I take my favorite bread dough, stuff it full with pizza toppings, bake, then serve it with a marinara sauce on the side. You can also make a loaf of potato or cinnamon swirl bread with this dough at the same time. When I make these I try to make extra calzones to freeze for a quick lunch or dinner for the family.
Calzones: makes 8 calzones
2 pounds of bread dough, divided into 8 (4- 4.5 ounces each) dough recipe follows
12 ounce mozzarella cheese, cut into 8-1.5 ounce slices or shredded
2 cups spaghetti or marinara sauce for dipping
Your favorite pizza toppings: below are some suggestions
Filling ideas: For these fillings, add 1 1/2 ounces mozzarella cheese for each calzone as instructed above.
pepperoni: sliced, 8 to 12 slices each calzone.
canadian bacon or ham and pineapple tidbits: pineapple drained and squeezed well.
ground beef: Brown in a skillet with a few tablespoons onion per pound beef, and season with Lawrys seasoning, salt and pepper. Drain and cool. 1 pound beef makes 6 to 7 calzones.
italian ground beef: Add to above ground beef mixture while browning: italian seasoning, garlic powder and oregano, drain. Then add some diced tomatoes (fresh or canned, drained and squeezed well). And add some canned pineapple (crushed or tidbits, drained and squeezed well).
veggie: 1 to 1 1/2 cups broccoli (cut into small florets), 1/2 diced red bell pepper, 4 ounces sliced mushrooms, 1/2 large can olives (3 ounces sliced), 1/4 c. pineapple tidbits (drained and squeezed well), 1/2 onion (I sauteed but not necessary), 1 clove garlic (add to sauteed onion), 3/4 teaspoon basil, 3/4 teaspoon oregano, salt and pepper to taste, (optional: a handful of feta cheese and a few sliced sun dried tomatoes.) This mix will make 5 to 6 calzones.
1. Roll one of the 4 ounce pieces of dough on a lightly floured surface to about a 7 inch square or circle.
2. On bottom half of dough place desired filling and 1 1/2 ounces of mozzarella cheese, (or mix the filling with the cheese) leaving a 1/2 inch border.
3. Fold top half over filling until edges almost meet. Bring bottom edge over top edge, than press edges of dough together to seal well.
4. Place sealed side down on greased or parchment lined cookie sheet spacing each one well apart. With a sharp knife poke one or two holes in top of calzone to vent.
5. Label each calzone with a tiny piece of the filling if desired.
6. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until slightly puffy, about 1 hour (less is fine).
7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes until light golden. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
8. Serve warm with heated marinara sauce for dipping.
This batch of dough is about 4 pounds. You can make 8 to 10 calzones and 1 loaf of cinnamon swirl or potato bread or 16 calzones. Or cut the recipe in half to make 8 calzones.
Potato Bread Dough:
Combine in a large mixing bowl or in a bowl of a heavy duty mixer and let stand until the yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes:
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm (105 to 115 degrees F) water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cups whole or low-fat milk, warmed to 105 to 115 F
6 Tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup potato flakes
Mix to dissolve potato flakes and add:
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
7 to 8 cups unbleached flour (2 to 2 1/4 pounds)
Add 4 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and mix by hand or on low speed for 1 minute. Gradually add the remaining flour until the dough is moist but not too sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or with the dough hook on low to medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl and turn it over once to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled in volume 1 to 2 hours. If desired, you may deflate and let it rise again until doubled.
Divide dough into 4 to 4 1/2 ounce pieces for calzones or into 2 to 3 bread loaves. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
If making bread: Form into 2 large loaves or 3 small loaves. Place seam side down in greased loaf pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. (thermometer in the center of loaf should read 185 to 195 degrees). Brush with melted butter. Remove from pans to cool.
Thanks Peggy for this bread recipe!
You can buy pre made pizza dough in your grocers refrigerator section if you would like to make a quick version of calzones. Sometimes my sisters will buy rhodes frozen bread dough to make these and that works well, you just have to give time for the dough to thaw before making.
I hope you enjoy!