The other day, I had a craving for a Calzone. I had no rhyme or reason for it; it’s not the type of thing I usually want or even order at a restaurant. I just made it up as I went along, and it turned out pretty tasty. Traditionally these are fried, but I made a baked version.
I had previously made pizza dough in the freezer. The recipe is from my coworker, Brittney. I have no idea where she got it from, but it’s mighty tasty and freezes well. Her recipe is below. Rice also has a great no rise recipe.
Back Country Pizza Crust (makes 2 – 12 inch crusts)
1 package dry yeast (2-1/4 tsp if you have it in the jar)
1/2 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
3 cups flour (I used 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat – excellent!)
1 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
1 T honey
3/4 cup cold water
(optional: It’s not in the original recipe, but I always add some dried herbs to the dough. It adds a little fun flavor. I used herbs de Provence)
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let it stand for 10 minutes, until slightly bubbly. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, olive oil, honey, and cold water. Add yeast mixture and stir to blend. Knead by hand until smooth and glossy – about 10 minutes. Form into a ball and place dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat entire surface. Cover with plastic wrap and and towel and let rise until doubled in bulk – about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Divide the dough in half (you can freeze the dough now in a freezer-safe baggie or make it into a pizza/calzone. It will keep for 2 months. Make sure you thaw it at room temp for 30 min before proceeding). Shape each piece in a 12-inch round.
Calzone – Like I said, I made it up as I went along and had no idea what I was doing. That said, it turned out pretty tasty!
First, I took a 1/4 bag of pre-shredded “Italian Cheese Blend” (I believe it was 6 different kinds) and spread it on the bottom half of the dough, making sure to leave a 1-inch boarder for sealing. Then I added a chunky, canned sauce (I like Safeway Select kind, but use whatever you want) and spinach.
You can continue with the whole veggie thing, but I chose to add sausage. We got this great “7x Garlic Sausage” from some random exit in Pennsylvania when we were stuck in traffic on the way up to Ithaca for a friend’s wedding. (Yes, we are the type of people who stop randomly for meat products and cheese). Anyway, it’s amazing and garlicy. I also added some Herbs de Provence-roasted garlic I made (recipe to come).
Next, I added chopped some yellow onions and sprinkled them on top. I smothered it with more cheese and sauce. My secret final ingredient was pesto. Behold:
Fold over the top of the dough so it meets the other side. Remember the part about not putting anything over the outter most inch on the “goods” side? It should bond pretty nicely now. Fold it in on itself to seal all the juices and goodies in.
Cut some slits in the dough to let the steam escape. Give it a good brushing with olive oil to crisp it up!
It should take 10-15 minutes. Let it go longer if it’s not getting a little brown and crispy looking.
Ta-da! Slice it up and get ready to eat!