An Italian style turnover, like a pizza folded in half, this homemade Calzone is a delicious Italian bread stuffed with Mozzarella cheese and toppings ranging from sweet Italian sausage, olives, and mushrooms, to peppers, onions, garlic and other favorites.
Unlike pizza, Calzone doesn’t have sauce. Instead, we like to serve our Calzone with a simple Marinara sauce on the side. It’s fun to dip individual bites of Calzone in the sauce, or just pour sauce over the entire Calzone to enjoy.
Homemade Calzone is great either hot or cold. We love it best fresh out of the oven, but it’s delicious the next day for lunch or a picnic as well!
This recipe is adapted from “Rosemary’s Calzone” by Julia Child. The crust has a slightly crisp exterior but inside the bread is soft. The bread absorbs the flavors of your toppings as it cooks, and it is so good.
MIXING THE HOMEMADE CALZONE DOUGH
I like to use my Cuisine Art food processor with a dough blade to mix the dough, but you can also do it very easily by hand (I’ll include directions for both.)
A FUN ACTIVITY
Making Calzone can be a fun family activity. It’s also a great way to entertain guests. Every year before Christmas, we have my husband’s office staff over to make Calzone. We have the dough made and the toppings ready to go. It’s fun to chat while we’re rolling out the dough and piling on toppings.
ROLL, ROLL, ROLL THE DOUGH!
You roll or pat a personal-sized ball of dough into a pizza-like circle about 8 inches across. Leaving a ½ inch space around the edge of the Calzone, you brush the surface of your circle with a garlic/olive oil mixture.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FILLING?
Next fill half of the circle with the filling ingredients of your choice. Start and end with Mozzarella cheese (this will help “glue” everything together as the cheese melts.)
After filling, sprinkle ingredients with a bit of salt, then drizzle a slice of lemon juice over all ingredients. My advice: don’t skip the lemon. This little squeeze of lemon juice is the magic of this recipe!
Next bring the top half of the dough over the filling to cover and pinch the edges together firmly to seal (this should hold if you didn’t get oil near the edges.)
JUST BEFORE YOU BAKE
Brush garlic oil lightly over the top of your calzone. Sprinkle with salt if desired. We like to decorate the top surface of each Calzone to help identify ingredients or to identify the owner! It makes a nice garnish too.
You can bake the calzone on a cookie sheet or any baking pan, but we think it comes out best when baked on a pizza stone. Calzone cooks very quickly — only 13 minutes in a hot 450 degree oven.
You will love this Homemade Calzone. Your family will love this Homemade Calzone. Everyone you share it with will love this Homemade Calzone. Anytime of the year is the right time to make Calzone. Give it a try!
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The Yeast Mixture
- 1 tablespoon dry-active yeast
- ½ cup warm water (not over 110 degrees)
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- -Additions to the yeast mixture
- ¾ cup cold milk
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
The Dry Ingredients
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 large sweet Italian sausage
- 24 slices pepperoni
- 1 medium green pepper, sliced thin
- 1 medium yellow or red pepper, sliced thin
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- ½ cup mushrooms; sliced
- Garlic Oil (1/4 cup olive oil mixed with 4 minced garlic cloves)
- Sea salt to taste
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated
- 4 Tablespoons minced parsley
- 6 lemon wedges
- ¼ cup black olives, sliced
- ¼ cup green olives, sliced
- ¼ cup pepperonccini peppers (or banana peppers), sliced
- ¼ cup artichoke hearts, cut up
- 32 ounce jar of your favorite Marinara sauce (I prefer a tomato-basil flavor.)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, minced OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder
For the Dough
- Whisk the yeast, warm water and sugar in a small bowl and let it rest and bubble about five minutes.
- Mix the flour and salt in the bowl of your food processor OR in a large mixing bowl.
- Blend the milk into the ready yeast mixture.
- Turn on the food processor and mix in the yeast, then the oil, (and a few drops additional milk if needed) just until the dough masses on the blade of the processor. OR mix in this order with flour in your large mixing bowl.
- Let the dough rest about 5 minutes (it’ll be really soft.)
- If using food processor, process 5 seconds more. For both methods, turn dough out onto your lightly floured counter or board.
- Knead 50 strokes by hand, give a 2-minute rest, and knead 20 more strokes to make a soft, smooth dough.
- Lightly grease large mixing bowl and place dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp dish cloth and allow to rise until double in a warm spot about one hour.
NOTE: You can make your dough ahead, let it rise, then punch down, cover tightly with plastic wrap and put it in your refrigerator up to five days. Just make sure you bring it to room temperature and let it rise again before using/baking.
- While dough is rising, prepare the filling ingredients:
- Prick the sausage and let it steam; cut the sausage into thin crosswise slices.
- Cut the onions, peppers and mushrooms and let them steam a bit. (They won’t take up as much space this way and you’re insured they are cooked through.)
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with the baking stone(s) about 20 minutes before baking the calzone.
- Roll or pat each dough ball into a pizza-like circle about 8-inches across. Use a small amount of flour to keep from sticking only if needed.
- Turn out onto your work surface and divide for desired number of calzones (6 pieces for individual calzone; 3 pieces for larger 2 person calzones.)
- Form each dough portion into a smooth ball and let it rest about 10 minutes.
- Leave a ½ inch space around the edge of the Calzone: Paint the surface of your circle with the garlic/olive oil mixture.
- Now fill half of the circle with the filling ingredients of your choice. Start and end with Mozzarella cheese (this will help “glue” everything together as the cheese melts.)
- After filling, sprinkle ingredients with a bit of salt and a little parsley, then drizzle a juice from a lemon juice over all ingredients and add the last Mozzarella.
- Bring the top half of the dough over the filling to cover and pinch the edges together firmly to seal (this should hold if you didn’t get oil near the edges.)
- Brush garlic oil lightly over the top of your calzone. Sprinkle with salt if desired and/or decorate the top surface to help identify ingredients or just to garnish.
- Remove pizza stone(s) from your oven and place calzone on stones. Return to oven and bake about 10 minutes at 450 degrees (check to make sure dough is golden.)
- Serve warm with Marinara sauce.
- Add oregano and garlic to sauce in a medium sauce pan.
- Heat sauce to simmer and keep warm until ready to serve.
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