As you’ll soon discover, this calzone recipe is a warm pocket feast we’ve stuffed full of comforting tastes and cozy aromas. And it’s backed by a wholesome marinara sauce that ties the flavors together.
It could quickly become your go-to for comfort food. Piping hot, golden crust, melted cheese; it sounds delectable and tastes even better!
What is Calzone?
Calzone is an Italian pastry dish that features a crescent-shaped crust filled with meat, sauce, and ricotta cheese. However, you can fill it with anything you like: salami, spinach, or other pizza-related ingredients.
- Calzone vs. Stromboli
While a calzone typically has no sauce within the filling, a stromboli is a ‘rolled-up pizza’ with the sauce, filling, and crust layered in folds.
- Calzone vs. Pizza
Just like a pizza, you add toppings to the dough. The difference is, with calzone, you fold it into a half-moon shape before baking.
What’s the Difference Between Pizza Dough and Calzone Dough?
There is none! Making a calzone crust generally requires pizza dough. Though, you have to be mindful when making calzone since the crust is more exposed (pizza dough can get away with some tears under the toppings.)
Can You Make it From Scratch?
Absolutely! And you’re going to love it. Making calzone from scratch is gratifying and personal. You’ll be able to customize all the ingredients, including the crust. For instance, you could infuse the dough with garlic and herbs before baking.
Though there are several steps to this calzone recipe, it’s far from overwhelming. The method is easy to understand. Once you find out how to create the dough, you’ll be making your own batches to freeze in no time.
Ingredients for the Dough
To prep your dough, you’ll need seven ingredients: all-purpose flour, yeast, oil, salt, water, sugar, and paprika. Understanding each component will help achieve the final desired texture of the dough. So hold on to your keypads— it’s about to get sciencey!
Warm water, sugar, and yeast
The water should be between 105-115°F with a lukewarm feel. Higher temperatures kill the yeast, while lower ones will fail to activate it. You can use a thermometer for accuracy.
Be careful when adding sugar amounts. Sugar is food for the yeast, but an excessive amount will inhibit the process of fermentation. If it fails to form bubbles (proof), make another mixture before proceeding.
Olive oil and salt
Salt adds flavor to the crust and gives the gluten within the dough more time to strengthen and form a better crumb. On the other hand, olive oil enhances the soft texture while adding flavor.
And that’s it! Now you have a better idea of what to look out for when making your pizza dough.
Are Calzones Healthy?
They definitely can be— that’s the beauty of homemade calzone. It’s about what you put into it; there’s every reason to create your own nutrition-packed version. Of course, we’ve loaded this calzone recipe with nourishing ingredients that make this dish healthy and toothsome.
Mushrooms and ground beef are a heartwarming duo. And together, their nutrient profile is commendable; both are high in B vitamins and proteins. Remarkably, mushroom properties show a decrease in mild cognitive impairment that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. All while staying low in calories and fats!
Lean ground beef, in addition to the mentioned nutrients, is also a reliable source of immune-boosting zinc. A 1.5 oz serving (correlating with this recipe) will provide 1.9 grams of zinc, equivalent to 17% of the recommended daily intake (RDI).
Then there’s the cheese, which, due to its high calcium content, is actually an active contributor in low energy diets for weight loss. So it not only brings these flavors together but is also nutritious (and enjoyable).
And to top it off, this spicy-kick marinara sauce is a wholesome condiment. Tomatoes are laden with lycopene, a carotenoid and antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body to reduce inflammation.
By itself, lycopene is a powerhouse. But our bodies absorb it more effectively when combined with olive oil, which in turn may decrease the risk of coronary heart disease.
What to Serve With Calzone
We recommend light dishes to accompany calzone. It’s a great way to deliver more nutrients while keeping the calories relatively low. Here are some suggestions:
A Light, Green Salad
Toss a quick salad together by combining some radish and tomatoes with crunchy lettuce or arugula. The water-dense ingredients complement the drier, baked crust for added moisture and lightness.
DIY Dipping Sauce
Make your own dipping sauce by blending some tomatoes, garlic, and oregano. The sauce will add a pungent kick to the calzone as well as an appreciated herby flavor that ties in beautifully with all the others.
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 oz egg
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (+ 1/2 tbsp for dusting)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tsp garlic minced
- 1/4 oz anchovies drained
- 16 oz tomatoes blended
- 1/3 cup fresh basil finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp fennel seed
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 3 oz onion chopped
- 2 oz carrots chopped
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 150°F.
- In a pan over medium heat, heat water for the dough to between 105-110°F, or until just warm enough to dip your finger in. Transfer to a bowl and add yeast and sugar, leaving the yeast mixture to proof for 5 minutes.
- Lightly grease a medium-sized bowl with some of the olive oil. Add flour, salt, paprika, and remaining olive oil into the bowl and mix. Pour in the yeast mixture and mix until the dough forms a ball.
- Use some of the 1/2 tablespoon of flour as you knead the dough for 3-4 minutes, adding more if it’s too sticky. Use the poke test to check for readiness; the dough should bounce back when you poke it. If it doesn’t, continue to knead. Once done, cover the bowl with a plastic wrap.
- Turn the oven off, place the bowl with the dough inside and close the oven door. Leave the dough to rise for 1 hour, until it doubles in size. Leave it for a further 30 minutes if it hasn’t fully risen.
- Prepare ingredients for the filling and marinara sauce.
- Start by preparing the sauce. In a medium saucepan, add olive oil and onions and cook for 1 minute over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and fry for 4 minutes.
- Add garlic, anchovies, and carrots and continue frying for 6 minutes. Add blended tomatoes, black pepper, oregano, bay leaf, fennel seed, sugar, and red pepper flakes and stir to mix. Leave the sauce to simmer for 25 minutes at low heat. Remove bay leaf.
- Use a hand blender to blend the sauce, then add fresh basil. Cook over medium heat for 1 minute. If using a (stand) blender, allow sauce to slightly cool before blending, then transfer back to the saucepan, add fresh basil, and cook for 1 minute over medium heat. Remove sauce from heat.
- Preheat the oven to 470°F.
- To make the filling, heat a skillet on medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of ground beef and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add garlic and mushrooms and fry for 6 minutes until brown. Add the remaining beef, salt, thyme and black pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Use your hands to knead the dough into a rectangular log and cut it into 8 equally-sized squares. On a floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll each square into a circle.
- To assemble one calzone add some ricotta (roughly 1 tablespoon), followed by some mushroom-beef filling, then mozzarella cheese (roughly 2 tablespoons) to the centre of the circle. Brush the edges with egg and fold one side over the filling to form a semi-circle. Crimp the edges to tuck them. Then, poke two holes on top of the calzone and brush with egg. Repeat these steps for the remaining circles of dough.
- Once done, transfer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve hot with a light salad and a refreshing beverage.