Homemade Calzones

We have a few recipes around here that I don’t make often, but when I do they are oh so good!  Calzones are one of those recipes.  It is not the cheapest meal to make but sometimes it is nice to splurge on a favorite.  

First the crust:

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 package)
1 teaspoon of honey
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (might need to add ¼ to ½ cup more, I added 3/4 cups more.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Now the fun part. You can make the dough all by hand or in the bread machine. First to make by hand:
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in ¼ cup warm water.

Now then, in a decent sized bowl combine the flour and the salt. Add the oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining ¾ cup water. Use your favorite spoon (preferably a wooden one) and mix the dough together. About 3 to 5 minutes of stirring should do. Or just stop when it feels like your arm is going to fall off. If the dough is still sticky go ahead and add a smidge more flower, stir a bit more until it’s un-sticky. If it seems too dry do the opposite and add a bit more water.

Flip the dough out onto a clean work surface (a cutting board will do) and knead it by hand for 2 or 3 minutes. Now if you’ve done anything right up to this point the dough should be smooth and firm. Place it in a lightly oiled bowl an cover it up with plastic wrap. Let it sit and rise for about 30-45 minutes. When ready the dough should stretch when lightly pulled.

To make in the bread machine:

Put water, flour, salt, oil and honey in the bread machine. Add the yeast last to the top (you don’t want the yeast to sit in the water to start). Then turn the machine on to your dough setting and walk away.

After dough is done in the machine or finished with its first rise by hand take the dough out of the bowl and divide it into 2 to 4 equal sized balls. Now knead your balls for a few minutes. Place them again inside bowls or on a cutting board. Cover with a damp cloth. Let them sit for about 15 to 20 minutes.

At this point the dough is pretty much ready. Woot. You can either use it immediately or place it in zip-lock bags and freeze it.

The filling:

This part is kind of subjective because it’s really up to you what kind of meats (or no meats) that you like. I used pepperoni, onions and mozzarella cheese in DH’s and Italian sausage and spinach in mine.  Genghis is weird and likes his made into pizza, so I use the same dough and make him a personalized pizza with his choice of toppings.

If you are going to use sausage or hamburger now is the time to cook the meat and drain the fat.

If you want to use ricotta cheese in the calzone add one egg to the cheese and blend well. This will help keep the ricotta formed and prevent it from melting and running out of the calzone. Also add any seasoning you want at this point. Over the top layer of cheese I added Italian seasoning, garlic and black pepper.

I have made these both with and without ricotta.  Either way they are so good!

Preheat oven to 375. Take one ball of dough and lightly coat in oil then use your hands or rolling pin and shape into about a 12 inch circle. You want it to be about 1/4 inch thick.  I recommend using your hands as the dough is very elastic and the rolling pin really is an effort in futility. 

Now you add your ingredients. You want all the ingredients on only one side of the dough leaving about 1/4 of the inch edge around. I did some mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, onions and then more cheese. Don’t go overboard. You don’t want it to fall apart in the oven because you over-stuffed it.

Once stuffed fold the dough over on itself to form a half circle. Press the edges together and fold a little to get a seal.

Take one egg and beat it and lightly coat the calzone with the egg. Try to cover the entire top of the calzone with just enough egg to wet it. This will make the crust bake up nice and crispy.

Throw in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until calzone is nice and golden brown. As soon as they come out of the oven you can sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Let sit for about 10 minutes before you eat. Serve as is or with marinara or spaghetti sauce on the side.

While this is a lot of steps and looks like it will take forever, rolling the dough out and filling them is very easy. The longest and hardest part of the process is waiting during the rises.

About Rachel

Rachel Akers writes about crafts, recipes, and features the adventures of a family of 4. It is always crazy but I wouldn't change it for the world! Comments or questions? Talk to me on Facebook or Twitter or sign up for our RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.