Yesterday my daughter and I had planned to spend a day together cooking. We were going to watch the Food Network in the morning and find something tasty to make, then go to the store and pick up ingredients. The weather, unfortunately, had a different idea. When we woke up we were greeted to freezing rain, so had to change the original plan.
We did watch the Food Network as planned, but more for ideas on things we could create with what we already had in the house. When I saw someone making calzones, I knew those would be easy enough to tweek to our liking. Plus my aunt had given us a whole lot of pepperoni over Christmas (my uncle brought home 25 pounds of sliced pepperoni, so we ALL got some!).
I have no idea what the “real” recipe was on the Food Network, because I wasn’t paying attention. But here’s our version of it, which came out quite nicely.
First I grabbed our pizza crust recipe which is used with the bread machine. This recipe you can also make by hand, but requires you kneed it for 5 minutes then let rise for about 40 mins. I find it much easier to make in the bread machine on the dough setting.
In case you’ve missed this recipe on the blog before, here’s my tasty pizza crust recipe:
Homemade Pizza Crust
3/4 c warm water
1 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl brown sugar
1 tsp Italian seasoning (no garlic, yet, or it will not rise)
1 Tbl dry milk
2 1/4 c. white flour (we use unbleached)
1 tsp active dry yeast
Now usually this crust is suppose to be rolled out and baked for 5 mins at 425*, but I never do because we have what I call “mountain pizzas” and the crust gets too crispy because it needs to bake longer. When making the calzones, of course you don’t want to roll it out and bake it first. No, you’ll want to roll them out into little ovals instead, add your toppings then fold them up.
There were a few mistakes I made yesterday. First off, I only split the dough into 3 sections. I probably could have gotten 4 or 5 calzones out of that dough because it was pretty thick on the bread.
The second mistake I made was going by the original dough temp and cooking it for 20 mins. It wasn’t burnt by any means, but the crust was a bit crispy. So I would suggest knocking down the temp to 375* or 350* and still baking it for 20 mins. Probably less time if you have thinner crust.
Regardless of the minor mistakes I made, these were still pretty darn good. All we added for toppings was Italian diced tomatoes, pepperoni, cheese, and mushrooms. If you have a bigger family, the crust recipe can be easily duplicated to make more crust OR you can just make slightly smaller calzones. You probably want them good sized though or else it will be slightly difficult fitting in all the toppings, so I would suggest only splitting the dough into 4 pieces.
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