Recipe 44: Pepperoni Calzones


A different take on pizza. Same ingredients, but this time wrapped in an aromatic and chewy envelope. Calzones are a pretty close precursor to the infamous Hot Pocket, but lack the power to make you want to save them for a hangover craving.

A basic pizza dough recipe follows, which can also be used to make focaccia if you feel like something different. :)

Recipe 44: Pepperoni Calzones

Total time: 1 hr 30 mins

Yield: 8

Ingredients:

  • ((This dough recipe))
  • Pepperoni (or whatever toppings you like!)
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, needles finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (for brushing on the top)
  • garlic salt
  • corn meal (for the cookie sheet)

Process:

Proof the yeast until it starts to foam. I add the water, sugar, and a tablespoon of the flour and whisk it together before adding the yeast. Then I whisk it together vigorously until it is dissolved completely. This causes the liquid to properly aerate and the yeast can activate quicker. It starts to foam after 30 seconds, no joke!

Add your flour to this mixture and use a dough hook until it’s a nice smooth dough (abt 6 minutes on medium speed). Add a teaspoon of olive oil in a trickle to the mixer if you like. Then, remove the dough, form into a nice ball, and place it into a greased bowl. Let it double for 30 minutes.

Gather your filling ingredients and prepare a cookie sheet. I use a silicon baking mat. A nice trick to getting cornmeal to stick in a layer is to spray the sheet with a bit of cooking spray and then add cornmeal; shaking it around to evenly stick and knocking away the excess. (Much like using glitter!)

Mix the tomato sauce and a heaping tablespoon of tomato paste along with a pinch of rosemary and set aside with a tablespoon measure in it.

Preheat your oven with 15 minutes left in the dough rise.

When the dough is ready, you can press your fingertips into it and the indent will linger. Punch it down, knead it a moment, and cut into 8 equal pieces, rolling them into balls. Flatten each ball out into a thin round with a rolling pin. Add 2 tbsp of tomato sauce, then your toppings. Originally I was pulling one half of the round to encase the toppings, but I found that it’s much easier to use two hands and lift the dough around the filling to pinch together at the top, rather than folding one half over.

Just remember, messy food can also taste pretty dang good. It really doesn’t need to be perfect.

Arrange your calzones onto your prepared cookie sheet and brush a bit of olive oil on the tops and seams. Sprinkle a pinch of rosemary on top, then a pinch of parmesan cheese, and finish it off with a healthy shake of garlic salt!
Bake 30-35 minutes at 350F, rotating the sheet half-way.

Allow to cool slightly before serving. This was one of those recipes that became an instant favorite and I hope you all love it!

Cheers!

H

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