"How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?" ~ Julia Child
My first six years of life, where taste buds are developed often beyond repair, were spent in Europe where delicious, fresh bread was a daily fare. My ex-pat family indulged in a variety of loaves and often joked about Americans and their (our?!) Wonderbread. "You wonder if it's bread!" ...hardy har har.
From popovers piping hot and smeared in butter served with a bowl of soup to roasted garlic bread soft and shared with a friend over tea, Portugal has left an indelible mark on my taste buds; fresh, home-baked bread is still one of my favorite foods.
And it is particularly delicious when you stuff it full of cheese, vegetables, and meat! If the above ode to bread has made you a little hungry, try making these calzones. A quick caveat: My prior recipes have been quite quick and simple. Make these calzones when you have time. They take a little while the first few tries, but they are well worth the effort!
1. Make a basic pizza dough recipe. The following recipe is adapted from "Joy of Cooking."
- Pour a package of yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) over a bowl of warm (105-115 degree) water. Let the yeast dissolve. This takes about five minutes.
- Mix the yeast water with:
- 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups of flour
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- Knead it by hand or using a dough hook attachment on a mixer.
- Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size. This takes about 1-2 hours. Put it in a warm place to make it rise quickly.
|The yeast will look like this when it's almost dissolved.|
- Grate lots of mozzarella cheese. You'll need at least a pound.
- Chop up veggies. (I recommend 3-4 of the following: thinly sliced garlic, bell peppers, spinach, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant, or anything else!) Tip: The veggies need to be dry to prevent the calzone from getting soggy.
- Meat. (I recommend pepperoni ... though I've been known to do salmon, leftover meatballs, and no meat at all.)
3. Assemble your calzones.
- Heat the oven to 400.
- Split the pizza dough into six small balls.
- Lightly flour a dry, clean surface. Cover your hands and a rolling pin in flour.
- One at a time, roll out each ball into a disk and cover half with cheese, veggies, and meat.
- Moisten the edges of the dough with water and seal it tightly.
- Place in a greased pan.
- Beat an egg in a bowl. Brush the tops of the calzones with the egg mixture.
- Bake until golden brown. About 25 minutes.
- Serve with salad and with warmed tomato sauce for dipping.
|Put more cheese than you see pictured here.|
This one wasn't cheesy enough, though the salmon, spinach, and zucchini was so good!
|All brushed with egg and ready for the oven.|
Enjoy the incredible flavor of your calzone! It definitely won't taste like Kleenex.