Monday, January 28, 2008

Calzones

I saw a recipe for calzones in a magazine at the doctor's office and I thought they looked so tasty and fun that I jotted down the recipe for the dough on the back of a receipt and made them the very same day. They turned out to be really tasty and easier than I thought. I decided they also make a good dinner for when you're having people over. You can make the dough in advance and set out all the fillings, then have everyone construct their own and throw them in the oven together. I think that a little participation in the process is fun, and that way, you can be sure everyone gets what they want. This recipe made four, rather large calzones--enough for four hungry adults. You could certainly make them smaller for kids, or as side dishes or appetizers.
Here's the recipe for the dough (I did it in a food processor which made it SO fast and easy, but you could use a stand mixer or do it by hand): (That wasn't an emoticon, just some good old-fashioned punctuation)

Put 1 package of dry, active yeast (those are just the normal packets you always see and each one has 2 1/4 tsp of yeast, if you're using yeast out of a jar) in one cup of warm (105-110 degrees) with 1/4 tsp. of sugar.
Let it proof (that just means sit there for a while so the yeast can wake up and start eating) for 15 minutes.
Then add 2 tbsp. of olive oil.

In a food processor, mix together 3 cups of flour (all-purpose or bread) with 2 tsp. of salt and 1 tbsp. of sugar.
With the motor on, pour in the yeast mixture and let the motor run until the dough comes together (less than 30 seconds).
Take the dough out, form it into a ball and put it in a large, oiled bowl, cover it and let it rise for one hour in a warm spot. Punch the dough down and divide it into four (or more) balls. Put the balls on a greased cookie sheet and let them rise for 40 minutes. Then, on a lightly floured surface, roll the balls out into circles with a rolling pin. Put two circles on an oiled cookie sheet and fill it with whatever you want. Leave a little dough bare around the edges like you would for a pizza.
Some of the things I set out were:Ricotta cheese, mozarella cheese, feta cheese, salami, pepperoni, ham, red peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, frozen spinach (thaw it, then squeeze all the water out first) and tomato sauce.
I recommend putting all your fillings on one side of the dough circle, then folding the other side on top. After folding it over, seal the edges with a fork.
Put them in a pre-heated, 375 oven for 15-25 minutes (I think our oven lies about its temperature, so ours was 25, but it should be shorter). When they start to get a little golden brown, then they should be done.
I like to eat them with some extra sauce, so put some of that on the table.
Here's what our little spread looked like.
I promise, this is super easy. Everyone should try it. Like I said, it's fun for having people over, but it's also something that kids would love.

p.s. I'm now realizing that the picture at the top isn't all that inspiring. I should have cut it in half so you could see all the tasty insides. In spite of the somewhat boring appearance, however, this one is really good!

12 comments:

Mrs. Cropper said...

It was a great way to get some spinach and zuccinis into Blaine!

liz said...

We'll definitely try these, but I can tell you right now that a couple of my kids will be making an all-cheese version. What's up with a kid who doesn't like pizza?

kate said...

I wish Mark and I lived close enough to be invited over for scrumptious Taylor cooking! Charlie wishes so too!

Sugar... said...

I'm excited to try this! I always make calzones, but the dough ends up breaking apart and all the contents seep out. Glad to have a new dough recipe.

P.S. Your french onion soup was a hit! My daughter wanted to eat the "noodles". We'll just let her keep believing that.

Michelle said...

Hi Taylor. You don't know me. I found your blog through a friend, who I believe is a friend of a friend of yours. I really enjoy checking out your recipes and have used a few. I'm staying home with my son this year, so I have more time to devote to dinners. I love to cook and love trying new things. Tonight, we're having calzones, and I'm so excited!

I had a question for you about them, though. Can you make the dough ahead of time and then refigerate it? It's sometimes hard to get it timed just right, you know? Thanks, and keep posting great recipes.

Taylor said...

Hi Michelle--Glad you like the site. To answer your question, Yes, you could refrigerate the dough and use it later. You just have to know that the subsequent rise will take longer because the dough will be cold and yeast gets lethargic when it's cold. After you get it out of the fridge, you should probably double the next rise time. Or, pull it out of the fridge, wait for the dough to reach room temperature, then go by the normal time. I hope that helps.
Kate--I heard you guys are coming down for a visit--let's get together and eat.
Sugar--Glad you're kids liked the soup. Blaine also thinks anything in soup is noodles.

lori said...

yum! Lucy will love making these!!

(and Lucy thought the onions in our F O S were noodles too...slurped them right up =)

The Innkeeper said...

We made these last night. I turned your dough recipe into a whole wheat dough - 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of white. It held together really well and they were tasty! Thanks for the idea!

Sarah said...

We totally followed your advice to the letter. We set out all the toppings and had everyone prepare their own. It was a huge success! This is perfect easy entertaining. Also, I had been telling our dinner guests all about your site and how it's a great source for super yummy food, and my friend said, "that's so great, because the only real cooking site I use is Feed your Family!" It turns out she knows your sister. How small is this world?!

Lorraine said...

We made these and they are mmmmm....delish!! We love your blog, Taylor!

Melis said...

Tried em tonight. A hit. SO good!

Toria said...

I'm trying these tonight too. I've always been bad and bought our pizza/ calzone dough for 99 cents at Trader Joes, but since we are far from my favorite TJ's I am going to attempt this recipe. I just found your blog through my sis-in-law Em. Met you at a Grizzly game. Say hi to your fam from me! Thanks for the recipes, I'll check back here again.