Calzones

Remember that lasagna I made?  Well, I’m going to have to work on my lasagna layering skills, because even though it turned out delicious, I could have used a lot more of the ricotta filling, because I ended up with quite a bit of leftovers.

The mixture had uncooked egg, so I wasn’t about to go spreading it about on pieces of bread or crackers, which I really wanted to do.  I needed to cook it, and Luke isn’t partial to ricotta on pizza, so I decided to look inward, et voila, calzone.

When I was a teenager, I remember multiple instances where a friend of mine and I would buy these huge calzones from a local pizza joint and see who could eat the most before lapsing into a cheese coma.

Ah, the good old days.  My take on calzones is a little different today, since I make them by hand, so they have to be small enough to fit on my pizza stone.

I love foods like calzones because of their versatility.  You can put whatever you want inside, and they are especially handy in using up leftover meats, veggies and cheeses.

I decided to use some pre-cooked chicken and sautéed shallots and mushrooms to round out my calzones.  Feel free to use whatever kinds of veggies and meat you want, that’s what calzones are all about!  Don’t forget your marinara dipping sauce!

Calzones

Dough recipe adapted from Sugar Plum

For the dough:

3/4 cup warm water (not hot)
2 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
2 teaspoons honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups bread flour (you can sub in all purpose)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal

For the veggies:

8 oz mushrooms, washed and sliced

1 large shallot, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together water, yeast and honey until well combined; rest for 5 minutes. Mix in salt, 2 tablespoons melted butter, bread flour and whole wheat flour until well combined and a dough ball forms. Turn out dough onto a work surface, and knead in cornmeal. Knead dough for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.  Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl.

Lightly cover bowl and allow to rise in a warm area for 1-2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

While the dough is rising prepare your veggies.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and let sit in the pan for 5 mins, this lets the bottoms get a little caramelized.  After 5 mins, sauté, stirring frequently until the mushrooms release most of their liquid, about 3 mins. Add in shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently for another 5 mins.  Remove pan from heat.

Heat oven to 450 degrees F.

To assemble your calzones, remove dough from bowl, punch it down, and split it into two equal parts.  Spread out the dough gently, using your fingertips and knuckles until you have a circle about 6-8” in diameter.  Be careful not to let the dough get too thin.  Pile your veggies and meat in one half of the circle, then fold the top half over and pinch the edges together.  Repeat for the other piece of dough.  Transfer calzones to a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 mins, or until the top is lightly browned.

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