If you have never tried making calzones at home, I’m here to tell you it is so much easier than you think. There is no better aroma than bread stuffed with your favorite ingredients baking in your own kitchen. Sure, a little messy, but not nearly as much as baking with caramel (more on that later this week.)
E.A.S.Y. Start with store-bought pizza dough. Buy shredded mozzarella. Get some fully cooked flavor-infused sausages. Buy (or even make!) roasted peppers. Play with the dough, fill ‘er up, bake til golden and you got yourself a calzone.
Let’s get started. Here’s your step-by-step how-to for easy “homemade” calzones.
Roasted Pepper and Chicken Sausage Calzones
Makes 4 large calzones
16 oz. pizza dough
12 oz. fully cooked sausage (like al fresco) — cut into chunks
roasted peppers, cut in strips
8 oz. shredded part-skim mozzarella
Olive oil for brushing crust
Flour for dusting
1) If you are going to roast your own peppers, check out these 3 easy steps.
2) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
3) Preparing the dough is almost as easy. The one thing to remember is the dough is much easier to shape if it is at room temperature. So take it out of the fridge earlier in the day to let it warm up.
First, divide the dough into four equal portions and shape into a ball with floured hands.
4) Next, roll each one out with a rolling pin, starting from the center and rolling out the edges. You may also stretch it with your hands a bit if you are comfortable doing that. When fully rolled out it should be about 8 inches in diameter, and don’t worry if it’s not a perfect circle!
5) To fill, add about 1 and 1/2 cups of the filling ingredients on one half of the dough, leaving about an inch margin at the edge to allow you to close the edges.
6) Stretch the rest of the dough over the filling and press firmly to other edge. To ensure a secure closure, you may also pull the lower edge up and over the top edge before pressing down.
7) Transfer your calzones to a cookies sheet. Make a few 1-inch slits in the top to allow steam to escape (otherwise you will get a giant puffed up dough balloon that will burst at the seams you so carefully made). Then, brush the tops and edges with a little olive oil.
8) Bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes in the vertical center of the oven. The edges will be brown and the filling with be bubbly. Remove to a rack to cool.
Makes these one, and I’m sure you’ll want to again. Calzones are a fantastic, filling supper but also a treat for the lunch box, brunch, or a midnight snack
The fillings you could come up with are endless…
sliced steak, onions, and bleu cheese?
pears, gorgonzola, walnuts, and spinach?
plum tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella?
meatballs and parmesan cheese?
What would YOUR fave fillings be??