Calzones, also called pizza pockets, are a great way of enjoying an Italian dish on the go. It is known to have made its first appearance in Naples, Italy as food that can be eaten with the hands without using any plates or bowls.
The ingredients of a calzone are very similar to those of a pizza. This is one reason why many people refer to calzones as pizza pockets. Even the dough is the same as pizza crust. In short, if you were to take pizza crust, put your pizza toppings on it and folded it into a semi-circle, you will get a calzone.
Today’s recipe uses ricotta, mozzarella and ham. But you can experiment calzone fillings with a ton of choices. From filling meats and veggies to cooking veg calzones only, the variations and choices are abundant when it comes to the filling. A typical restaurant may serve you calzones that mostly feature the same fillings as pizza toppings. This is why, when you make it at home, you can indulge in trialing new ingredients for the filling.
I am including a simple pizza dough recipe which will work as the crust or the pocket for the calzone, but you can use any pizza dough recipe for it.
Making the doughPrint
- 1 packet or 1 tbsp. dry active yeast
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- In a bowl, add the yeast, honey and warm water and set it aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate and froth.
- Add 2 ½ cups of flour and mix it well.
- If the dough is not sticky any longer, then don’t add more flour. If it is sticky, then add the rest of the flour.
- Move your dough to a board and knead it with your palms in the traditional kneading manner. Knead it for about five minutes. Your dough should be slightly sticky and very pliable.
- Pour some olive oil in a bowl and move the dough into the bowl. Use a damp towel to cover the bowl and set it aside to rise for about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Once it rises to about double the size, take it back to your board and flatten the dough with your fingers. Cut it into four equal pieces like you would cut a pizza.
- Make four balls out of these four pieces and let it rise again for another 30 minutes. Your dough is ready.
Making the calzonePrint
- 8 slices of prosciutto
- 2 cups ricotta, drained
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced and drained on a paper towel. (If you use processed mozzarella then you will not have to drain)
- 1 ½ cup smoked ham, finely diced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cornmeal for the baking tray
- Egg wash
- Parmesan cheese to dust the top of the calzone
- Take one of the dough balls and flatten it on your rolling board. Roll it out about 8 to 9 inch in diameter and about 1/8 of an inch thick.
- Place two slices of the prosciutto on one side of the dough. Make sure to leave about ½ an inch of the crust to fold the calzone
- Add ½ a cup of ricotta on top of it
- Season with black pepper and cayenne
- Add about ¼ cup of the diced ham
- Place the mozzarella on top of the ham
- Dip your fingers in a cup of water and dampen the tips of the dough. This will help the calzone stick properly
- Fold over the other half of the dough and stick it with your fingers
- Fold in the extra dough on the lip of the calzone to secure the pocket
- Puncture three holes on the top to make way for moisture
- Take a baking tray and line it with parchment paper or baking paper. Sprinkle cornmeal on the tray. Put the calzone on the tray and dust it with parmesan cheese
- Bake at 500 degrees F for 15 minutes or till the top is golden brown