You will never have a better calzone than these. The secret is not only using the exact amount of cheese and fillings that you like, but in the egg wash that gives these calzones the golden brown crust you won’t find in an Italian restaurant. We use a modified pizza dough recipe that originated in the cookbook that came with our first bread machine. This requires a pizza stone and pizza peel for best results.
Pizza Dough Ingredients
¾ cup warm water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning (optional)
Pizza Dough Directions
Place all ingredients in your bread maker in the order listed on the machine’s dough setting. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to make the dough. Makes 1 pound of pizza dough.
1 lb pizza dough (recipe above)
1 small container reduced fat or
fat free ricotta cheese (never use fat free ricotta – it’s awful)
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese, reduced fat
¼ lb thinly sliced prosciutto ham or your favorite fillings (optional)
1 packet Boboli pizza sauce (or your favorite Marinara sauce) (optional)
Corn meal or flour
1 egg, beaten in a small bowl
Preheat oven to 375 with pizza stone in the oven. Sprinkle corn meal or flour over the surface of your pizza peel so that the dough won’t stick. Place ball of pizza dough on the corn meal and roll into a circle of uniform thickness. (Alternately, you can divide the dough into the number of individual servings you would like to make and repeat the process for each ball of dough.) Try moving the peel to make sure the dough “shimmies” on top of the corn meal.
Spread ricotta cheese evenly across the surface of the dough, leaving approximately ½ inch of dough clean around the perimeter so you’ll be able to seal the crust.
Carefully approximate the halfway mark in the ricotta circle you just created. Pile as much shredded mozzarella and other fillings as you’d like (and will fit) on top of the ricotta on the half of the calzone closest to you. If you pile your fillings across all of the ricotta, you probably won’t be able to seal the dough for baking. I like to layer the mozzarella and prosciutto so that every bite will be equally delicious, and the ham will be less likely to fall apart when you’re eating it if it’s held together by the melted cheese.
Fold the other half of the dough over the half that you just piled with fillings. Press the bare edges of the dough together firmly with your fingers to seal. Fold over the sealed edges and press again for good measure. Sometimes I fold the edges over a second time and crimp with a fork to ensure that the melted cheese won’t come spilling out all over my oven. (It’s happened before, and it is not fun to clean up!)
Poke holes into the top of your calzone to allow steam to vent. I like making designs with the fork, sometimes our initials or a heart. With a pastry brush, brush the top of the calzone with your egg wash (the beaten egg in the bowl). DO NOT brush the bottom side of the calzone, or it may stick to the pizza stone while it cooks, and it’s very difficult to get unstuck when you’re ready to eat! (This also makes a very big mess.)
Transfer the calzone from the peel to the stone in the oven carefully. (This is why we checked to make sure there was enough corn meal to allow the dough to shimmy, so we knew it wouldn’t stick when we put it on the stone in the oven!) Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or when the top of the calzone is golden brown. Remove from the oven and slice into individual servings with a pizza wheel. Serve with a small dipping bowl filled with Boboli pizza sauce or marinara sauce that has been warmed in the microwave or on the stove top, if desired. We eat these hearty calzones with a fork and knife.
Alternate filling choices may include: pepperoni, sausage, peppers, grilled chicken, Buffalo chicken, onions, broccoli, olives, or mushrooms. If your family enjoys different fillings, you may want to consider dividing the dough into smaller calzones to customize individual fillings.
Tags: recipes, food