Delicious Homemade Calzones: A Step-by-Step Guide
Calzones, the Italian answer to handheld, portable, and utterly satisfying comfort food, have been tantalizing taste buds for generations. These stuffed, oven-baked pockets of joy are the perfect canvas for your favorite ingredients, allowing you to customize them to your heart’s desire. Whether you’re a cheese enthusiast, a lover of meats, or a veggie connoisseur, making calzones at home is a delightful culinary adventure that’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of crafting your own delectable calzones from scratch.
For the Dough:
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) of active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
For the Filling:
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup of your favorite pizza sauce
- Toppings of your choice (e.g., pepperoni, sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, olives, etc.)
- Dried oregano and red pepper flakes (optional, for added flavor)
1. Prepare the Dough:
- In a small bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it’s frothy.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar.
- Add the yeast mixture and olive oil to the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough comes together.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5-7 minutes, or until it’s smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until it doubles in size.
2. Preheat the Oven:
- Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C) and place a pizza stone or baking sheet inside to heat up.
3. Forming the Calzones:
- Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into four equal portions.
- Roll each portion into a ball and then roll it out into a 8-10 inch circle on a lightly floured surface.
- Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of pizza sauce onto one half of each dough circle, leaving a border around the edge.
4. Add the Filling:
- Sprinkle a generous amount of mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
- Place dollops of ricotta cheese on top.
- Add grated Parmesan cheese and your desired toppings.
5. Fold and Seal:
- Fold the other half of the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape.
- Press the edges to seal the calzone. You can use a fork or your fingers to crimp the edges.
- Carefully transfer the calzones onto the preheated baking stone or sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
- Remove the calzones from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
- Slice each calzone in half, sprinkle with oregano and red pepper flakes if desired, and serve hot.
Making calzones at home is a fun and rewarding cooking experience. With the flexibility to choose your favorite ingredients, you can cater to different tastes within your household. Whether you serve them as a quick dinner, a satisfying lunch, or as party snacks, homemade calzones are sure to be a hit. So, roll up your sleeves, get creative, and enjoy the culinary journey of crafting your very own delicious calzones!