Friday, February 22, 2008

Pizza Pockets

a.k.a. calzones.

I can't remember how, but one day last week my boyfriend and I had started talking about calzones. He had never had one before, only a pizza flavored Hot Pocket®. I was remembering my experiences with a place in college that had calzones that never tasted as good without a few drinks beforehand, they were just way too greasy. I don't remember liking calzones because of that, but I thought I'd try to make some for my boyfriend.

I found some recipes that called for bread flour, but I'm almost out of that from making the crescent rolls yesterday. I found a recipe that did not call for bread flour and went for that one.

I ended up having an impromptu dinner party when a couple of friends popped in while I was making the calzones. It's a good thing the recipe makes two large calzones that easily serve four people because I felt kind of rude making dinner and not offering them any. They both loved the calzones and thought the basil was a very nice addition. They both asked about the filling and were surprised to learn I had made the crust too. One friend even commented that I'm becoming quite the Suzy Homemaker. The other commented about how she's happy to help us finish off dinners any time. I think I can live with a reputation of being a good cook!

My boyfriend has a larger than average appetite, so he could use one whole calzone on his own. For the rest of us, a regular calzone can feed two. This was a really simple recipe to make and I'll definitely make it again. I left out the olives.

Real Italian Calzones

2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2½ cups flour
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup mozzarella cheese
1½ cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup diced pepperoni
½ cup sliced black olives
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 egg, beaten

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in the water. Add 1 tablespoon oil, the sugar, and salt.
  2. Mix in 1 cup of the flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the rest of the flour until thoroughly mixed and a soft dough forms.
  3. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes or until elastic and no longer sticky. Coat a bowl with the rest of the oil, place in dough, coat, cover and allow to rise for about 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  4. While the dough is rising, beat the egg in a bowl. In a separate bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until needed.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  6. Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll into two circles.
  7. Fill half of each circle with half of filling mixture. Fold in half and seal edges by pressing with a fork.
  8. Brush the top of each calzone with the beaten egg and place on a greased cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and heated through.
  10. Serve with warm tomato sauce.


Made by Lena