Jan. 22nd, 2017

charisstoma: (default)
Calzone with a twist

Start with your favorite pizza dough. I’m using our Now or Later Pizza recipe, which yields dough with deep flavor, and (to me) the perfect balance of crunch and chew.

How much dough do you need, exactly? Totally up to you. A recipe using 3 cups of flour will make two medium (12″-long) calzone, or one large (16″). Make that your benchmark when assessing your favorite crust recipe.

Gently deflate your risen dough, and divide it in half.

Working with one half at a time, roll/pat it into a rectangle whose shorter side is about two-thirds to three-fourths the length of its longer side. For instance, 8″ x 12″. Or 12″ x 16″. Do this either right on a lightly greased baking sheet, or on a piece of parchment.

Next, the filling.

Attention, anyone looking for a food-shopping bargain: here’s one of my favorite tips. Check out any cooler case close by the deli section at your supermarket and look for a pile of packaged “ends.” Ham ends, turkey ends, cold cut ends… and best of all, cheese ends.

I regularly get cheese ends at my local Market Basket supermarket for $1.99/pound. I’m not sure what I’m getting; could be any combination of American, Swiss, provolone, or whatever the deli is slicing.

I run the cheese through the food processor, and either use immediately, or freeze.
Voilà! Grated cheese for all of my pizzas, casseroles, lasagna, mac and cheese, etc.

Layer your toppings (fillings) down the center third of the dough, lengthwise. I usually put the cheese down first, in order to showcase the more colorful toppings, which end up peeking through the top crust.

I’m not a huge fan of tomato sauce, which I think makes my crust soggy. I’d rather use oven-roasted tomatoes. For my vegetarian calzone, I’ll add sautéed red and green bell peppers, and “baby bella” mushrooms.

For the classic, I’ll stick with pepperoni.

Now for the fun part. Cut 1″ to 1 1/2″ notches out of each corner of the dough.

Then cut 1″ strips down each side, using a pizza wheel, bench knife, scissors, or the tool of your choice.

Fold the two ends over the filling. Then fold the strips over the filling, alternating sides as you move down the dough and pinching the strips to the sides of the calzone.

You can bake the calzone immediately, if you like; this will give you the calzone equivalent of thin-crust pizza.

For a lighter calzone, cover it and let it rise for about 45 minutes. While the calzone is rising, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Just before baking, brush the calzone with 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, if desired; this will yield a golden brown, slightly shiny crust.

Bake the calzone on a middle rack for 25 to 30 minutes, until it’s golden brown.
Remove the calzone from the oven, and let it cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

I always bake calzone on parchment. See why? Easy cleanup!
charisstoma: (default)
Now or Later Pizza Recipe

An overnight rest in the fridge for the dough gives this pizza crust superb flavor and a delightfully crisp-chewy texture.
Yield: 1 large or 2 medium pizzas.

1 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 cups semolina*
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Pizza Dough Flavor (optional, but delicious)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup + 2 tablespoons to 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
*Use 3 cups all-purpose flour OR 3 cups Perfect Pizza Blend in place of the all-purpose/semolina mixture, if desired

tomato sauce, cooked meats, vegetables, and cheeses of your choice; see tips, below



Beat the ingredients at high speed of your electric mixer, using the beater blade, for 2 minutes. Switch to the dough hook, and knead for 7 minutes; the dough should be smooth and quite soft.
You can also make the dough in a bread machine set on the dough cycle.
If kneading by hand, mix the ingredients, then let the dough rest, covered, for about 30 minutes; this will give the flour a chance to absorb the water, which will make kneading easier.

Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 45 minutes; then refrigerate it for 4 hours (or up to 36 hours); this step will develop the crust’s flavor. It'll continue to rise in the fridge, so make sure it's in a big enough bowl.

Divide the dough in half. Note: for thick, Sicilian-style pizza, leave the dough in one piece, and press it into a rimmed half-sheet pan (18" x 13").

Working with one piece of dough at a time, pick it up and let gravity gently stretch it into an oval.
For a more circular shape, move your hands around the perimeter of the dough as it stretches. For thin-crust pizza, make a 12" round or oval.
For thick-crust, make a 9" round.

Cover the dough, and let it rest while you heat your oven to 450°F. For thickest crust, let your pizza rest/rise for 60 minutes before baking.

After about 30 minutes, use a giant spatula or pizza peel to transfer the pizzas and parchment to your hot oven stone; or place the pizzas and parchment on a pan, and place the pan on the middle rack of your oven.

Bake for 6 minutes (for a thinner, larger crust), or for up to 8 minutes for a smaller/thicker crust. Remove from the oven.

To enjoy pizza right away, top it with your favorite toppings, return to an upper rack of the oven (not to the stone), and bake for an additional 8 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbly.

To serve pizzas some other time, remove the parchment, cool the un-topped crusts, wrap them well in plastic wrap, and store at room temperature for 2 or 3 days. Refrigerate for up to 5 days; or freeze for up to 4 weeks.

When you’re ready to serve, remove the crusts from the refrigerator or freezer. While they warm to room temperature, heat your oven to 450°F; frozen crusts should be taken out of the freezer and thawed earlier in the day; leave them in the bag, but leave the bag open as they thaw.
Top crusts with your favorite toppings and place them on a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet, then on an upper rack of the oven. Bake the pizzas for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbly.
Yield: 1 large or 2 medium pizzas.
charisstoma: (default)

Use Now or Later Pizza recipe or

A calzone is nothing so much as a thin-crust pizza topped on only half its surface, then folded over on itself. The fillings are sealed inside; the folded-over pizza – a.k.a. calzone – bakes up golden brown; and its top-and-bottom crust safely contains all the delicious (and messy) topping ingredients, which have now become filling.

Place the following in a bowl (or the bucket of your bread machine):
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup lukewarm water*

*How much water should you use? Well, it’s best to start with the lesser amount, as you can always add more (but can’t add less). And here’s a rule of thumb: Use the lesser amount in the summer, the greater amount in the winter, and somewhere in between in the spring and fall. Your goal is a soft dough.

Mix and knead — using your hands, a mixer, or a bread machine set on the dough setting — to make a soft, smooth dough.

Can you make this with whole wheat flour? Try substituting 1/2 cup of whole wheat for 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour, to start; if you like the result, increase the amount of whole wheat flour next time.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or other rising container (an 8-cup measure works well), cover it, and let it rise until it’s just about doubled in bulk, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Gently deflate the dough, and divide it in half.

While the dough rests for a few minutes, make the filling.

Combine the following in a small bowl:

10 ounces spinach (fresh or frozen), cooked, drained, and squeezed completely dry
1 cup ricotta cheese, whole-milk or part-skim
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Working with one half at a time, place the dough on a piece of parchment, or onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Pat it into a 10″ to 11″ circle.

Spread half of each disk of dough with half the filling. Fold the unfilled half over the filling, crimping and pressing the edges together to seal.

If you’ve shaped the dough on parchment, lift the parchment onto a baking sheet. Or, if you have a pizza stone in your oven, place the parchment on a peel, for easiest transport.

Cut 3 or 4 slits in the top of each calzone, to allow steam to escape. Brush with olive oil.

Or brush with a thin layer of pizza sauce, and top with shredded cheese.

Let the calzone rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 450°F.

Bake the calzone for 18 to 22 minutes, until they’re golden brown.

charisstoma: (default)

FB3X Drabble Cascade Every TuesdayFB3X Drabble Cascades

Welcome to the FB3X Drabble Cascade, a weekly blog hop where we want you to share your drabbles, or flash fiction inspired by our word of the week. To join in, just post your piece to your blog/social media/website and add your link to the list with Title (Rating, Genre), e.g. A Little Bit of Fun (PG, Science Fiction) and then to perpetuate the cascade, add the list code to the bottom of your post :)

Title: Familiar University Incident (PG, Fantasy, m/m)
Author: charisstoma
Word count: 100

Issac realized how privileged he was to be allowed to tour the local university for his article on educational institutions. Not all had been so amenable. Due to disruption of instruction actual classes were off-limits but all the rest he could observe, he’d been told.

There were so many cats on campus and he found himself smiling as he entered one of the dormitories. Housing was a topic of interest in deciding which school to choose. Pets were definitely a plus.

Sounds from one room drew him to interrupt a cat fight.
They told him to get out!
He did.

More in Part 2


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