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I don’t know what it is about calzones, but they are one of my favorite foods—I even prefer them over pizza, which is a big shoe to fill. But I’m a carb addict, so the soft doughy bread is irresistible. But the best part about calzones is mixing and matching different kinds of cheese, veggies and meats to get a meal that pleases your family.
I have never made homemade calzones before, but I decided to give it a try after getting inspired by a recipe for whole-wheat flour pizza crust on allrecipes.com. I changed it up a bit for my house full of picky eaters—yes, I am guilty of being a short-order cook on occasion!
Before you start, make sure you have a large work surface for kneading the pizza dough. I used my kitchen island, and by the end of my calzone adventure, the whole island was covered in flour—a little messy for mom, but tons of fun for the kids!
We chose to put tomatoes, olives, spinach and jalepenos in our calzones, but choose any ingredients you want!
Once you spread out all of your toppings onto your crust, fold top half of crust over and create a pocket. Fold sides up to prevent any sauce from leaking out. Use a sharp knife to cut two slits on the top so the ingredients will cook. Transfer to a greased cookie sheet.
Your calzone is done when the cheese starts to ooze out and the crust is golden brown. Mmmm….my mouth is watering just thinking of these again!
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast or 2 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 ½ cups warm water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ cup whole-wheat flour
- 5 ½ cups bread flour
- Parmesan, garlic salt and oregano to taste
- 4 cups pizza sauce (about 1 cup for each Calzone)
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella (about 1 cup for each Calzone- but add a little more if you like your pizza really cheesy)
- Fresh veggies and meats of your choice
- Dissolve 1 instant yeast packet or 2 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast powder and 1 tablespoon of sugar into 2 ½ cups of warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes. It should look creamy and bubble just a bit before you begin the next step.
- Add the olive oil, salt, whole-wheat flour and bread flour to the yeast mixture. Add the bread flour a little at a time to be sure the bread dough is mixed well and reaches a nice, sticky consistency.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes. Once you are finished kneading, brush the dough lightly on all sides with olive oil and place in a large bowl. Place a damp washcloth or paper towel over the dough and let sit about an hour.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down on a lightly floured surface. Take a sharp knife and cut out four separate dough pieces and roll them into balls.
- Use a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball to create a large square or rectangle. Lightly brush your dough with olive oil and sprinkle oregano, garlic salt and Parmesan cheese on top.
- Spread pizza sauce on top, keeping sauce away from the corners to avoid spillage while baking. Add mozzarella cheese and desired ingredients—I added spinach, tomatoes and olives to mine. Most toppings you can add uncooked, but if you choose crunchy vegetables, it is a good idea to sauté them for a few minutes before adding to the calzone.
- Fold top of calzone over to create a pocket. Press edges tightly and roll up the sides to enclose all ingredients. Cut two slits on top of the calzone to release steam. Lightly brush olive oil and sprinkle another coat of oregano and garlic salt on top.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
This recipe makes four large calzones. I froze two of the dough balls for a later time. My husband ate a whole one, but I was only able to eat half of one—they are huge! The recipe makes plenty for a large family or two separate meals for a small family. If you are pressed for time, grab a tube of pizza dough from the grocery store and use that as a quick, weeknight option.