little creamy, a great compliment to the veggies! The dough was nice and crunchy, a little chewy on the inside and had a great buttery taste from the butter brushed over it.
After I rolled out the dough, I moved it to the floured backside of the cookie sheet to stuff and finish. I did have some trouble with the dough sticking a little on the backside of the cookie sheet; I used both flour and corn meal between the dough and the pan. Just be sure to put a decent amount of flour and cornmeal on the cookie sheet before moving the dough over. Now, I’ve never made calzones before and was a bit worried about putting them together – not enough filling, the dough might rip, wouldn’t get enough air in there, etc. If this sounds like you, don’t worry about it! 🙂 They will be great! Just try it – if they’re not perfect this time, that’s just fine. You can always try again! Just be sure to not roll the dough too thin, but I still wouldn’t be worried – the dough will stretch. You’ll get enough air in there too. It may not look like they have air in them, but they’ll puff up in the oven!
What you need:
Pizza dough, recipe here and below
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 can artichoke hearts, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 onion, diced
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chile oil (I didn’t have any so I used extra virgin olive oil)
1 cup grated Italian Fontina
2 cups grated mozzarella
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if necessary
Leftover hand pie filling, about 1 1/2 cups
1/2-1 cup Mozzarella cheese
What to do:
In a large bowl combine yeast with water, olive oil, salt and stir well to proof. After 5 minutes, add half of the flour and mix well to thoroughly incorporate. Add all remaining flour except 1/2 cup and mix well with your hands. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead dough for at least 5 and up to 7 minutes, adding enough additional flour, as necessary, to form a smooth and elastic dough. Dough should not be sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled 2 or 3 quart bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually at least 1 hour.
Divide the pizza dough into 4 equal pieces.
Preheat the oven with a pizza stone to 500 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Place a large saute pan over high heat. Add the olive oil and when it is hot, saute the artichoke hearts, mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini and onions. Season, to taste, with PDS. Pour off any excess oil and let the vegetables cool.
Roll or stretch the dough, 1/4 at a time, into a 9-inch circle. Place the dough, one at a time, on a floured wooden peel (or the backside of a floured cookie sheet). Brush the circles to within 1-inch of the edge with chili oil (or extra virgin olive oil). For each calzone, put 1/4 of both cheeses on half of the dough, still leaving the 1-inch border. Top with veggies, 1/4 the garlic and the thyme. Assemble the remaining calzones in the same way.
Moisten the edges of the circles with water. Fold the un-topped half of the dough, trapping as much air inside as possible, over the filling and press the edges together firmly to seal. With the backside of a fork, press the edges of the dough to crimp them.
Slide the calzones onto the pizza stone and bake about 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Brush the calzones with melted butter and sprinkle them with parmesan.
We’ve reheated them in both the microwave and the toaster oven. They come out a bit soggy from the microwave. To reheat in the oven, heat to 350 degrees F, heat for around 15 minutes. Calzones come out super crunchy from the oven – my fave (even though it takes longer)