BAM Family

BAM Family

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Recipe: Calzones

Mmmmm! Who doesn't love Calzones, or pizza in a pocket? I can't think of a man, woman, or especially, a child who would refuse such a dinner! Plus they are super budget friendly as you can use leftovers veggies and very small amounts of meat!

Calzones are really easy to make, especially if you use a store bought pizza dough (the kind found in a pop-open tube. Pillsbury sells a good Thin Crust one that is perfect for calzones!). One tube of dough makes 4 calzones (Four calzones were enough to feed our family of four--the boys shared, I ate one, and Aaron at two). But, if you have time, make your own dough--it is delicious! Really. It is worth it.

Ingredients

Dough:

1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2-3 cups flour

Filling:

Shredded Mozzarella or Pizza Blend Cheese
Favorite Pizza toppings:
mini pepperoni (or large pepperoni cut into fourths)
sausage (crumbled breakfast or Italian. Save some out after Spaghetti night! Or crumble up leftover meatballs)
Ham (sandwich meat)
peppers and onions, diced (sautéed until tender-crisp. I used leftovers from fajita night)
Black Olives (leftover from taco night?)
Mushrooms, lightly sauteed
Etc.

Favorite Pizza Sauce for dipping on the side (I have made these with sauce inside but they are better with just the filling and cheese inside and sauce on the side)

Make it! 
If using store bought dough, unroll and cut into four rectangles.

OR

Soften together yeast, water and honey.

Add salt and flour to make a soft dough.

Knead 10 minutes (It seems like a long time but keep at it. The kneading is what gives the finished crust that nice chewy pizza quality), or till smooth and elastic, adding flour if necessary to keep from being sticky.

Cover and let rise till doubled (about 1 hour - less if using rapid rise yeast).

Punch down. Divide into six sections and roll out in rounds 1/4 inch thick.

Spray cookie sheet (not air bake) or pizza pan generously with cooking spray (You'll need two if you make homemade dough). Assemble the calzones on the baking sheet so you don't have to transfer the doughy packets later.

Add filling--I like to add cheese on the bottom, then top with veggies, meats, etc, and then top with a little more cheese. That way you get cheesy goodness all around. (my mouth is watering as I type....)

TIP: don't go crazy with the filling. You want to be able to close the calzone.

Fold dough over filling, tucking in any stranglers. Use a fork to firmly crimp the edges.

Spray tops of calzones with cooking spray or brush with Olive Oil. This will give the crust a nice shiny, crispy top. If you like, sprinkle lightly with garlic powder, Italian herbs and onion powder.

Cut 2-3 small slits in the top of the calzone with cooking sheers to let the steam escape.

Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes. Calzones are done with they are golden brown on top.
Let cool for 5-10 minutes (as they will be screamin' hot and you will burn the roof of your mouth trying to scarf down the goodness that is the calzone if you try to eat it as soon as it comes out of the oven).

Serve with warmed pizza sauce on the side and a big ol' salad.

Hey family! Dinner's ready!!
(Dough recipe curtesy of Food.com)

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