Thursday, January 26, 2012

Vegetable Calzone

I haven't made my own pizza dough in many, many years so I'm way out of practice. But, I can't seem to find a good calzone in this city so I had to try my hand at making my own. These calzones turned out pretty good, but I would have done some things differently as I'll mention in the instructions.

Vegetable Calzone
Serves 4

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Turbinado (or other brown sugar)
  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp pizza seasoning (Williams Sonoma is my favorite)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 cups all purpose flour (2.5 cups for the dough and 1.5 for kneading)
  • Pizza sauce
  • Your choice of toppings (I used green peppers and red onions, diced plus mushrooms, sliced)
  • Jalapenos, jarred (optional)
  • Lightlife Smart Deli pepperoni style slices
  • Daiya vegan cheese
  • Marinara sauce for dipping (I used Mia's Kitchen)
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and brown sugar in the water and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, add the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, pizza seasoning and olive oil and whisk it all together until it is mixed well.

Mix in the 2.5 cups of flour until you have a good dough going. Move the dough onto a clean, well floured surface and knead more flour in a little bit at a time until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well-oiled large bowl (remember it will rise and double in size). Cover with a small kitchen towel. Let the dough rise until it is double its size -- usually takes about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 425-degrees. Then, punch down the dough to get all of the air out and form it into a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling it out. Separate it into 4 equal parts (to make 4 calzones). Roll out each portion of the dough into a round or square shaped crust and place onto an oiled baking sheet.

Evenly spread the pizza sauce over the crust and add your toppings. This is where I messed up. I had sliced my green peppers and onions rather than dicing them so I couldn't fit as many in and they poked out of the dough. Just dice your veggies and you'll be fine. Add the Smart Deli pepperoni slices. Add jalapenos, if you like, and top with vegan cheese.

Fold the crust in half until the two sides meet and roll the sides up so the toppings are trapped in the dough. Brush a light layer of olive oil onto the top of the calzones, then cut 3-4 vents in the top. Bake until the crust is golden brown (about 25 minutes).

In the meantime, heat the marinara on the stovetop. Once they are ready, serve them with marinara on the side for dipping. Oh, and remember these are super hot so cut them open and let the steam come out before biting into them or you will get the pizza burn on the top of your mouth!

I really had fun making these mainly because I hadn't ever made my own calzones. I have to give plugs to Lightlife, Daiya, and Mia's Kitchen on this one. I had forgotten how much I love the Smart Deli pepperoni style slices. I could eat them straight out of the box! They are so perfect for this recipe. The Daiya cheese melts so beautifully and tastes so good. And Mia's Kitchen Marinara is delicious! Bon appetit!

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