Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Night's Calzones...

I am SO glad that today is Friday -- it seemed like a long week for some reason.  This evening I was torn about what to make for dinner.  It was either going to be something with chicken or something like pizza or calzones...and the calzones won!  I have made calzones many times before -- both the traditional dough type as well as the recipe I created for the wheat/grain free dough version.  The difficulty in making them wheat/grain free is that the dough is harder to work with since you don't have the elasticity normally found in traditional pizza dough. It is easy to spread a wheat/grain free crust out flat for a pizza, but flipping that raw dough over to make a calzone is a bit more tricky -- not hard, just tricky.  I went back through my wheat/grain free calzone recipes and decided to make the dough a bit thicker and easier to work with, so I reduced the water a little and added a bit more Parmesan cheese (the finely ground/powdery textured kind to soak up the liquid and add flavor).  I also decided that rather than flip it over with a rubber spatula that I would spread the dough circle out on one side of my baking pan with the idea to flip it from the outer edge of the pan inward towards the center, thereby making the calzone end up smack in the center of the pan.  To make it super easy to flip the calzone over, I used parchment paper, lightly sprayed or brushed with oil and then placed my filling ingredients on one half of my dough circle (the half closest to the center of the pan), leaving the outer half near the end of the pan empty for flipping over.  I simply slipped my hand under the parchment paper of the outer empty dough half and flipped it towards the center, covering my ingredients and then peeling the parchment paper back and laying it back down on the pan.  I then used my hands and fingers to gently press and seal the edges of the calzone.  It was SO simple to flip over this way.  I find that the more you experiment, the more creative shortcuts and techniques you come up with.  The most important advice I can give you is to not overstuff your calzone or it will be hard to keep the filling from poking through the top of your calzone.  I have made that mistake before, both with regular dough and the wheat/grain free dough.  Also, it is imperative to pre-cook your toppings -- no raw veggies or uncooked meats or you will have super soggy calzones.  Tonight, my calzone was filled with red peppers, onions, mushrooms, diced turkey pepperoni and diced fresh mozzarella cheese.  To make my Friday evening even more special than just calzones...I get to have the chocolate chip cookies I made a couple nights ago for dessert!  I snapped a few photos and posted my revised recipe for calzones below.  Enjoy!


Just flipped over and sealed...waiting for egg wash 
Brushed with egg wash and sprinkled with shredded cheese; ready to pop in the oven

Calzones (Wheat/Grain Free)


Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup golden flax seed meal (organic golden flax has a milder taste than brown)
2/3 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
3/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder 
Dash cayenne pepper, optional
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (more or less, to taste)
5 - 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Wet Ingredients:
1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute such as Egg Beaters)
1 tablespoon olive oil (a little more, if desired)
2 tablespoons water

Calzone Filling:
Favorite shredded cheese (Italian blend, mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan, etc.)
Favorite pre-cooked toppings (pepperoni, sausage, onions, peppers, mushrooms, etc.)
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Mix dry ingredients together; make a well in the center of the bowl and add wet ingredients; mix well until a dough forms.  If your dough is still too wet, add additional grated Parmesan cheese until dough is stiffer (it will be a bit sticky).  Let the dough sit for about 5 minutes to thicken. Place dough on a baking sheet or cookie sheet lined with greased parchment paper or foil (I use either Reynolds non-stick foil or parchment paper, lightly brushed with olive oil).  If you use parchment paper, it will make it easier to flip the dough over to make the calzone. 

Press the dough out with a rubber spatula (to keep it from sticking) into an approximate 10-11" circle (try to make the circle on one side of the baking pan so you can flip it over towards the center of the pan).  Sprinkle shredded cheese of your choice evenly over the top of 1 half of the dough; top with pre-cooked toppings, a little more shredded cheese and red pepper flakes (optional).  Carefully slide your hand under the parchment paper under the half of the crust nearest the outer end/edge of the pan and gently but quickly fold over the dough towards the center of the pan.  Lay the parchment paper or foil back down and press the edges of the dough to seal so filling ingredients won't melt out while baking.  If desired, lightly brush top of calzone with egg wash to help brown the crust and sprinkle with additional shredded cheese.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until calzone looks and feels done.  Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes.  Serve with pizza sauce on the side for dipping, if desired.



CyberSis said...


Parchment is probably my favorite "new" cooking tool. Don't know where it's been all my life! :-) What a brilliant use for it. Thanks for the tip ... and for the recipe. Calzones, a favorite from a "former" life, find their way into the here-and-now! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Cybersis! I agree -- I don't know why I waited so long to use it either! Costco actually sells a large roll of parchment paper and it is priced very reasonably -- and because it is on a larger roll than you buy in the grocery store, it doesn't curl as much which makes it easier to handle, etc. For this recipe (flipping dough over), it was so much easier than the way I had been doing it...a combination of a rubber spatula and a prayer! ;-) I am going to revisit some of the methods I've used for other recipes to see if parchment can help make things easier other places too -- I'm thinking my cheesy bread that is rolled up -- I think using parchment to roll it would make things much easier with that one also. :-)

unter der laterne said...

Hi GG, I really appreciate all your tips about where to buy products and alerting us to a good sale. You are just like a good neighbor and friend. I really love your daily blog , I am really getting to know you. I am glad that you are not too business like and aloof and share with us your successes and mishaps, which are rare but endearing.(the mishaps)
Be well, Barbara from California.---

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Barbara! Thanks! I really enjoy sharing with others on my blog -- and since this blog is my hobby and something I really enjoy doing, I am able to just be "me"! And believe me, I do have my share of mishaps...but those mishaps just allow me to enjoy the successes even more! Take care... :-)

Darlene said...

I made your calzones last night, using the parchment method to flip. I was a little nervous but it went very well! While we're still getting used to the change from the Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix calzones I used to make, it's sooo nice to be able to have them again!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Darlene! There's a big smile on my face after reading that you were able to make the calzones using the "parchment paper flip"...and I am so glad to hear they helped make missing your Pillsbury calzones a little bit easier! :-)

KellyG said...

This looks really good!.

KellyG said...

I can not wait to make this!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Kelly! I hope you enjoy it. :-)

Unknown said...

Is there a difference in the texture using the flaxseed meal only rather than 1/4 cup almond meal & 1/4 cup flaxseed meal? I just wondered because your pizza dough is so good, why do you just use the flaxseed meal for the calzones and strombolis.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Lesley -- the all flax version makes the dough more pliable and not as stiff like is really good for pizza crust -- either works but the flax version is a bit easier to work with when folding it over. Hope that helps -- glad you like the pizza dough, too! :-)