After posting the sinfully decadent cheesy stuffed bread a couple of weeks ago, my mind has been ablaze with other things I could do with that. Then I smacked myself upside the head when it dawned on me: I could make calzones!
I have no idea why, with my pizza loving ways, that this had NOT occurred to me before now. It uses all the same ingredients as my pizza does and takes about the same length of time as pizza. And there is just something immensely satisfying to seeing a large doughy slab on your plate and knowing that it is all for you. *ahem* If you don’t share, that is.
See? It’s massive! You could always make them smaller, which I will probably do another time. The dough on these ended up to be so fluffy and soft. Next time, I’m going to brush the edges with melted butter and sprinkle them with garlic powder so it’s like pizza and bread sticks in one! With the warm homemade pizza sauce on the side, it rivaled ones I’ve had when eating out by a long shot!
Rather than do my usual Italian sausage, I decided to lighten them up a bit for a meatless meal. There is no real reason, except I didn’t have any Italian sausage on hand *gasp* and I wasn’t in the mood for the pepperoni (without sodium nitrate, of course) I had picked up. Plus, I’ve been craving leafy greens as of late.
Because of his heart attack, Mr. O has to limit his vitamin K so I stopped making things with spinach as often as I used to. With his aversion to eggs, maybe I should just start making myself spinach and onion omelets for breakfast on the weekend while the rest of the household is asleep. Hmm… I may be onto something there… 🙂
I did not miss the meat in these at all and was a stuffed little tick. With all those carbs, who wouldn’t be? Thankfully, I had had very few carbs and starches that day because I knew dinner was going to be a bread overload.
A yummy, yummy bread overload. Now, don’t get scared by this recipe. I know it looks long but it’s not difficult and still takes less time than ordering pizza! I just simplified each step for you to show how you can manage the time to make these as quickly as possible.
- 1 c pizza sauce
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 4½ tsp dry active yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 c hot water from the tap
- 1 Tbsp jarred minced garlic
- 8 oz sliced button mushrooms
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 3 c bread flour (or all-purpose)
- 2 c white wheat flour (or all-purpose or bread flour)
- 2 tsp salt
- ¼ c olive oil
- 6 oz baby spinach
- Garlic powder, to taste
- Onion powder, to taste
- ¼ c cornmeal
- 8 oz mozzarella, shredded
- Flour, for rolling the dough
- If you don't already have sauce made, get that started and let it simmer on the stove while making the calzones.
- Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over med-high heat.
- While the pan is heating, in a large bowl, mix together the yeast, sugar, and hot water until the yeast is dissolved. Let set for roughly 10 minutes (a little longer won't hurt, if needed).
- In the heated skilled, add the garlic and stir for about 20-30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and stir until they look wet, about 1-2 minutes. Add the oregano, basil, thyme, salt and pepper and stir. Cook, stirring often until the mushrooms are soft and have started to release their juices, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon to a small bowl. Do not remove any of the leftover liquid.
- Add the spinach to the same pan and sprinkle with garlic powder and onion powder. Stir the spinach until it had wilted but is still bright green, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and remove the spinach from the pan with a slotted spoon to another small bowl.
- Add the flour, 2 tsp salt and olive oil to the yeast mixture. Stir with a spoon until incorporated then finish mixing with your hands until well mixed. Let rest for roughly 5 minutes.
- Spray to large rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray and lightly sprinkle with the cornmeal.
- If your cheese is not already shredded, I usually shred mine at this point.
- On a large flat surface, sprinkle a little flour and rub it around. This is to keep your dough from sticking. I usually use a large cutting board but a CLEAN counter or tabletop works, too. Take ¼ of the dough and roll it into a ball. If it is sticky, lightly coat it with floured hands. Roll it out to about ¼" thick and into a 8" x 12" rectangle.
- Over one half of the dough, sprinkle ¼ of the cheese, leaving a 1" border around the edges.
- Drain the mushrooms of any accumulated juice and top the cheese with ¼ of the mushrooms.
- Squeeze the moisture out of the spinach and top the mushrooms with ¼ of the spinach.
- Fold the untopped half of the dough over the topped half. Roll and pinch the edges together to seal the calzone.
- Carefully pick it up (it will stretch a little) and place it on half of one of the baking sheets. Using a sharp knife, cut 3 small slits on the top to allow steam to escape.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough, cheese and toppings.
- Place 1 baking sheet on the top rack and the other on lower rack. Bake for about 5 minutes then switch the baking sheets to the opposite racks. Bake 5-7 minutes more until golden brown.
- Let stand 5 minutes before serving with pizza sauce on the side.