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Welcome to my Blog 'In The Kitchen With Don'! Thank you for your visit and come back soon!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Calzones for Christmas

It was a cold and snowy Christmas day here in Topeka.   My bf, Aaron, trudged through the snow drifts and made it to my apartment about 5:30 pm.   We had planned on making calzones for supper.   I have made pizza many times, but this was the first time for making calzones.    Aaron had requested we make them using Italian sausage, pepperoni and black olives for the filling.    First I made the dough:

3 1/2-4 cups white flour
1 tbsp. glutin
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tsp. yeast

I put all of this in the bowl of my Kitchen Aid mixer and using the dough hook, beat it until a smooth, elastic and fairly soft dough was made.   Then I allowed it to rise about an hour to an hour and a half.

While the dough was rising I cooked the Italian sausage in a saucepan, until lightly browned, stirring constantly so the large clumps were broken up.   When it was done I pushed all of the meat to one side of the pan and then propped the pan up on one side, to allow the fat to collect on the lower side.   After allowing to drain about 30 minutes, I scooped most of the fat out with a spoon, then took a clean paper towel to soak up the rest.

I love pepperoni, but find it makes pizza way too greasy for me, but heard that if you line a microwave safe plate with paper towels, put a layer of pepperoni slices over the paper towels and cover with another paper towel, then microwave for 1 minute on high, most of the grease will cook off.   I tried it and it really works very well!

And last I opened a small can of sliced black olives and drained them.

By this time the dough was well risen and ready to form into the calzones.    First I preheated the oven to 450 degrees.   Next I divided the dough into quarters and rolled each quarter out into a circle on a floured board, about 1/4 inch thick, maybe 8 inches across.   On half of the circle I spread a thin layer of pizza sauce, sprinkled about 1/2 cup of the cooked Italian sausage, then about 1/4 of the black olives, next a layer of the pepperoni slices and finally about 1/4 cup of grated mozzarella cheese.   I then folded the bare half circle of dough over the filling, stretching slightly to cover all the goodies, then sealed the edges of the dough together by folding under and pinching closed.   I repeated this for the remaining three balls of dough.   When all were filled and sealed, I place them on a greased baking sheet and placed in the hot oven.   They need to bake about 10-15 minutes or until the top is brown and crispy.