Pepperoni and shiitake calzone

Calzone| Prep time: 30 min | Cooking time: 30 min |

Yields 4~6 calzones

I’ll be honest, for most of my life, I’d been consuming Pillsbury Pizza Pops without knowing that they were cheap, mass-produced calzones. Well, I knew the cheap and mass-produced part, at least. But calzone wasn’t something that I’d ever heard mentioned around the Vancouver area until relatively recently.

Any ways, after living in Japan for nearly four years, I was craving some comfort food. Pizza Pops used to be just that: food I consumed after a long day at school to tide me over until dinner. I’ve never found anything like them here. I can’t even order a pack from Costco or the Foreign Buyer’s Club. So I set about altering an old pizza recipe to a calzone recipe.

I learned a really valuable lesson during my first attempt at making calzones though. No matter how many you think you can eat, making one that is 21cm in diameter isn’t wise unless you made it directly in the pan. Moving it from the rolling sheet to the pan can prove difficult, to say the least. Also, just a heads up but I don’t have a “real” oven here in Japan. I have two options: an old school toaster oven and a microwave/oven combo (it actually has exposed oven elements). So please keep an eye on your calzone as cooking times and temperatures will vary!

DoughDough Ingredients:

  • 300 ml all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon comprised of dried basil, oregano, majoram, thyme, and crushed rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 100 ml plain, unsweetened yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

FillingFilling Ingredients:

  • 100 ml red onion, finely chopped
  • 100 ml green pepper, finely chopped
  • 60 ml pepperoni, sliced
  • 60 ml shiitake, diced
  • 350 ml mozzarella, grated
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 120 ml tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon comprised of dried basil, oregano, marjoram, and roasted onion flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • A dash of cayenne pepper
  • A dash of crushed, dried chili flakes
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Combine the wet and dry dough ingredients separately. Slowly combine the wet into the dry and knead the mixture for 5~10 minutes. Add additional yoghurt or flour as necessary.
  2. Cover the dough with a damp clothe and let it rest for at least 10 minutes.
  3. While the dough is resting, brown the green pepper and onion. At the same time, get your oven pre-heating to 375F.
  4. Mix the tomatoes, tomato sauce, spices, honey, and salt into the onion and green pepper. Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Add the mushrooms and pepperoni to the mixture. Continue cooking until the mushrooms are soft and you’ve reduced the fluid in the pan. You want your filling to be quite thick.
  6. Once the filling has thickened up, remove it from the heat and stir in the cheese. Allow this mixture to cool slightly before making your calzone.
  7. Divide the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured rolling sheet, keeping it as circular as possible. I think I rolled mine to about an 1/8 of an inch thick. If you’ve quartered the dough, then use roughly a quarter of the filling for each calzone. Spoon the filling onto just under half of the dough in a crescent moon shape. Stack the filling high while keeping in mind that you’ve already rolled the dough. You don’t want to stretch it any more than you have to at this point.
  8. Fold the dough over and seal it with a fork. If you’re worried about sealing, you can brush some beaten egg into the seam before sealing. I didn’t find this was necessary, however. Carefully lift your calzones from the rolling sheet and place them on a well oiled, lipped baking sheet. Baste the outside of the calzones with extra virgin olive oil to help it brown evenly.
  9. Bake them at 375F on the centre rack for 25~30 minutes.
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