Homegrown Calzones

What do you do when you have homegrown onions and tomatoes (canned) up the wazoo? You make pizza, of course!

Or you fiddle with a good thing and decide to make calzones.

Step One: Make sure your yeast is still alive…

My favorite ex-roomie came up to visit for Friday night last week, so I decided to whip up some improvised calzones using my go-to pizza dough recipe and a healthy dose of the I’ll-probably-eat-it-even-if-it-doesn’t-come-out-perfects.

They look like little meat pies!

They certainly looked appetizing even before I put them in the oven. What did I put in them? Home-made tomato sauce (available in my pizza post, link above), genoa salami, mushrooms, red bell pepper, and Maplebrook mozzarella. I meant to put spinach in them, too, but I forgot. It’s not my fault — we got into the wine too early.

Alexis prepares to delve into her calzone. She came ready with her wolf tie. Score.

Which reminds me, for those of you who consider $12 bottles of wine to be special occasion wines, Nine St9nes makes an excellent shiraz. I thought it paired nicely with the calzone. Trust me — I once declared that a wine I tasted with my parents tasted oddly of mutton, and they all called me crazy until we looked up the tasting notes… That’s right people, this dirtbag knows how to be sophisticated every once in awhile.

Who doesn’t love bread-covered cheezy stuff? Except lactose intolerant and glucose intolerant people. Shh.

Anyway, I don’t really have a recipe for calzones because I completely improvised the whole thing. Basically, make half a pizza, fold it over, and carefully crease the edges so that stuff doesn’t leak out when you cook it. That could potentially be catastrophic. But either way, here’s a step-by-step.

Calzones for Two

Recipe one part collective internet knowledge, one part pulled out of my butt.

1. Make a batch of the Smitten Kitchen Really Simple Pizza Dough.

  • Note 1: Although she does not proof the yeast, I have had much better results with this recipe if I add a teaspoon or so of sugar to the dry ingredients before I add the water.
  • Note 2: When I made these, I made a double batch of dough and the calzones were WAY too thick. I advise using one batch and rolling the dough super thin.

2. After the dough has risen for an hour (maybe longer, if it’s colder), make a batch of my Really Easy Pizza Sauce. If you’re feeling ambitious, also caramelize some onions. I have never had luck with this on my apartment electric stoves, because the heat doesn’t go low enough. But feel free to give it a try; they would be delicious in a calzone.

3. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Separate your dough into two different balls and allow to rest on the counter covered by a towel while you complete the next step.

4. Have your assistant grate some mozzarella cheese and gather your ingredients. If I were you, I would have some fun with what you put in it. Prosciutto and other thinly sliced meats like genoa salami or soppresata (usually available in the “specialty sandwich meats” section of the grocery store) give pizzas/calzones a decadent taste that you do not get from pepperoni. You could do bleu cheese and caramelized onion. You could do corn and black beans (I don’t know why you would do this, but you could!). Really, anything you put on a pizza can go in a calzone. Yum.

5. Flatten out the balls, starting with your hands and moving to a rolling pin when it starts getting thinner. I put my two dough pieces on a cookie sheet covered with cornmeal (to keep the dough from sticking).

6. Put your ingredients on half of the dough, leaving an inch or so perimeter so that you can fold the dough over and seal it. Once you have piled the dough high with tasty ingredients, fold the dough over and pinch it like a pie crust, making sure you seal it all the way around so that the ingredients do not leak from the calzone while it is cooking.

7. Bake in oven until it is done. It should take about 10-15 minutes and should be slightly browned. When you tap it, it will sound hollow, like a loaf of bread.

8. Enjoy with lots of salad so you don’t feel bad about yourself.

9. Definitely don’t let your roommate bring this, because you will eat it all.

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3 thoughts on “Homegrown Calzones

  1. I love calzones. And I feel like I can put different things in them than on a pizza, though why is pretty mystifying, since like you say, they’re basically pizza folded in half.

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