My daughter had a calzone (Ham and Cheese -- prosciutto cotte e mozzarella) at a restaurant tonight, and it was excellent. Fresh from a brick oven, where the entire calzone was puffed up when it arrived at the table, then slowly fell back down. It got me thinking.
Has anyone started making calzone? Do you have any techniques you can share? I think we know the basic principles - -but how do you make a really good one?
Please, bring it on. I'd love to have a good formula. Hope somebody out there has the expertise.
Really basic basics
My basics are really basic. Fold it over. :) I am guessing there is more to it.
Anybody out there have more experience with this?
I've made a good amount of calzone on a baking stone in a regular oven and have been happy with the results. I think, like pizza, simpler is better for the filling. I have no experience with calzone in the brick oven and agree that figuring this out should be a goal for this forum. I was considering deviating from pizza (initially thinking of a roast) for my family get-together on Sunday this weekend. I'll have a go at it. I'm guessing a slightly lower temp (than the 800-850 that I have been aiming for lately) would be a good idea but I'll try a range of temperatures. Maybe I'll try half caputo and half bread/cake flour blend because of the possibility it may need to bake longer and therefore might become tough with caputo. I'd love any advice before subjecting my family to this experiment. Maybe calzone for lunch, then retained heat bread baking, then a roast for dinner.
Hey all - Calzones were part of the VPN pizza training i did in LA a while back...very stressful because they get heavy and can burn really quickly.
We basically stretched a regular 10in pizza dough ball into a round - maybe a little smaller. First step, a layer of ricotta on the half closest to you, then add the ham, then the fresh mozz and parm. Fold it over and seal it shut - kind of like the top of an apple pie.
Here was the best tip I learned - tear a hole in the top of the calzone to expose the insides...about the size of a half dollar coin. Drizzle some fresh tomato sauce into the hole and a little bit on the outside of the dough. This will help the fillings to cook nicely!
If the oven is really hot, keep the calzone close to the mouth of the oven - and rotate it like you would a normal pizza - getting it evenly browned on all sides. It should develop some nice blisters here and there just like good pizza dough.
I've been making them that way at home ever since!
Thanks muchly. Good, practical, hands on advice. I'll give it a shot.
OK, we did Calzone for lunch yesterday using the 65% hydration dough - just used an all purpose flour for this first effort. I'm still learning a lot about dough in a brick oven and I allowed more time for my young 'natural leavening' starter to work on the dough at room temperature rather than in the fridge. The more acidified dough was exceptional in the pizza oven - crumb was lighter and the crust had a sharp crispness that really crackled with a very gentle sour flavor that enhanced the calzone. I think I learned more about starter than calzone on this effort, but we did follow jjerrier's small tear and pour tomato sauce over it idea and this was well regarded by all. Mine was the last in the oven and I did not stoke the fire much during baking so the temp had dropped to about 600 and it still cooked well. The first few I cooked close to the oven opening and used my new stainless steel turner paddle (I love it already James) to get even browning.
Finished with a beef shoulder roast and roast potatoes in the oven for dinner. The beef was fall apart tender. Loving the brick oven.
Can you share how you diod the beef. Prep/temp/time
I had 2 beef shoulder roasts (selected that cut based on the price more than anything else) each 1 1/2 pounds. I picked small roasts because it was our first time and was not sure how long it would take. First seared the roasts in olive oil on the stove to get some good browning, then added 2 cups red wine (roughly), about 1/2 cup onion, 2 cups each celery and carrot, salt, pepper, some concentrated beef stock (I cannot recall the name for this, but an almost solid concentrate that needs to be refridgerated after opening) and water to almost cover the roasts. To avoid shocking the firebrick I put a wire baker's rack on the floor of the oven, put the cover on the le creuset pot and placed in the oven on the rack after raking out the coals. Oven temp was 500-550 when I put the roast in, about 400 when I took it out. I left it in for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, I should have turned the roasts over 1/2 way through to allow the fat in the lower part of the roast to render more completely. Over 1/2 the liquid evaporated during the roast but I did not need to add any more liquid. Saved the stock and froze in ice cube trays to use to flavor the next roast.
What type of pan
I can almost taste your roast. Excellent. Did you ever cover it? One option is to use just one pan. Sear the roast in the oven, and add the stock and wine. Then, after the roast is done, you can remove the beef and stock, leaving a few juices, add a few diced onions and veggies to just brown until translucent, then add a couple TBLs of flour until lightly brown, then return the stock.
No pans to clean, and the roast and sauce are nice. But then you don't get to reserve the stock. :)
Sounds like you are enjoying the oven.
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