Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lesson #5: Cheese and Sausage Calzones

Grandma's all set up before I arrive!

Rolling and rolling and rolling....

Putting the calzones together.

A taste of the final product (and knowing that there are many more in my freezer makes me very happy)!

The first time I ever tried one of my Grandma's calzones I am pretty sure I had never even heard the word "calzone." I probably would have called it a panzerotti. I guess panzerottis are smaller versions of calzones and are produced with a softer dough (at least that's what I just read on Wikipedia). So, if you're like me and have never heard of these....just think mini-pizza on bread dough folded in half. And, trust me, they're delicious!! Also...these can be pretty time consuming so (if you can) cook the filling the day before and then get a team together to make them. My Aunt Paulette wanted some calzones too so she made some filling and met me at Grandma's where the three of us created an assembly line of sorts and made 55 calzones. It's much more fun this way, plus you have someone to eat a calzone with at lunchtime. By the way, calzones go really well with beer.

Here is the recipe for the filling:

(Adapted from Taste of Home magazine)

2 containers (15 ounces each) ricotta cheese
4 cups (1 pound) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped green pepper (we used red)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cooking oil
2 pounds bulk Italian sausage

In a large bowl, combine cheeses, oregano and basil; set aside.

In a large skillet, saute the onion, green pepper and garlic in oil until tender; add to cheese mixture.

In the same skillet, brown sausage; drain and stir into cheese mixture.

Here is the recipe for the dough:

(Adapted from Fleishmann's "Country Fair." This recipe for 100% Honey Whole Wheat Bread was entered by Mabel Espey from Manitoba)

6 cups whole wheat flour (we used 3 cups whole wheat/3 cups all-purpose)
2 tsp salt
1 pkg Fleischmann's Quick-Rise Instant yeast (8 grams)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Set aside 1 cup flour from total amount. Combine remaining flour, salt and yeast. Heat milk, water, oil, and honey until hot to touch (125-130 degrees); stir into dry mixture. Mix in eggs and enough reserved flour to make soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes.

To create the Calzone:

Divide the loaf of dough in half and then divide each half into six portions. Roll each portion into a 6-inch circle. Spoon 2-4 tablespoons of filling onto half of one circle; fold the dough over the filling and seal the edges with a fork. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Brush with butter. (You will have to make anywhere from 3-5 loaves of dough depending on how much filling you put in each calzone. If you make too much dough, make a loaf of bread. Grandma made two!)

Place on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with spaghetti or pizza sauce for dipping.

Our calzones went right into the freezer before baking and make nice, quick meals when we want them. If baking from frozen, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. Ok. This post made me really hungry. Luckily I'm having pizza tonight. I really want to make these though!