Calzones are a great way to get your pizza fix in a single portion, lunch appropriate way. Just imagine heating up your Hot Pocket at work, except instead of a tasteless, processed filling wrapped in “dough” you have a homemade pizza crust filled with meat, cheese, and vegetables. Or pastrami, kraut, and swiss. Chicken, wing sauce, and blue cheese? If you can dream it, you can stuff your calzone with it.
You start any great calzone with pizza or bread dough. Pinch off your dough into small balls and roll out to make circles about 6 inches accross (or smaller or larger depending on your preference). Layer one half of each circle with meats, cheeses, and vegetables of your choice-with a little sauce or dessing if desired. Then fold over the other side of the circle and seal the edges the way you would a pie crust. Brush each calzone all over with a beaten egg and sprinkle with a flavor enhancer of your choice: parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, garlic powder, etc.. Bake at 475°F either on a pizza stone or a baking sheet for approximately 15 min or until golden brown. If you use a baking sheet, remove them to a wire rack to cool.
Once calzones are cool, serve or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze. You can reheat calzones from frozen in the microwave or in the oven. Here are some additional tips:
- The baking time for your calzone will not be long enough to cook meats through so cook all meat before hand if necessary. Likewise large pieces of hardy vegetables will not have enough time to get tender so consider chopping them very finely or cooking them partially beforehand.
- Some vegetables, like mushrooms and spinach release lots of liquid and/or cook down to almost nothing when heated. Consider cooking these beforehand so that you can drain off most of the liquid (and not wind up with a soggy calzone) and make sure your amount of filling is adequate (and not wind up with an empty calzone).
- Slices or blocks of cheese are much easier to control when forming calzones, I would avoid shredded cheese if possible.
- When adding sauces and dressings try to make or use fairly thick ones that won’t run all over your dough. If the edges around your filling get too wet from your sauce you will have trouble making them stick. If you must use a very runny sauce, like wing sauce, toss the other ingredients in the sauce before adding them to the dough, this will give the sauce more surface area to cling to.
Do you have any calzone tips or favorite fillings?