If you are like me for about a week after a big holiday the idea of cooking or eating are the last things on my mind. This year I got off pretty easy for Thanksgiving dinner. We were in Utah with our kids and the Wilkes family and my sister in law hosted Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone pitched in and we had a delicious meal. I love it when there are lots of helping hands.
I was in charge of the pies and since I was coming from out of town I bought most of them from Kneaders, a local bakery that makes a great pie. I had a request for pumpkin cheesecake and a gluten free, dairy free pumpkin pie from my girls so I made those once I got to Utah. Let’s just say the gluten free, dairy free pumpkin pie was not a big hit so we will be trying another recipe before Christmas! Sorry Cali but I tried!
So since I really didn’t have to do much cooking I guess I can’t use the excuse this week of having over cooked – darn! But if you can use that excuse use it!
Today’s recipe is one that is fairly easy and fun to do. It’s a great recipe to get the family involved in and have everyone make their own. If you love pizza, you’ll love calzone. It is basically pizza in a pocket. When the kids were home I used to make up a batch once a month and then wrap them individually and freeze them. They make a great fast, easy, on the run dinner or lunch when you need it.
I just use my favorite pizza crust recipe and instead of making one big pizza I roll it out into individual little circles – about 6 inches across. You can really make them any size you like.
You can basically use whatever your favorite pizza topping is on the inside. One of my favorite pizzas is a Margherita Pizza – pizza with fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. So why not a Margherita Calzone!? I’ve also made them with a little pizza sauce, Canadian bacon and pineapple, pepperoni and black olive. Basically any favorite pizza topping will work.
Just roll out your dough and then layer on your toppings. A couple of slices of fresh tomato and a few basil leaves.
Then top it with several slices of fresh mozzarella. I love the fresh, ball of mozzarella so much better than the grated stuff! Believe me, it makes a difference.
Next is the trickiest part. Pull the other half of the dough over the top of the fillings to create your pocket.
If you want to freeze them, let them cool and then wrap them in a layer of plastic wrap or foil. Make sure it is nice and air tight so they don’t get freezer burn. When I pull them out of the freezer I just let them thaw and then pop them in the microwave to heat through or you can also warm them up in the oven at about 350 degrees until they are warmed through. About 15 minutes or so.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- 1 C warm water
- 3 tsp yeast
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 C bread flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- Calzone fillings: sliced fresh tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, sliced mozzarella cheese
- Combine yeast and sugar with warm water and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes until bubbly.
- Add flour, salt, and oil to yeast mixture
- Combine wet ingredients in dry ingredients into mixer and knead for 5 minutes until dough is smooth, will be a little sticky. Allow to rise for at least one hour.
- Divide dough into 4-6 pieces. Depending on the size of calzone you'd like.
- Roll dough into circle.
- Layer with toppings - tomato, basil leaves and mozzarella cheese on half of the circle
- Pull other half of circle over the top of filling and seal the edges of the dough closed.
- Bake at 450 until golden brown - about 12-15 minutes.