Calzones

Makes six 9 by 4-Inch Calzones.   Published September 1, 2003.

To make this recipe, you will need a standing mixer or food processor, parchment paper, and a pizza stone. The stone must heat for an additional 30 minutes once the oven has come up to temperature; if your oven heats slowly, begin heating it about an hour into the dough’s first rise. Leftover calzones must be refrigerated; to reheat, heat the oven with the pizza stone just as you did when making the recipe, then set the calzones on the hot pizza stone for about 10 minutes. A simple tomato sauce is a nice accompaniment to the calzones.

Ingredients

Dough
4 cups bread flour (22 ounces) plus additional for dusting work surface
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 envelope)
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups water plus 1 tablespoon (12 1/2 ounces), 105 degrees
Filling
3 medium cloves garlic , pressed through garlic press or minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
15 ounces whole-milk ricotta (1 container)
8 ounces shredded fresh mozzarella (2 cups)
1 1/2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 cup)
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil for brushing shaped calzones
kosher salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. FOR THE DOUGH (see below for food processor method): In bowl of standing mixer, whisk flour, yeast, and salt to combine. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer; with mixer running at medium-low speed, add olive oil, then gradually add water; continue to mix until mixture comes together and smooth, elastic dough forms, about 10 minutes. Lightly spray large bowl with nonstick cooking spray; form dough into ball, transfer it to bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, and let rise in warm spot until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  2. FOR THE FILLING: While dough rises, stir together garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes in 8-inch skillet over medium heat until garlic is fragrant and sizzling and mixture registers 200 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool until warm, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  3. In medium bowl, stir together cheeses, egg yolk, oregano, salt, black pepper, and cooled -garlic-pepper oil until combined; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
  4. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, set pizza stone on oven rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spray parchment lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Turn risen dough out onto unfloured work surface. Divide dough in half, then cut each half into thirds. Gently reshape each piece of dough into ball. Transfer to baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Let dough rest at least 15 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.
  5. Cut eight 9-inch squares of parchment paper. Working with one piece of dough at a time and keeping other pieces covered, follow illustration 1 to roll dough into 9-inch round. Set round onto parchment square and cover with another parchment square; roll out another dough ball, set dough round on top of first, and cover with parchment square. Repeat to form stack of 3 rounds, covering top round with parchment square. Form second stack of 3 with remaining dough balls and parchment squares.
  6. Remove top parchment square from first stack of dough rounds and place rounds with parchment beneath on work surface; if dough rounds have shrunk, gently and evenly roll out again to 9-inch rounds. Following illustrations 2 through 6, form calzones. With pastry brush, brush tops and sides of calzones with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt. Trim excess parchment paper; slide calzones on parchment onto pizza peel or rimless baking sheet, then slide calzones with parchment onto hot pizza stone, evenly spacing them apart. Bake until golden brown, about 11 minutes; use pizza peel or rimless baking sheet to remove calzones with parchment to wire rack. Remove parchment, cool 5 minutes, and serve. While first batch bakes, form second batch and bake after removing first batch.
  7. FOOD PROCESSOR METHOD: Made in an 11-cup cup food processor, the dough bakes up with slightly less chew than we like.
  8. Alternative Step 1: Pulse flour, yeast, and salt to combine, about five 1-second pulses. While pulsing, add olive oil through feed tube, then gradually add water; continue pulsing until dough forms ball, then process until smooth and elastic, about 30 seconds. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead by hand a few turns to form smooth, round ball. Transfer dough to oiled bowl and proceed from step 2.

Ricotta Calzones with Sausage and Braccoli Rabe

1. Follow recipe for Ricotta Calzones through step 1 to make dough; while dough rises, combine cheeses, egg yolk, oregano, salt and black pepper in medium bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed. Remove casing from 8 ounces hot or sweet Italian sausage. Wash and dry 12 ounces broccoli rabe and trim stalks to about 1 inch below leaves; cut broccoli rabe crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Cook sausage in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon and breaking sausage into 1/2-inch pieces, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes; stir in 1 T pressed or minced garlic and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Stir in broccoli rabe, 1 T water (I usually end up needing about 1/4 cup or more), and 1/8 tsp salt; cook, stirring constantly, until broccoli is tender-crisp and water has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Transfer mixture to large paper towel-lined plate and cool to room temperature; once cooled, pat with paper towels to absorb excess moisture and set aside until needed.

2. Continue with recipe from step 4. To fill calzones, divide sausage mixture evenly into 6 portions on plate; place 1 portion sausage mixture on top of cheese filling on dough round and continue with recipe to seal and bake calzones.

 

Step-by-Step

Making Calzones

1. With fingertips, press dough ball into 5-inch circle. With floured rolling pin, roll outward from center in all directions until dough forms 9-inch circle. If dough sticks, dust flour under it.

2. Place scant 1/2 cup cheese filling in center of bottom half of dough round. Using small spatula, spread/press filling in even layer across bottom half of dough round, leaving 1-inch border uncovered.

3. Fold top half of dough over cheese-covered bottom half, leaving 1/2-inch border of bottom layer uncovered.

4. With fingertips, lightly press around silhouette of cheese filling and out to edge to lightly seal dough.

5. Begining at one end of seam, place index finger diagonally across edge and gently pull bottom layer of dough over tip of index finger; press into dough to seal. Repeat until calzone is fully sealed.

6. With very sharp paring knife or razor blade, cut 5 slits, about 11/2 inches long, diagonally across top of calzone, making sure to cut through only top layer of dough and not completely through calzone.

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