The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough calzone

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Sourdough calzone

There's a bumper crop of Swiss chard in the backyard. Love spanakopita, saag etc, and a lot of the harvest has gone on those dishes, but a couple of weeks ago 'calzone' began to beat an insistent rhythm in my head. I began to imagine a filling of Swiss chard, ricotta, feta, mushroom, ham maybe...

I bake SD pizzas weekly, so thought I should be able to wing it with calzone (haven't made it before). I adjusted the dough to be a little firmer, concocted that filling I had envisaged, and voila:

There's a couple of lessons in this pic.

Lesson #1: The steam-release slashes in the top of the calzones closed up because the dough was still not firm enough, despite adjusting the flour content up. Note to self - make the dough firmer for calzones than pizzas (my usual pizzas are thin-crust SD and high hydration).

Lesson #2: The calzone at the top of the pic is misshapen. This is because I foolishly shaped and filled it on the benchtop and had to try to shift it on to baking paper to get it on to the peel and into the oven - duh! If you make a firm dough, not such a problem (you could maybe just load directly on to a semolina-sprinkled peel), but I was lucky to salvage it at all.

Here's a cross-sectional shot:

Ideally, I suppose there shouldn't be that caving under the crust, but I've had calzones from good pizzerias that also have that, so I wasn't too concerned. Most importantly, the filling worked extremely well and the calzones were just delicious. All the oohs and ahhs suggested that this was the beginning of a special relationship (not sure that sentence came out quite as intended).

 

A week later, calzone night again! This time I firmed up the dough more and added some ham to the filling. SO much easier with a firmer dough, and the slashes on top stayed open. The resulting calzones were again ridiculously good - better than any I have had out. And second time around, my shaping had improved (though not my photography - to avoid the green hues our CFL kitchen lights impart, I had to use flash):

Pre-bake... Start with a circle of dough stretched out like pizza, but not as thin. Spoon the filling in a pile on the half of the dough circle closest to you, leaving a margin of 3 cm or more for the seal. Bring the dough forward over the filling, lining up the edges. Fold the edge back over once, then press down all the way along with the tines of a fork, as with an apple pie. Fold over again and seal with your thumbs or a finger (this is the final stage, after which the pic was taken). A little milk brushed on first can help the dough seal to stick.

 

The top was brushed with milk so it didn't burn during the bake.

 

Wonky angle, but you get the idea.

 

Out of time, but will return and post my recipe directly.

OK, took a while longer to get back than anticipated, but here's the recipe:
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Sourdough Calzone

Dough (makes 3 calzones or pizzas):
20g SD starter @ 100% hydration
3 small pinches dry yeast
300g water
500g baker's flour (AP would probably be fine, also)
6g salt

  • Stir up starter and water, then add other ingredients and mix (I do it by hand).
  • Let stand 30 mins
  • Tip out on to lightly floured bench and knead 5 mins, or until gluten starts to develop and dough loses most of its stickiness. If dough is very sticky and unworkable, add a bit more flour as you knead  - but only a bit.
  • Divide dough into three portions of same weight, and form into tight balls. Roll around in oiled plastic containers (I use one per ball) so balls are covered in oil, put lid on containers and store in fridge 1-3 days.
  • If you want to bake same day, allow 5 hours to proof outside fridge prior to shaping and baking. For retarded dough, remove from fridge about 3 hours before shaping and baking. (I'm assuming a moderate ambient temp, say 21-24C/70-75F...if higher or lower, you'll need to adjust proof times out of fridge accordingly).


Filling:
200g Swiss chard leaf, chopped
50 stems, fine-chopped
150g mushroom, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 chilli, chopped
2 slices leg ham, chopped (optional)
200g ricotta
50g feta, crumbled
35g provolone (or any tasty melting cheese), grated
35g fresh-grated mozzarella, grated
25g milk (approx)
pepper, dried oregano, paprika to taste
NB: Salt not necessary - the feta provides sufficient salt

  • Fry onion and Swiss chard stems on moderate heat a few minutes, then add mushroom and cook until done.
  • Add garlic and chilli and fry another couple of minutes. Don't let garlic colour.
  • Combine cheeses and add enough milk to achieve nice consistency. Combine all ingredients and mix gently.

Shaping:

  • Flatten dough ball slightly with palm on sheet of baking paper, then spread gently and gradually from centre with fingers to form circle. I find it best not to use rolling pin, as this adversely affects aeration - you want the air left in the dough.
  • See above (under pre-baked picture) for rest of shaping directions.
  • Prior to loading into oven, cut 3 slashes on top of calzone, then brush with milk.

Baking:

  • Pre-heat oven to 250C/480F with pizza stone. Transfer 2 calzones on baking paper to pizza stone (they should just about cover the stone).
  • After 10 mins, lower temp to 225c/435F. Bake another 7-10 mins. Check to make sure crust is not burning, and lower temp a little further if necessary (I didn't need to, but of course, ovens vary).

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Highly recommend you give these babies a try. Fantastic change from pizza, and if you have a backyard crop of Swiss chard or similar, this is one of the best ways I've come across to devour it! Serve one per person with a nice shiraz or other red of your choice and fresh salad, and line up the DVD. You won't be in any shape to do anything more strenuous!

Cheers!
Ross

 

Comments

sam's picture
sam

Oh, my gosh.    I love calzones.   Those look great.   You are making me hungry.   :-)

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

One way to satisfy that calzone hunger - recipe now posted, so no excuse!

Cheers!
Ross

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

You mentioned lowering the hydration for the dough but never stated the per centage. Will you divulge the numbers?

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Rossnroller,

These look great.  I especially like that the dough is nice and thin.  When I have attempted something similar the dough overwhelms the filling....well, duh.....I just need to use less dough, roll it thinner and add more filling!!  Your photos have just helped me come to that conclusion more quickly had I had to stumble upon it myself :-)  Me thinks I will have to  get the rolling pin out this weekend but I am thinking a sweet filling as my daughter wants something to take to one of her classes next week but then there is that sausage I have frozen in the freezer......or the taco meat that my son loves....

Guess all decisions will have to wait until you post the final recipe so I know how to mix up the dough or I can simply use my pizza dough recipe...

Thanks for the post!

Janet

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Recipe now posted. Of course, fillings possibilities are endless. I've never thought of making a sweet calzone, but why not? What sort of sweet filling are you envisaging?

Would love to see a pic of whatever you end up baking.

Cheers!
Ross

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Ross,

Thanks for the recipe.  How nice that the dough can be mixed as stored until ready to use.  Very convenient...

Not sure what I would add - something along the lines of a cream cheese and fruit mixture.....There is a 'Blueberry Cream Cheese Braid' posted here under the favorite recipe section and it looks tantalizing but I like the smaller quantity of dough yours has and a less sweet dough too since the filling in the recipe is soooo sweet....Something for me to ponder....I will let you know what I do but do not promise a picture....camera shy here (aka technologically challenged....some times I can figure it out, sometimes not....).

Thanks again for posting the ingredients and process.

Janet

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Understand your camera-shyness! I'm a bit the same when I take in some of the pics from the good photographers here.

Anyway, if you concoct a sweet calzone you're pleased with, would love to hear about it. Since you put that possibility out there, I've been thinking maybe apple, sugar, cloves, nutmeg, ricotta - and your mention of cream cheese may complete the picture. Or maybe marscopone? And even though the dough isn't sweet, perhaps a good sprinkling of raw sugar to caramelise during the bake might be worth a thought. I guess this is getting close to apple turnover without all the butter of a laminated pastry casing. Hmmm...

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Ross,

After posting my last note I thought of apples too....I was going to do it this weekend but opted for cinnamon raisin rolls instead.  Had tree damage in the snow storm here last week and was busy cutting all of it up to stack and burn....so creativity in the kitchen was usurped by necessity in the yard.....

I do like the idea of ricotta instead of cream cheese though...a bit lighter.....but then what to do with the cream cheese sitting in the refrig.....too many possibilities :-0

Janet

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Ross,

Well, I did it and the tree limbs got sawed up too!

Husband's birthday is tomorrow and he loves apple crisp....I decided to do an apple 'calzone' (Calzone in shape only..)

I did end up using a basic sweet dough using sd. I let it sit all night in the refrig and constructed the loaf this morning.  I rolled dough out thin like yours and covered half with apple slices - tossed some raisins, cinnamon and agave nectar on top of them and then a few dots of butter for good measure - sealed her up and let it all proof for several hours.  The crust got a bit dark - I was 'supervising' my 15 year old son who was using my mini chain saw to saw up the larger tree limbs.....he was having a lot of fun and getting a bit carried away..... power tools in the hands of an adolescent male .......I figured a darker crust was better than a severed body part  :-0

Now to wait to see how it tastes....have to wait until tomorrow so it is hidden in my daughter's room....hopefully it is safe.

Was fun to make and something I will more than likely do in the future with another filling....

Thanks again for the inspiration :-)

Janet

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Saw your post when you published it and meant to get back when I had more time, then forgot.

So, how did the apple calzone go down? Were you pleased with the final product? Do tell!

Any pics?

Cheers
Ross

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

No pictures....hectic here with birthday celebration and daughter heading off for an audition at an out of state univ....

I liked the end result but my youngest son doesn't like cooked apples so wouldn't even taste it; my daughter said she would have preferred apple crisp but ate a nice slice and my husband ate it with a grin on his face but no comment....I gave 1/2 to a telephone repair man who was here repairing our outdoor line - he was delighted with the unexpected treat.

I at least have a base now off of which to experiment more in the future with other fillings so that feels good. 

Thanks for asking :-)

Janet

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

It is Fall here so my garden is gone but this looks like it calls for a trip to the produce department. I'm hanging here waiting for the recipe.
Eric

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Recipe now up. Sorry for the delay. Hope you give these bad lads a go and enjoy them as much as I do. If so, would love to see a pic.

Cheers!
Ross

lumos's picture
lumos

::drools:: 

The combination of the filling ingredients just look divine!!  Got to make this soon. 

Thank you for sharing, Ross.

lumos

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

...TFL should come with an appropriate warning! Glad to get one back on you, Lumos!

And thank you! Always a pleasure to share a good baking/eating experience. I've learnt most of what I know about bread baking on TFL, thanks to the generosity of the community here, certainly including you.

Cheers!
Ross

lumos's picture
lumos

Like this?

:p

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Just drop the extra 'c' from acute!  Sorry, Lumos - I'm an obsessive and a pedant! The sort to avoid getting stuck next to at a dinner party...

Or, you could go for an image instead of words:

lumos's picture
lumos

gosh, how embarassing.... sorry.  Thanks for pointing out.

Here's the corrected one.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Wow!  Your calzone are making me hungry.  I love the thin crispy looking crust along with the lovely fillings.  Love the rustic look too,  I much prefer it to something perfectly formed.

Thanks for sharing : )  It's that cooler fall weather makes these even more tempting...hummm next pizza firing, I think I'll add some calzone.

Sylvia

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Right with you on the rustic look, too (although it's just as well in my case - not big on delicate presentation, generally!).

Looking real forward to checking out your calzones. O to have a wood-fired oven. One thing about these calzones is that they need to be baked 17-20 mins to ensure the filling is hot. Thus, unlike with pizzas, where high temps beyond the max range of a home oven are the ideal, it is not a disadvantage baking these in a domestic oven. EXCEPT, you don't get that inimitable smoky wood undertone to the flavour. So, your WFO version will really sing, I'm sure.

Cheers!
Ross

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Ross, that looks like a fun process. I'm wondering about the added milk at the end of preparing the filling. Is it so dry you need additional moisture? A little cream maybe?

Eric

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

You do need some milk brushed on to the outside of the dough prior to loading into the oven; otherwise the dough browns too much over 20 minutes. But you could spray with water, I guess, or just put some aluminium foil over to protect the crust once it's browned enough.

I think, though, you're referring to the milk added to the grated cheeses when combining them. Yes, its function is just to bind the cheeses and make the mix a little more moist. It's a trick I employ regularly in my spanakopita to keep beaten egg quantity down to a minimum, so I didn't think twice about it. Cream (or beaten egg) would serve the same purpose. I was very pleased with the flavour of the filling, but if you'd rather use cream it certainly wouldn't hurt! Good lawd no! Luuurve cream!

For those who would prefer not to add any milk or cream, there's probably enough moisture from the spinach leaves and stalks not to use any.

Cheers!
Ross

Franko's picture
Franko

Now it's my turn to drool Ross!

I love calzone and yours look and sound delicious. Thanks for sharing your recipe. The first time I had one was at a restaurant in Vancouver (20+years ago) that had a huge brick oven. They did a Sicilian style calzone with either chard or spinach,  salami, peppers- fresh and pickled,  various cheeses, spicy tomato sauce.... and 1/2 a hard boiled egg tucked in the middle of it all.  OMG!  I can still remember the aroma wafting out when I cut into it. One of my favourite food memories, and your calzone brought it all back for me. Thanks!

Cheers Ross,

Franko

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

And thanks for sharing those calzone memories! That Sicilian-style one sounds scrumptious. In fact, next calzone bake I think I might take a cue from your post and include some charred, skinned fresh peppers and preserved ones in the filling mix.

Cheers!
Ross

Franko's picture
Franko

Ross,

Memory not being what it used to be, I remembered this morning that the Sicilian calzone had black olives in the filling as well. Between the hard boiled egg and the olives I think the egg contributed more flavour.

Franko

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Olives + pizza = perfect match.

Know what you mean about memory not bein' what it useta. Well, the memory is still there - it just takes longer to access sometimes! When are they gonna develop brain RAM upgrades?

Best!
Ross

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks for the recipe Ross...was very curious about that mouth watering filling...sounds almost better than it looks. Four cheeses? Oh Yeah!

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Oh yeah indeed! I do believe I sense in you a fellow cheese fiend...

Cheers!
Ross

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Oh, wow that looks good!  When pizza night rolls around again at my house I think it's going to look a lot like this.  Thanks for sharing!

Marcus

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Would love to have your impressions - photographic and otherwise - if your next pizza night does end up lookin' how you're thinkin'!

Cheers!
Ross

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Thanks to this post pizza night took a very tasty turn this week.  OK, so I still made a pizza to appease the family, but next into the oven was the giant calzone.  First into the calzone filling went the last remnants of my now frozen garden:  tomatoes, basil, chard and zucchini.  Then some corn, some sautéed mushrooms and a whole lot of cheese.  I brushed the whole thing with olive oil and baked about 20 minutes at 450F.

The dough is lean, with about 40-50% whole wheat, a little yeast, and a big lump of sourdough starter.  I know this is a little vague, but the dough is never quite the same twice.

Oh, my!  Was it ever good!  I cut into it before it had a chance to set, couldn’t resist, but that didn’t interfere with the devouring!  I’ve always been a fan of calzone so why has it never occurred to me to make one?  Well, those days are over!  Thanks Ross!

Marcus

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

What a humdinger of a calzone! Who said size doesn't matter? Big, bold, and beyootiful! And what a great way to celebrate the last of the season's produce from your garden.

Thanks so much for sharing the joy with your scrumtilicious pics.

Cheers!
Ross