Saturday, December 31, 2011

Real Italian Calzones

I do love a good calzone! Chicken with black olives, pepperoni with mushrooms, whole wheat . . . I've always used the same base calzone recipe out of one of my cookbooks and I've experimented with fillings. This time though I decided to look for a new recipe altogether. I came across this one that sounded a bit different from my other with the biggest difference being that there is no sauce.

This recipe tops my other one by far! I love the mix of the cheeses that compliment the pepperoni and mushrooms. The only disappointment was that they turned out so flat. That could have had something to do with too much flour, or not enough rise time, or  . . . who knows. What I do know is that these are tasty and I will have plenty of chances to figure out the problem with the rising dough. Enjoy! 

Real Italian Calzones
Source: All Recipes

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced pepperoni
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 egg, beaten

To Make Dough: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the oil, sugar and salt; mix in 1 cup of the flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the rest of the flour, until dough is smooth and workable. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, or until it is elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 40 minutes, or until almost doubled. 

To Make Filling: While dough is rising, combine the ricotta cheese, cheddar cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms and basil leaves in a large bowl. Mix well, cover bowl and refrigerate to chill.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

When dough is ready, punch it down and separate it into 2 equal parts. Roll parts out into thin circles on a lightly floured surface. Fill each circle with 1/2 of the cheese/meat filling and fold over, securing edges by folding in and pressing with a fork. Brush the top of each calzone with egg and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. 

Bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot. 

Makes 8 servings