Last Saturday, I made calzone (cal-zoe-knee, Italians pronounce the "e") with my students during my pizza and pasta weekend workshop in my studio kitchen. Everyone was amazed at how easy calzone is to make. And it's a real WOW dish when it comes out of the oven all golden brown and puffy!
For the calzone, we pretty much used the same as the pizza dough with the addition of a little extra bread flour and extra virgin olive oil. The addition of extra flour makes the calzone dough stiffer and more sturdy, and the olive oil is there for flavor.
If you haven't made a calzone before, it's easy. Follow these steps and you'll be a pizzaiolo before you know it.
#1 Follow the pointers for pizza dough.
#2 Make the filling.
#3 Form the dough into a 10-inc circle and place on a floured wooden pizza peel.
#4 Spread the filling on half of the circle making sure you leave a 1-inch space around the edges.
#5 Using a pastry brush, brush water around the edges of half of the dough.
#6 Fold the dough over enclosing the filling. Press the edges together tightly.
#7 Crimp the edges by rolling the edges towards the center to make sure the edges are completely sealed.
#8 Transfer onto a stone that has been heated in a hot oven. Fill it with ricotta, spicy fennel sausage and wilted greens and make sure you tell me how it comes out!
CALZONE WITH SAUSAGE, WILTED GREENS AND RICOTTA
1 cup ricotta
3/4 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from the casings
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups young greens for wilting,-- beet greens, Swiss chard, escarole, radicchio
Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons balsamic vineagr
½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano
1 recipe Calzone Dough
Thirty minutes before baking, place a pizza stone on the bottom shelf of the oven and set the oven temperature to 500F.
Place the ricotta in a paper towel-lined strainer. Let drain 1 hour. Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until completely cooked. Drain and discard the excess oil. Reserve the sausage in a large bowl.
Add the olive oil to the pan and warm over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook 5 seconds to soften. Cut the greens into 1-inch strips and add the greens and red pepper flakes to the pan. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the greens begin to wilt. Add the balsamic vinegar and toss together. Cover the pan and cook until tender. Remove from the pan and let cool. Add to the sausage along with the ricotta and Parmigiano. Season with salt.
On a floured surface, divide the dough into two pieces and form into round balls. Roll one piece of the dough into a 12-inch circle, approximately 1/4" thick and place it on a well floured pizza peel or paddle. Spread half of the sausage/ricotta mixture on half of the dough leaving a 1 ½" border around the edge. With a pastry brush, moisten the bottom edges of the dough lightly with water and fold the dough over the filling matching the edges and pressing together well to seal completely. Roll the edges of the dough inward and press to make a tight seal. Slide the calzone onto the pizza stone and bake until golden and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place on a wooden cutting board. Let rest 10 minutes and serve.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
Makes 2 large or 4 small individual-size calzone and serves 6
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water, 110°F
3 cups unbleached King Arthur bread flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Combine yeast, 1/2 cup lukewarm water and 1/2 cup flour in a large bowl. Let it sit until it bubbles up, 30 minutes.
Add remaining 2 3/4 cups flour, salt, olive oil and 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Mix the dough thoroughly. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, elastic and a bit tacky to the touch, 10 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and turn to cover with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, bring the dough at least 3 to 4 hours before making the calzone.