What do you do the evening of the morning that the paper which you haven’t yet started was due?
a) Write the paper so that it’ll only be a day late
b) Attend to the much needed grocery shopping
c) Make calzone
If you answered b, as a means to c… you’re right!
They’re really easy to make, and are great portable meals. (Take them to school, work, or play for a lunch or snack. They can be eaten cold, or reheated. And they freeze well.) Plus, they’re healthy, and come in an almost endless variety of flavours.
My usual “I don’t measure when I bake” rules apply, so consider yourself warned.
On a clean, dry surface, make a small hill out of 5 cups of whole wheat flour. [Optional: add herbs to the flour.] Make a small well in the middle; make sure the flour “walls” are thick and “sturdy” as you’re going to need them to hold water in the well.
Pour 1 cup of tepid water into the well. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of yeast, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1tbsp salt into the water. Mix the water with a fork, being careful to leave the flour walls in tact.
Slowly start pulling the walls into the well, mixing with the water. You’ll get about half mixed in, then you’ll need to add more water. Add water a bit at a time, mixing as much four in as you can, until you have a nice, not-too-sticky dough. (You’ll probably have given up on using the fork, and will be using your hands to mix it.)
You want to start kneading the dough at this point, adding a bit more flour if your dough’s too sticky. Keep working the dough for 4-5 minutes until it’s nice and smooth.
Work it into a ball and put it in a bowl. Cover the bowl with saranwrap and let the dough rise for about 30 minutes, until it’s doubled in size.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling:
I like to sauté vegetables instead of putting in raw ones. For tonight’s calzones, I used one large white onion (chopped), three small zucchinis (sliced), and about 20 mushrooms (sliced). As they softened in the wok, I added seasoning (garlic, basil, paprika, fennel, oregano, lemon zest, black pepper, ginger, thyme, and a few drops of lemon juice). In my experience, calzones need a lot of flavouring, so don’t worry about over-seasoning.
You can really use any vegetable… or anything you would normally enjoy on a pizza, or in a sandwhich. I’ve also made curry calzones, breakfast calzones (crack an egg on the dough [it cooks while you bake it], add some meat or faux meat or tofu or cheese or whatever, some spinach and/or tomatoes), and many many many different varieties of toppings.
Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
Back to the dough:
Punch down the dough, and knead it a little more. Break off a small fist-sized amount of dough. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a circle-esque shape. (You’ll want to keep the rolling pin and surface floured.)
Take the rolled dough and put it onto a baking sheet. Add your toppings, cheese, a little tomato sauce… whatever you want. But the key is to only put topping on half of the dough, and do not overfill!!!
Prepare the seal: dip your fingers in a bowl of water, and wet the edge of the dough, all the way around. Fold the dough over, and press down to “seal” it up. You’ll then want to fold-and-pinch the seal all the way around the calzone and/or fold-and-fork it. (You’re trying to make a good seal so that the toppings, sauce, or any liquids don’t escape during baking. But, as you don’t want them to explode during baking either, with a fork, make venting holes on top of your calzone.
Repeat until you’ve filled your baking sheet. You’ve made enough dough to make two baking sheet-fulls.
Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. If you’re freezing them, I recommend wrapping them individually in saranwrap or a ziplock bag after they’ve cooled. (Then you can take them out of the freezer the night before you’ll want them, put the bagged/wrapped calzone in your bag, and they’re thawed by lunch!)
And now, to eat… and start considering the writing of the paper that was due 12.5 hours ago…
Filed under: good eats, recipes, school