Our family really likes pizza, especially the homemade variety. Sometimes, though, it can be fun to change things up. For us, that means calzones.
Several years ago, when I was really into freezer cooking, I stumbled upon calzones as an easier alternative to frozen homemade pizza. Todd and the kids loved them, so I continued to incorporate calzones in the menu.
To make the calzones, I start with my homemade pizza crust recipe. Once the dough cycle is done in the bread maker, I dump the crust out on a floured countertop and assemble the filling ingredients. When I made calzones for these pictures, they were the simple pizza variety, but you could fill them with just about anything. Some of our favorites:
- Browned ground beef, cooked bacon crumbles, shredded mozzarella and cheddar, ketchup, mustard, & pickles
- Cooked chicken breast chunks, broccoli, shredded mozzarella, ranch dressing
- Tomato sauce, pepperoni, shredded mozzarella
- BBQ sauce, shredded mozzarella, cooked chicken breast chunks, sauteed onions
Once the pizza dough is one the counter, I split it into five equally-sized dough balls. I flatten each of them into a circle about 1/4-inch thick. I cover the circles with toppings, just like I would for regular pizza. Once the toppings are on, I carefully peel the crust off the counter and fold it in half. The edges get pinched shut and the calzones form enclosed half-moons.
I transfer the calzones to an oiled baking sheet (or use a silicone liner). Each calzone should be pricked three or four times with a sharp knife so that steam can escape during baking. The calzones are baked in a preheated oven, at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, for 15-20 minutes.
Once the calzones come out of the oven, I cut them in half and let them cool for 5 minutes before serving. Each calzone can feed 1-2 people, depending on appetites and side dishes.
Do you have any creative pizza recipes? Let me know in an email or comment below!