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Adlen Robinson: Calzones at Home
Calzone stock

If you have enjoyed pizza made in a wood-fired oven, you know how impossible it is to recreate that at home — unless you are lucky enough to have a wood-fired oven! But what about calzones? I consider calzones to be a close cousin to pizza—they use the same dough and often the same toppings/fillings. The best part? If you have a few simple tools, you can easily make fantastic calzones in the comfort of your own home. In addition, these are super fun to make with your children or your grandchildren. Not only that, but this is a fun thing to make at your next dinner party. Just make the dough in advance, and prep the fillings. Let everybody fill their own calzones and everybody wins! 

 

Calzone Dough 

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 package yeast

  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon honey or pure maple syrup

 

For best results, use your bread machine. For my machine, I add water, olive oil, salt and honey first, then the flour, and lastly the yeast. Plugin the “dough” setting and let the machine do all of the work. It makes perfect dough, every single time! 

If you don’t have a bread machine, you can still make perfect dough. Just proof your yeast by whisking the yeast with 1/2 cup warm water and the honey or maple syrup. Let it sit until it bubbles up. If it doesn’t bubble up, your yeast might be dead, or you might have “killed” it by using too hot of water. Once you have your proofed yeast, combine with flour, olive oil, salt and the remaining 1/2 cup warm water. Knead until very smooth, about 10 minutes. Put the dough in a ceramic bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled, about an hour.  

 

My Favorite Calzone

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, minced

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and minced

  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more to taste)

  • 1 cup hard salami, chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella, grated

  • 1 cup sharp provolone, grated

  • 1/3 cup parmesan, finely grated

  • 1 egg, plus 1 teaspoon water

 

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook another 5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook another minute. 

Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. 

To assemble calzones, divide the dough recipe into four parts. 

Roll out the dough to a circle about 10 inches. On one half of the dough circle, add a little of the cooked and cooled vegetables, some salami, mozzarella, provolone and parmesan. Roll the other half over, seal edges well. Use a fork to further seal the edges and then prick the top a few times. Beat together the egg and water, and then brush the egg wash over the calzone. Put a baking stone or a heavy sheet pan in the oven and then preheat to 500 degrees. Carefully remove stone or pan and sprinkle with some cornmeal. Place calzones on top of cornmeal and bake until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with marinara sauce. 

 

Marinara Sauce

  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes

  • 1 medium onion, minced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

  • Salt and pepper to taste 

 

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add tomatoes, with juices and break up tomatoes with a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. If you want it smooth, puree in a blender or with an immersion blender right in the saucepan, or you can leave it as is.   

 

Other Fillings for Calzones

  • Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

  • Feta cheese, crumbled

  • Prosciutto, chopped

  • Soppressata, chopped

  • Pepperoni, chopped

  • Smoked ham, chopped

  • Fresh basil, sage, and oregano leaves, minced

  • Pesto

  • Roasted garlic 

  • Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

  • Canned artichoke hearts, chopped

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