Sausage and Pepperoni Calzones

Have you ever had a calzone? They’re delicious! Think pizza folded in half. Only instead of your typical pizza toppings, calzones doesn’t have a sauce, and are filled with a cheesy, pizza topping mixture. The crust gets nice and crusty on the outside, and the cheese turns delightfully molten on the inside (don’t burn yourself!). Dip it in a marinara sauce, and you might even consider swearing off “normal” pizza for good.

First, make up your dough and let it rise.

While it’s rising, make your filling. Brown the sausage, dice the pepperoni, shred the cheese, mix it all together.

After the dough is done, punch it down and divide it into two. On a floured surface, roll out each half. Cover one half of the dough with half of the filling, leaving a border around the edge.

Fold the other side over the top, and brush with egg wash (a beaten egg+a Tbs. water).

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with a hearty side of marinara sauce.

This recipe is a winner and is a fun twist on traditional pizza. Give it a try!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:6]

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com.

Happy calzone making!

If you’re interested…homemade pizza and our trip to Florence.

Stromboli

Pizza. I love it so. Chewy crust with just a bit of crunch, tomato sauce, melted cheese, meat, and veggies–it’s making my mouth water just thinking about it. The sky’s the limit for combinations of sauces and toppings–if it sounds good to you, chances are you can put it on a pizza and it will turn out.

This weekend, we decided to try a Stromboli instead of our standard tossed crust pizza. I’ve tried to make it before, and it was bit of a failure. I’m glad to say this round was a smashing success!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStromboli

Serves: 4

Based on Emeril Lagasse

To make the dough, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup warm water (105-110 degrees F)
  • 2 1/4 tsp (or one packet) yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt

1. Use a thermometer to measure 1 cup of warm water, between 105 and 110 degrees. If the water is cooler, the yeast won’t activate; if it’s warmer, it will kill the yeast. Add the yeast and the sugar to the water, stir, and set aside for 5 minutes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2. In a bowl, mix the yeast mixture, olive oil, salt, and 1 1/2 cups flour. Once the flour is incorporated, add 1/2 cup of flour, and stir. Repeat until all of the flour is mixed in. Dump onto the counter, and knead 3-5 minutes, until smooth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3. In a large bowl, add a small amount of olive oil, and coat the dough ball. Cover the bowl with saran wrap, and set in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor the Stromboli, you’ll need:

  • Toppings! We used mozzarella cheese, bell peppers, pepperoni, and onions, but you may use whatever sounds tasty.
  • 2 tsp. each of basil, oregano, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes
  • 1 egg
  • Parmesan cheese

1. Chop the toppings that need chopping.

2. Once the dough is risen, punch it down. Slice into two halves.

3. On a floured surface, roll out one of the halves into a rectangle.

4. Layer your toppings, leaving an empty strip at the top. Sprinkle 1 tsp of each of the spices over the toppings.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA5. Whisk an egg, and paint the empty strip. Roll the Stromboli up as tightly as possible, and transfer to a greased cookie sheet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA6. Repeat steps 3-5 with the other chunk of dough.

7. Cover with saran wrap, and allow to rise for 20 minutes. There won’t be much of a visible difference in the Stromboli, but don’t skip this step!

8. While the Stromboli are rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Once the oven is preheated, brush the top of each Stromboli with egg wash. Bake for 20 minutes, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and return to the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove from the oven, and let the Stromboli stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Slice it nice and thick and serve with an extra sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and pizza sauce or marinara sauce for dipping.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat are your favorite pizza toppings or Stromboli fillings?

If you’re interested….a Hawaiian pizza with sweet chili sauce and a simple pasta carbonara.

Homemade Pizza + My Pizza Sauce Recipe

More Fridays than not, especially in the winter, Bob and I make homemade pizza for dinner. It’s turned into a fun tradition! After the pizza is done, we curl up on the couch and watch a movie or a few episodes of a TV show. Our current obsession is Eureka. Heard of it?

Your first step in a homemade pizza night of your own is making the dough. I have two dough recipes that I like. If I’m home and have a couple hours before dinner, I use this recipe from Lauren’s Latest. My one suggestion: the “warm water” she suggests should be between 105 degrees F and 110 degrees F. Pull out your thermometer and make sure. Hotter or colder and your yeast will die or won’t activate. Also, you don’t need a mixer to make this recipe. Just mix the ingredients with a spoon, and knead for 5-7 minutes.

20140221_160744If you work 9 to 5 on Fridays, and still want to do homemade pizza for dinner, then you probably won’t have time to let the dough rise for 2 hours.. Enter Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. Mix things up in a bowl before work, and come home to perfectly risen pizza dough. You will not be sorry. Simply follow directions for the 12 hour dough. The same water temperature rules apply as in the recipe above.

20140221_180444Once the dough is nearly risen,  make your sauce. You’ll need a can of tomato paste and a can of tomato sauce–6oz and 8 oz respectively.

20140221_180847 Mix the sauce and paste together in a bowl, then add:

  • 1 Tbs oregano
  • 1 Tbs basil
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. honey

Taste it! Want it a little sweeter? Add more honey. Like your pizza sauce a little more garlicky? Salty? Peppery? Make it happen! There is no real science to pizza sauce, just add things little by little until you love it. This sauce can be made well in advance and stored in the fridge.

20140221_181519Now that the dough is risen and the sauce is made, the real excitement begins. Here’s what you do:

1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. If a pizza stone is your thing, make sure it’s in the oven before you preheat it.

2. Once your dough is fully risen, you’re going to take it out of the bowl. Do not punch this dough down like you would bread dough. We want to retain as much air as possible. Using a knife, divide the dough into two parts. Form them into balls, and let them rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes before you assemble. Cover the dough with saran wrap or a clean towel so it doesn’t dry out.

3. While the dough is resting and the oven is preheating, prep your toppings. Shred your cheese, chop your veggies, etc.

4. Stretch your dough. For a how to, check out this little tutorial. Bonus: he has an Italian accent–that makes it more legit.

5. You’re almost there! Now, add the toppings in whatever order and quantity you like.

20140221_1837426. Slide it into the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, and the cheese is fully melted and browning just a little.

20140223_1136327. After the pizza is done, melt 2 Tbs of better in the microwave. Mix in 1 tsp of garlic powder, and brush the buttery/garlicky concoction on the crust.

Happy pizza making!