Thursday, May 21, 2009

Calzones Galore

I've been on a bread/dough kick recently and I've been making it a habit to have all kinds of dough on hand every week, including pizza dough. It's so versatile since you can use it for pizzas, focaccia, breadsticks and calzones. Tonight I wanted to try a different pizza dough recipe, specifically using bread flour.

I came across this recipe and the reviews were mixed where some folks used all purpose flour instead of bread flour... and others mentioned the dough as written didn't have the right consistency using only bread flour. I tweaked the recipe by using both bread and all purpose flours and omitted the olive oil. The result? A perfect dough that was neither too doughy nor too chewy. I plan on using this recipe again in the future for more calzone batches.

As for the fillings, I made 4 separate ones to use up what I had. Although I didn't use all the fillings I made, at least I them on hand when I make more calzones in the next day to stock my freezer.

Calzone (Pizza) Dough
recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 cup bread flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white sugar
cornmeal (for baking)


In a 1 cup measuring cup, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the 2 cups of flours, salt, and white sugar using the paddle attachment; stir well to combine. Slowly pour in the yeast mixture while mixing with the paddle attachment. Once the dough forms into a ball and pulls from the sides, remove the paddle attachment and switch to the dough hook attachment.


Knead the dough with the hook attachment for about 5-7 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and forms a nice ball. Cover and rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. (Or you can preheat your oven to 200 degrees while the dough is kneading and turn the oven off when the dough is ready. Cover your mixer bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the preheated oven, allowing it to rise for 30 minutes or until it doubles in size.)


When your dough is ready, place it on a floured surface and portion the dough into pieces the size of a lime. Flatten each piece of dough into a thin circle for the calzones.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Carefully place your fillings on one half of the dough circle and fold the uncovered half over the filling. Seal the calzone by pinching and tucking the dough seam together.

Place your filled calzones onto a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal (to prevent sticking.) Lightly spray the tops with a cooking spray to help them brown. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

To freeze, allow the calzones to cool completely before wrapping it in foil and then placed in a freezer bag. To heat from frozen, place on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. To heat from thawed, place on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.


The fillings I made for the batch tonight included:


Buffalo Chicken
Combine the following ingredients in a bowl:
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 3 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 1 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced thin (green part only)


Italian Sausage & Baby Bella Mushrooms
Combine the following ingredients in a bowl:
- 1/3 lb italian sausage, browned
- 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
-1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade


Spinach Artichoke Chicken
Combine the following ingredients in a bowl:
- 5 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- garlic salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup frozen or jarred artichoke hearts, chopped
- 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped


BBQ Chicken
Combine the following ingredients in a bowl:
- 1-2 cups cooked BBQ chicken
- 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced thin (green part only)
- 1/2 cup shredded mexican blend cheese