Calzone

I love calzone as much as I like pizza, it’s a pizza that’s filled, kinda like a pizza pocket or a closed pizza. Sometimes these are called a Panzarotti which is the kind that is sometimes deep fried. Make it yourself and you will be amazed how easy and fun, besides tasty. This is something that takes a bit of time, so it’s a good Saturday or Sunday afternoon fun, get the kids involved, they love rolling out the dough.

Ingredients:
For the Dough:
3 ½ cups of All Purpose unbleached Flour
1 cup fine semolina flour
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups of warm water
1 tbsp of active dry yeast
Extra flour for rolling out dough

Note: if using whole wheat flour, add a tiny bit more salt and a bit more water.

Put the warm water, sugar and yeast in a small bowl and allow for yeast to foam for about 5-7 minutes. In a large bowl sift both flours, flax and salt, make a well in the flour and pour in the olive oil, foamy water and mix with a wooden spoon, or a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix dough until it comes together. Begin kneading the dough on a liberally floured surface. If dough is too wet keep adding flour until dough becomes soft and stretchy ( knead for about 10 min.). Put dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a wet tea towel or plastic wrap, allow dough to rise for at least one hour in a warm place. Prepare filling ingredients while dough is proofing.

Punch down dough on a floured surface, knead dough for few more minutes. Cut dough into four equal balls or three equal balls for three large calzones, put dough balls back in oiled bowl and cover again until ready to roll out.

Roll out dough ball one at a time on lightly floured surface with a rolling pin to about 10 inch diameter like pizza put filling as a topping only on half the pizza, (see below for filling suggestions) fold over other side to make a half moon, crimp the edges well to seal calzone. Using the point of a knife make a few holes in the top of calzone so steam can escape.

Heat pizza stone or tray to 400* and place calzone in centre of oven, cook for 15-20 minutes until dough is golden brown and remove from oven when done, allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving as it will be very hot. When ready to eat a drizzle of olive oil and a scattering of fresh parsley or basil is a good option.

Suggested combinations for filling:

One large tablespoon per item, maybe two tablespoons for dominant topping or your favourite ingredient, I think it’s better to overfill than to under fill as once it cooks it will puff up and may seem hallow if under filled.

Passata tomato sauce with pinch oregano, salt and olive oil
Sliced fresh mushrooms
Mozzarella cheese grated
Chopped pancetta or ham

Marinated artichokes
Pickled pepperoncini peppers
Drained capers
Pesto sauce
Goat cheese
Sundries tomatoes

Sliced tomatoes
Bocconcini cheese
Fresh basil
Roasted red peppers
Pitted Kalamata olives
Olive oil

Passata tomato sauce
Broccoli florets
Fresh spinach leaves
Minced garlic
Sliced zucchini
Feta cheese

Small can tuna drained
Chopped celery
Aged cheddar cheese
Fresh dill

You could have a party, double or triple dough recipe and put out variety of toppings and let people make there own.

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Hortopita (spanakopita)

Try to get organic ingredients if possible especially the greens

Dough
4.75 cups unbleached flour or whole wheat plus more for rolling out dough
90ml olive oil

One teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 cups lukewarm water
One level tablespoon sea salt

Filling
1.5 kg greens mixture of kale, dandelion greens, Swiss chard, spinach, mustard greens etc
250 grams Greek feta cheese crumbled
One bunch fresh dill chopped approx one cup
Handful fresh parsley or fresh oregano chopped
5 cloves Chopped Garlic,
1-2 onion or leeks
3 eggs beaten
Two tablespoons kefaotiri cheese or Parmesan
Olive oil to taste
Pinch of Salt and pepper

In a large bowl mix the flour with the sea salt, make well in the middle pour in the olive oil and water mix really well, flour up a flat surface and, knead the dough for at least 5 minutes, put the dough ball in a bowl cover with a tea towel and let rest for about 1 hour

In the meantime wash the greens and steam them for about five minutes, drain the greens and allow them to cool and squeeze out as much of the excess water, in a large pot sauté the garlic, onions in olive oil over low to medium heat, combine the drained greens and continue to sauté in the large pot, turn off the heat and allow the greens mixture to cool for 10 minutes, add salt and pepper and mix in the herbs, beaton eggs and feta cheese, mix everything well, if the mixture seems dry add more olive oil.

Punch down dough on a floured surface and cut into two balls, one slightly bigger than the other, using a rolling pin roll the largest ball to an approx rectangle the size of your casserole pan 9 x 14″ taking in account the two inch sides of the your rectangle for a lasagna pan should be approx 14 x 18, oil the pan and spread dough in pan, put all the cheese and greens mixture inside the baking pan and spread evenly, roll out second ball of dough and cover greens, fold hanging dough edges over top to seal the pit, brush top of pie with olive oil and use a fork to poke a few holes on top layer of dough, cover pie with foil and bake in oven for 50 minutes, remove foil and continue to cook for about 10 minutes in 350 oven. Remove from oven,let it rest for 10-15 minutes and then slice into serving portions approx 3″ square and enjoy.

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