Sunday, September 25, 2011

Spinach and Mushroom Calzones

Doesn't this look just delicious?  I made these a while ago and uploading the photos for this post made me instantly crave a spinach and mushroom calzone! I made these using Jamie Oliver's Calzone recipe, which I had wanted to try ever since I Heart Cooking Clubs featured Jamie as their current cook along chef.  This is the last week of Jamie cook alongs, they are on to a new chef next week, so sliding in as a last minute entry are these yummy packets of cheesy veggie goodness. 

I know this post and the recipe are really long, but they are simple, don't worry :)


Spinach and Mushroom Calzones
slightly adapted from Jamie Oliver (my changes in italics)

1 pizza dough recipe, recipe follows (I used Jamie's recipe but mixed it in my bread machine, I'm sure you could use your favorite dough recipe and it would work just as well)

Dough Recipe

7 cups strong white bread flour or Tipo "00" flour or 5 cups strong white bread flour or Tipo "00" flour, plus 2 cups finely ground semolina flour
1 level tablespoon fine sea salt
2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dried yeast
1 tablespoon raw sugar
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water

Sift the flours and salt onto a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a large measuring cup, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.

Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.

Calzone Ingredients

Flour, for dusting
Olive oil
1 pound mixed mushrooms (such as chanterelles, shiitake, enoki and cremini), cleaned and torn up (I just used white button mushrooms)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced (I used about 1 head of roasted garlic, smashed)
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked (I used a pinch of dried thyme)
1/4 cup butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup tomato sauce
11 ounces spinach leaves, washed and spun dry
2 (4-ounce) balls good-quality mozzarella, torn into pieces (I used freshly shredded mozzarella)

First, make your pizza dough. Preheat the oven to 450 to 500 degrees F, then tear the punched-down dough into 4 pieces and roll each out on a floured surface. You want to get them roughly circular, about the thickness of a silver dollar, and 12 inches across. You can now either keep these in the refrigerator, stacked and separated with olive-oil-rubbed and flour-dusted aluminum foil, until you're ready to cook them, or you can put your topping on and cook them straightaway.

Pour a large glug of olive oil into a hot frying pan. Add the mushrooms and toss briefy in the hot oil before adding the sliced garlic and the thyme. Fry until the mushrooms are cooked and smell fantastic. Drop in the butter and toss the mushrooms in it to make them tasty and shiny. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Add the tomato sauce to the pan and stir.

Cook for a few minutes, then add the spinach (in batches if you need to) and stir again. Simmer away the liquid until you're left with a thick, tasty mixture that's not too moist (otherwise it will burst through the dough when you're cooking the calzone).

Divide the mushroom and spinach mixture evenly between the 4 pizza bases and spread it out nicely.

Top with pieces of mozzarella and season with salt and pepper.

To make your calzone, carefully lift the far edge of the pizza dough and pull it over the top toward you - you basically need to fold it in half (imagine it looking like a big Cornish pasty!). Crimp the edges so none of the filling can spill out. Place the calzone side by side on a floured baking sheet, (use 2 if needed), pizza stone or granite slab.

Cook for 10 to 15 minutes on the bottom of the preheated oven until the dough is puffed up and golden on top and the filling is hot.


And that's all there is to it!  These were so good, probably my favorite calzones ever!  I made them as dinner for me and my kiddos while picky husband was working late one night.  The kids were a little apprehensive about trying these, since they watched me make them and they are a little weary of spinach, but everyone ended up loving these, score one for Jamie Oliver :)  

Picky husband hates mushrooms and really doesn't like spinach, mainly why I made them while he was working, but calzones are great for picky family members because you can really personalize them any way you want.  Give these a chance if you are on the prowl for a new calzone recipe, especially if you are a spinach and mushroom fan, you will not be disappointed!


Flourchild said...

how are you? I have missed ya:) Thes calzones look really good! I need to make some again:)
Enjoy your fall baking!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Glad you could squeeze in a final Jamie post. These calzones look delicious. Hope you can join us for our next chef. ;-)

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Delicious! I love calzones for the very same reason - you can customize them, and also sneak in a few fridge leftovers!
Great to be cooking with you and Jamie - hope to see you for Tessa too!

MM said...

These look really good! Great combination of ingredients.

Meredith said...

MY husband would love these! They look wonderful.

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