Pepperoni Calzones

  I have spent the last year overcoming my fear of yeast.  Yes, there were ugly roll days, crunchy, flat breadsticks that rose and popped, and even burnt bottom rolls, that were otherwise gorgeous…SO CLOSE!

  Yeast and I used to have a love-hate relationship, but I gotta say, the more you work with it, the easier it comes together!

  I have 3 days of Calzones planned, and I want you to be brave and try your hand at homemade dough, even if you HATE yeast and it hates you back!  I used to just use a roll of Pillsbury Pizza dough for things like this, but guys, that is a white flour bread, and terrible for you!  Sooo, this one uses a white wheat flour, my favorite.  This kind of wheat is lighter in color than traditional wheat, so it has all the benefits of wheat, without the heaviness.  It’s a win-win!

 Fresh ingredients make the BEST food, so keep that in mind, as I ask you to shred fresh mozzarella. It is well worth the extra effort, as it melts and tastes WAY better than the pre-shredded packages of cheese!  We also used homemade marinara sauce from the garden that we made this summer, but I know all of you can’t use that. I’d offer some of ours, but we’d run out! 🙂  Instead, I am suggesting a good quality one from the store. 

Pepperoni Calzones

{click title for easy printable}

Pepperoni Calzones txt

FOR THE DOUGH:

  • 1 cup Lukewarm Water
  • 2-¼ teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Sugar
  • 3 cups Flour {White Wheat or even a mix of white and whole wheat flours}
  • 1 Egg Beaten With 2 T. Water

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1 jar (25 Oz) High Quality Marinara Sauce
  • 1 cup Sliced Pepperoni, I Like The Fatter Slices Of Fresh From The Deli, But Regular Or Mini Could Work Here Too!
  • 1 whole Ball Of FRESH Mozzarella, Shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon Of A Combo Of Oregano, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme Or An Italian Blend
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

For the dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, salt and sugar, and stir to dissolve. Set aside for 15 minutes, then add the flour, using the dough hook, and mix until smooth. Knead about 4-6 minutes on medium low speed, adding more flour if necessary. The dough should feel smooth and elastic and not stick to the sides of the bowl or your fingers. However, do not overwork the dough!
Lightly oil a bowl and place dough inside, cover with sprayed plastic wrap, and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size. (The time this takes depends on the temperature and humidity of your house, mine took 3 hours.) Divide the dough in half, then each half in thirds. Shape each piece into a ball. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap again, and let rise another 15-20 minutes.

For the filling:
Shred the fresh mozzarella. Do not skip this step! You will be blown away at how amazing fresh mozzarella tastes and melts,
compared to the pre-shredded stuff! Toss with Italian seasonings of choice and garlic powder.

To assemble:
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
On a lightly floured surface, spread each dough ball into a nice-sized circle. Spoon a marinara sauce on each circle of dough, covering one half, but leaving a nice clean edge. Next, divide seasoned mozzarella between them, then the pepperoni, be generous! YUM! Fold in half and seal by crimping the edges of the dough with your fingers. Brush calzones with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water). Make a small incision on the top. Optional: Sprinkle tops of each calzone with more Italian seasonings and/or parmesan cheese for an extra punch of flavor.
Bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Enjoy with warmed up leftover marinara sauce and a nice salad!

~T

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12 thoughts on “Pepperoni Calzones

  1. Wow this sounds yummy. Ok so for a total newbie with dough, I have a stupid question…approx how long would it take the dough to rise? Are we talking minutes or hours? Haha! I’m anxious to try this myself, having NEVER attempted homemade dough!

    🙂 Heather

    • No such thing as a stupid question! Mine took 3 hours, but my house is cool. In the summer, it might have been an hour. They key is just to watch for DOUBLE in size!!!!! Covering it with sprayed saran wrap will allow you to see the progress without drying out the dough.
      Oh, I wish I could help you! I learned by trial and error, and some days, I STILL can’t get it right. Dough is very temperature sensitive! Come back and tell me how it goes!!!! 🙂 Hugs, T

  2. Wow these do look inviting and yummy!
    That first photo makes me want to take a big bite 🙂
    Good thing I have a piece of left over Pizza for lunch !

  3. I make ALL my yeast doughs in my kitchen aid mixer with my dough hook – maybe that’s cheating but it does all the work for you – kneading and all and it comes out awesome every time…just ask my husband:)

  4. Hi Tonya,

    I LOVE working with yeast and baking bread. It is my craft “therapy” since I am an absolute flop at regular crafty stuff. LOL. Did you know that as you use yeast in your kitchen, the environment becomes more yeast friendly? Yep, microscopic yeast spores escape when you use yeast and they actually live in your kitchen environment – nope, you can’t “clean them off”, they just live and thrive in the air. This makes your kitchen more yeast friendly in the long run and as you introduce new yeast spores through working with yeast, they just get happier and happier and your breads come out happier too. Just a tidbit of information that I’ve picked up through the years that I thought I’d share. I love cooking and baking and yeast is one of my very best friends. I’m so glad you’ve gotten to know “her” too. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Thinking Outside the Lunch Box: 6 Steps To Keeping Lunch FUN!

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