Calzones are such a fun dinner and are easy to personalize for the kids and picky husband, I wonder why I don't make them more often? This recipe is from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything Vegetarian and starts with his basic pizza crust recipe...
Mark Bittman's Pizza Dough
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1 to 1¼ cups water
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 Combine the yeast, flour, and 2 teaspoons salt in the container of a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water and the 2 tablespoons of oil through the feed tube.
2 Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. (In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour, a tablespoon at a time.)
3 Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball. Grease a bowl with the remaining olive oil, and place the dough, in it. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let rise in warm; draft-free area until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. You can, cut this rising time short if you are in a hurry, or you can let the dough rise more slowly, in the refrigerator, for up to 6 or 8 hours.
4 Proceed with calzone recipe, or wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to a month. Defrost in a covered bowl in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
* I made this dough in my bread machine on dough cycle and it worked perfectly, just follow your manufacturers directions for the wet and dry ingredients and you should be fine.
Mark's recipe for calzones suggests spinach as a filling with the ricotta but leaves the options open, and suggests using pizza toppings to mix with the ricotta as a calzone filling. I thought roasted peppers would be a nice combo with the ricotta and just happened to have some peppers on hand.
I like to roast the peppers in the oven and use the broiler method, it's quick and easy but you do need to stay by the oven and babysit the peppers because they can get overdone quickly. You want them blackened and charred and looking deflated.
Roasted Red Pepper and Ricotta Calzone
- 1 recipe pizza dough -- above -- or use your own favorite dough recipe
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Fill calzones by making a mound of filling on one side...
and then bring up the other side over and seal shut with your fingers or using the tines of a fork.
I like to sprinkle the tops with some Italian herb blend. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes at 350 on a baking stone (remember stone should be preheated in your oven) or sheet. *I think it is very difficult to move a calzone to a stone or sheet so I would say make the calzone right on the baking sheet. I used my pizza screen sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, which has been a lifesaver when it comes to moving pizzas to bake on the pizza stone. You just bake the calzones right on the screen on top of the stone and they come out perfectly.
These were great served with some homemade pizza sauce. They had a very mild flavor but they were really good, I just think they need maybe some roasted garlic mixed into that ricotta mixture, and maybe some red pepper flakes. Spice them up to your liking.
The theme this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs is 'Damn, that's Sexy' and I know you're probably thinking, calzones? Sexy? Well, I think they are sweet sexy in a way, right? Made for sharing, but only for two, a little rustic, just the two of you in an Italian villa with a wood fired stove having fun making dinner together, having a glass of wine...hmm? I know I'd have fun with it!
I'm submitting this post to YeastSpotting which I haven't participated in for way too long, go check out all of the gorgeous baked goods there :)