Calzones make me happy.
But, for some reason, we rarely eat them any more.
They used to be such a big part of our meal plan but, sadly, they have been neglected over the past couple years.
The other day, though, Dustin said he really wanted some calzones and I was like “CALZONES! YES!!”
While I was at it, I figured I’d write up this post to document the steps for how to make a calzone. The good news is that it’s really not that tricky.
If you’ve ever made a homemade pizza, it’s exactly the same process and ingredients, except you break the calzone dough into 6 equal parts, cover half with your usual toppings, and then fold it over. And *poof* calzones!
Really, if you think about it, calzones are like pocket pizzas. Awesome, hot, tasty, filled with goodness, pocket pizzas. Which is why they’re so delicious.
Because who doesn’t want a pizza in a pocket, right?
I also like how calzones can very easily be filled with different ingredients to suit different tastes.
So, for example, if Jordan doesn’t want onions, but Savannah really wants extra olives, that can totally be accomodated.
Speaking of kiddos, calzones are also super fun for kids to help make and eat because they get to pick up the little pockets all on their own and enjoy them.
Okay, that’s fun for me, too. But, still…
I make my own calzone dough for this recipe, but you could also easily buy pre-made pizza dough and follow the same steps. We like fresh mozzarella, sliced Boar’s Head pepperoni, and crumbled Italian sausage in our calzones.
What are your favorite calzone fillings?
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3 cups bread flour
- 2 tsp active yeast bread machine
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 8-10 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 lb ground Italian sausage
- 3/4 pepperoni stick I recommend Boar's Head, sliced or pre-sliced pepperoni
- Make dough recipe by placing all the ingredients into a bread machine, in the order listed. This process typically takes one hour and 30 minutes for a typical bread machine. (Alternatively, you could buy pre-made dough).
- While the calzone dough is in the works, prepare any raw meats that you will be adding to the calzone. For these calzones, I cook the Italian sausage at this time. In a medium skillet, add the Italian sausage and heat over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage until well-browned, about 8-10 minutes. Once cooked, remove from heat and drain on a plate lined with paper towel to remove excess oil.
- When the dough is ready, lay on a well-floured, clean surface and divide into 6 equal portions. Allow the dough to sit at room temperature while you prepare your calzone fillings.
- Slice the pepperoni and mozzarella into thin slices and set aside. If using different calzone toppings (think whatever you might like on a pizza), prepare them at this point so they're ready to add to the calzones.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If using a pizza stone (which I totally recommend, but is not required), add it into the oven while it preheats.
- Roll out each ball of dough using a well-floured rolling pin until it reaches the thinness of a pizza, about 6-8 inches in diameter. You may need to let it rest for about 3-5 minutes if it keeps retracting back to a smaller diameter.
- Spread the tomato sauce generously over each of the rolled calzone circles, leaving about 1 inch around the edge free of sauce.
- Add toppings to one side of the flat calzone, reserving the same inch of dough around the edge. I first add the mozzarella slices, followed by the pepperoni, and then top with the sausage crumbles.
- Carefully fold over dough over in half to enclose the calzone.
- Gently fold the outside edge over itself along the entire edge of the calzone. The idea is to get all the open areas of the calzone closed so none of the liquid escapes while you're cooking them. So do your best to completely enclose the edge.
- If desired, brush the crust with an egg white wash (for a shiny crust) or olive oil (for a browner and crisper crust).
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees, or until crust is brown. If you don't have a pizza stone, a cookie sheet sprinkled with corn meal will suffice
- Just in case the calzones were not completely sealed, I recommend adding a pan to catch any dripping liquid from the calzones. If they do leak, they are still tasty, just not quite as pretty.
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