One of my favorite things to do is reading cookbooks. During a snack with Maya today (one of many snacks since she is always hungry), I was reading a couple and came across a picture of a calzone. So, I said, “Do you want to make calzones?” Not even knowing what a calzone is, she of course said, “yes.” She loves helping me in the kitchen. And I love cooking with her too. Why use a stand mixer when you have a willing 4-year-old? Not to mention that I have been trying to find more ways to use my homegrown zucchini. Although I’ve never made calzones before, they turned out pretty good. Here’s the run-down:
Dough Ingredients (adapted from Jamie Oliver)
- 4 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 3.5 teaspoons dry yeast
- 2.5 tablespoons honey
- 3.5 teaspoons salt (I use kosher)
- 1.5 cups warm water (from the tap is fine)
Filling Ingredients – The possibilities are endless, but here is what I included today:
- 1 small onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium-sized zucchini, diced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- salt, pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- mozzarella, shredded
I believe that the original purpose of the calzone was to use up odd bits and ends of things leftover in the kitchen. I can see adding bits of salami, prosciutto, leftover meats, ends of cheeses, artichoke hearts, olives, pickled peppers, etc. Like I said, the possibilities are endless!
First, make the dough. I wish I had a large cutting board because then I could make the dough right on there and not have to wash any bowls, but my largest one isn’t big enough. So, we used a bowl. Put all the flour in a bowl (or on a large cutting board), make a well in the center, and fill the well with the yeast, honey, and water.
Mix the ingredients in the center, then start to incorporate the flour into the mixture. Add the salt.
After the dough has come together, put it on a lightly floured board, and knead 10-12 times.
Cover loosely with a cloth and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400.
While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet. Lightly brown the filling ingredients (except for the tomatoes) over medium heat.
After a few minutes, add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. The goal is to evaporate as much of the water from the tomatoes as possible. After all, you don’t want soggy calzones! When the mixture is relatively water-free, put it on a wide, shallow plate. This allows it to cool quickly.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll into 7-8 inch circles (about 1/2-inch thick). Put a little cheese on half, spoon on the filling, and add a little more cheese. (At this point, I added olives to one of the calzones. I kept it separate from the mixture because not everyone likes olives.) Fold the dough in half, pinch the edges together, score with a knife to allow steam to escape during the baking process, and place on a cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
Nico (1) has decided that homegrown zucchini is the vegetable of the week, so he ate almost all of my filling. Hopefully you can eat more of yours than I got to! Enjoy!