Friday, March 21, 2008

Calzone Nite!!

For me, nothing is better than having a group of friends over for Calzone night! Throw in lots of wine and it's a messy, delicious time.

I basically set up an "assembly line" of goodies and lined my counter with parchment paper. This is handy for about 6 people to be working at a time.
(Sasha sez: "This is my kitchen bitches, and don't you forget it!)

For fillings, we had:
fresh basil
fresh tomato (seeds taken out)
sweet & hot turkey italian sausage
canadian bacon
pizza cheese mix (has smoked provolone, parm etc. in it)
fresh grated parmesan
dried herbs
garlic powder
red pepper flakes
homemade pizza sauce

Calzone or Pizza Dough
-makes enough for 4 large calzone
Bon Appetit, March 1999

1 1/2 cups warm water (105°F to 115°F.)
1 envelope dry yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups (about) all purpose flour

Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water into large bowl. Stir in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes. Mix in oil and salt. Add 3 3/4 cups flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until blended. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, sprinkling with more flour if sticky, about 10 minutes.

Place dough in oiled large bowl; turn to coat.Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled, about 1 hour 15 minutes(to about 90 minutes).

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400°F.Dust 2 baking sheets with flour. Punch dough down.Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide into 4 equal portions; shape each into ball.

Roll out dough balls on lightly floured surface to 9-inch rounds. Fill with items of your choice.Fold plain dough halves over filling, forming half circles. Pinch edges of dough firmly together to seal. (you can also seal the deal with a fork). Brush with olive oil (optional).

Using spatula, transfer 2 calzones to each prepared sheet.Pierce tops in several places with small knife. Bake calzones 15-20 minutes. Reverse baking sheets and bake until tops of calzones are golden brown, about 15-20 minutes longer.

Cooks Notes:
I used 2 pizza stones, preheated. I then place 2 calzone on a piece of parchment and slid them into the oven (I used a long sheet so I could grab the sides as 'handles'). This also made switching top to bottom easy. Altogether, it was 2 calzones per pizza stone, with 4 calzone baking at the same time (see rack adjustment in recipe above).

For last nite's get together, I prepared the dough and let it rise in the fridge overnite. I oiled the dough after kneading and I also oiled a gallon sized ziptop baggie. I pressed the air out of the baggie . You can keep dough like this in the fridge for 3 days without it losing any of its integrity. You will need to let your dough come to room temp before trying to use(1 hour or so). Alot of folks seem to think this is the best way to make the tastiest dough- for some reason it's crisper and the flavor a bit more "yeasty" or developed.

So, I also had dough left over, which I formed into little disks, oiled, wrapped in cling film and froze. Calzones for another day! You just have to let the dough thaw overnite in the fridge. Then come to room temp before using.


Renea said...

Mmm, one of my all time favorite things to make! Looks delish!

Kate said...

I've been seeing a ton of calzones lately, and I've still never made one! I should change that soon.

Erin said...

This looks delicious! I love calzones!