These are easy peezy lemon squeezy! No time for homemade dough you say? This dough rises for a quick 25 minutes and is ready to roll. No double rising, proofing, or punching down needed.
3 cups all-purpose flour (I use unbleached)
1 pkg. yeast or 2 1/4 tsp. of instant granules
1 tsp. salt
1 cup very warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
~In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, and salt. When well combined, stir in the warm water and oil. Mix until all ingredients are combined well. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to create a soft dough. You don’t want it sticking to the side of the bowl, but rather forming together into a nice ball.
Flour an area of your counter tops and place your dough in the center.
With floured hands, knead the dough with a rocking and folding over motion for 5 minutes, adding more flour to the counter and hands as needed. You dough will become smooth and more elastic.
Make sure your smooth ball of dough is resting on a light dusting of flour and cover with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rest for 25 minutes.
Now it’s time to grab your rolling pin and have some fun. You want to roll your dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Remember when you roll to go in one direction, from the center out. It’s never a good idea to roll back and forth like a steamroller, we don’t want pavement texture
Now for my next step…..I have a high-tech little gadget that allows me to make the most perfect crescent (or football) shaped calzones. What is it you ask????
The lid to a gallon sized pitcher I found for a dollar! I have a slew of shapes and sizes around my house, and they allow me to be creative. Wine glasses, soup cans, mixing bowls….you name it I got it!
Back to the calzones, I’ll explain my multi-purpose kitchen tools at a later date….. Keep all your circles under the towel as you prepare one at a time, so the dough doesn’t dry out as you work. Grab one circle and spoon on a small bit of your favorite marinara. You don’t want to put too much on or it will ooze out when we seal it. You only need to put the sauce on half of the circle and try to avoid the edges!
Continue to top with your favorite ingredients, but remember you have to fold and seal this thing! I chose simple pepperoni and cheese this time. I like cheese on the top and bottom so I layer it as shown below.
Next comes the fold….grab the left edge and carefully carry it up over the ingredients and match it up edge to edge. If you have fillings trying to sneak out, don’t be afraid to tuck them back in. If you are oozing sauce, go a little lighter on the sauce for your next one. This is a good time to reshape if needed and make it look nice and pretty. It’s fairly moldable, however after your first few, you’ll be a pro!
The final step of assembly is to seal. Take the tips of a fork and press down the edges of the open side. Dip your fork into flour in between every other press or so, it gets sticky and will begin to pull on the dough. Make sure you press semi-gently, you don’t want to mash down so hard that your edges are now stuck to the counter :) I usually run my finger along the edge to tidy it up a bit and make it nice and uniform.
Place the calzones onto a “greased” baking sheet, allowing enough space for a little expanding and puffing. Carefully, with a sharp knife, cut three small slits into the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes. I like to pull mine about after 15 minutes and brush them with a little melted butter, why not indulge right? They’ll work it off while they scream at the referees, I secretly believe that men think those refs can ACTUALLY hear them. I must admit it’s kinda cute…..
Let these babies cool on the tray for just a few minutes then serve with marinara….Get ready to be a hero….Pull out your cape honey, you deserve it!
Before I sign off, let me share one more quick tip. One morning when you want a treat that will knock their socks off…..Follow all the same steps for the dough above, however fill it with bacon, eggs, ham, onion, etc. and create a fabulous breakfast pocket that will bring em’ back for more! It couldn’t possibly be easier.
Modern Mrs. Cleaver