Don’t you just love a good pizza crust? Thick, soft, toasty? Me too. Since pretty much every restaurant makes their crust with milk I had never experienced a calzone until I made my own. I think you could say I’m a changed woman! They are amazing! And, brace yourself… They are easy to make. Yep. The dough is a cinch. Don’t fear flour and yeast, they belong together. They neeeed each other. The list of pizza toppings are endless; onion, bell pepper, pineapple, tomato, olives, grilled chicken… and ooey gooey melted cheese. I will share my favorite, Hawaiian pizza.
First, lets make the dough. I like this recipe from Doughmesstic but I add sugar as I think it is necessary to activate the yeast. This recipe will make 4 descent sized calzones. Plan ahead, the dough takes about 2.5 hours to make.
- 2 1/4 tsp yeast (one package of active dry yeast)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 cups warm water
- 5 cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp salt
- Oil, to coat bowl
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let stand for 10 minutes until foamy.
- Combine the flour and salt in a medium sized bowl. Add half to the yeast mixture and combine with a fork. Using your dough hook, turn your mixer on to the lowest setting and add in remaining flour gradually, until dough is smooth and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. It takes a few minutes.
- Remove dough from the bowl and wipe it out. Coat the bowl with just enough oil to cover the bowl (I like to soak some on a paper towel). Return to bowl and roll in the oil to cover all sides of the dough. Don’t skip on this part or your dough will dry out while rising. Cover with a loose towel and rise until double in size, about 2 hours. I prefer to rise the dough by placing the bowl on a heating pad turned on to the lowest setting.
- Rub oil on your fists and “punch” down the dough. You should only have to punch the dough about 10 times to get it all deflated.
- Divide dough into 4 balls.
- Cover the dough again and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling out.
- While the dough rests assemble your toppings. I like to start by cooking the chopped up bacon.
Hawaiian pizza toppings:
- Dairy free Cheese. Daiya has shredded mozzarella and cheddar, they melt beautifully.
- Pizza sauce
- Canadian bacon
- Crispy bacon
- Tomato slices (I feared they would make the dough soggy. Did not.)
- Cooking spray or melted butter
- Garlic salt
Once your dough and toppings are ready, it is time to assemble the calzone.
- Preheat the oven to 425°.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out first dough ball into a rectangle about 1/4″ thick. Since the dough is oiled it should smooth out nicely by hand or with a rolling pin.
- Use a knife or pizza cutter to slice the dough evenly, about an inch apart. You want the cuts to start in a line to create an evenly shaped bottom for the toppings to rest on.
- Add toppings, starting with the sauce.
- Braid the dough by wrapping the first dough strip across the pizza and attaching it to the base of the next strip. The ends should be tucked under the next strip.
- Your braid should look like this when complete. Nice and tidy.
- Spray the top with non-stick cooking spray or brush with melted butter and garlic salt. (This is optional but it makes the crust turn golden brown)
- Transfer calzone to cookie sheet.
- Bake until crust is lightly brown, about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and coat with cooking spray or melted butter again and let cool a few minutes before cutting. The filling will be too hot to eat for about 5 minutes after cutting.
- While cooling, prepare your next calzone.
Check out that beautifully browned crust!
There you have it. Enjoy!