Thursday, February 18, 2010

Calzones, and My New Favorite Pizza Dough Recipe

After birthday celebrations and a weekend out of town, the time had come to cook at home again. I was considering a quick and easy veggie lasagna (a favorite in our house) but decided to try something different and make calzones. These were very, very good. I love it when making a recipe for the first time results in the right taste – if anything, I only need to work on execution the next time.

We (inadvertently) made gigantic calzones. I split the dough recipe in half but I should have split it into four. Wow. That’s the only thing I would change when I do this again.

I used Tyler Florence’s dough recipe from the Food Network website. It came up early on the results and had the most positive responses. I substituted one-third whole wheat flour and the rest was white flour. Otherwise, I followed exactly and it was yummy. We even turned some of the extra dough into breadsticks. I used my mixer and dough hook to get started, but it was really easy to form into the calzones. I love how easy it is to make good pizza dough from scratch.

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I was attracted to the calzone so Alex and I could each build our own. He’s a fan of the fake meats, so I cooked some soysage in a skillet and he used the last of our Smart Deli vegan pepperoni, which we both agree is our favorite vegan pepperoni. I also sautéed some mushrooms and got some baby spinach, ricotta and shredded mozzarella/Italian blend cheeses, and sauce.

We loaded these guys up, pinched the sides closed, cut some holes in the tops and brushed with olive oil. Then I baked them for about 20 minutes at 375F, even turning up the oven a bit at the end to make sure everything inside was heated through. Have you ever been served cold calzone? I have, and it was at a restaurant that should have known better. It’s so easy for the dough to look done that I wanted to cook them at a low enough temperature that everything could heat through without the dough burning.

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Take a look at the calzone on the baking sheet. It’s huge! I ate half mine. Those breadsticks were yummy too. Let me tell you, though, that having too much calzone is not a problem. Not a problem at all.

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