Do you ever just get sick and tired of pizza? I know we do, so on nights when the country kids want pizza but I need a twist, I make calzones. Okay, I guess it is “just” a folded up pizza as my oldest likes to call them, but then again it’s not at the same time.
Traditional calzone from Naples, Italy are made with a salted bread dough and contain meat and cheeses. I don’t normally keep ricotta and pecorino in the house but I do have other traditionally ingredients and of course I add our own twists.
I will admit, when it comes to the pizza dough… sometimes I cheat. If you don’t have a ton of time, I’ll tell you my cheat secret….. I make my dough using a Jiffy Pizza Dough box mix and then just add in extra flour to make it stiffer. Shhh, we all need a short cut once in a while, right?
No matter if you use a dough made from scratch, box, or *gasp* frozen store bought…. you start by dividing the dough up into individual sized balls to make your calzones from. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough into circular shapes. When you transfer the dough to the GREASED cookie sheet, it will loose it’s lovely shape, but that’s okay. You can stretch it back into a shape that you will be able to fold over on itself and have the edges meet and seal. But I am getting ahead of myself!
Once you have your dough on the greased cookie sheet, I start by putting down a little pizza sauce. I know a lot of folks like to dip their calzone in a pizza type sauce, but I just prefer to have it already in there. Why? Let’s see….. less bowls I have to get dirty or maybe it is that I don’t trust my kids not to spill the sauce everywhere! I sprinkle some parmasan cheese on the sauce and then some mozzarella. Next you can let each person decide what they want in their calzone. The men folk around here love meat, while I opt for mushrooms only please. Sprinkle a little more mozzarella or what ever else you would like and then its time to seal these bad boys up! What you put in your calazone is totally up to you!
One important thing to note when making calzones is that you don’t want any holes in your dough. So when you fold the dough over your toppings and pinch the edges together, make sure to look for tears in the dough. If you have any holes, your cheese will ooze out once it starts to bake. I bake mine at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
This dinner is a great chance to get children in the kitchen. You can press them into service, ummm, I mean teach them skills such as mixing the dough, grating the cheese and actually assembling the calzones. So why not give pizza night at your house a little twist next time. You never know, you might start a new “pizza night” tradition!