Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Spicy Chorizo Calzones

Sometimes when Hubbs and I pass the pizza store on Church Avenue as we do our grocery shopping, he thinks he needs pizza suddenly, but costing $3 a slice (meaning just sauce and cheese - Hubbs is not vegan, remember), it can add up.  And what quality of ingredients to they really use anyway?  I am always telling him that I would much rather make it myself with quality ingredients and have him eat something made with love.  So he got the brilliant idea the other day to make calzones.  I'm not sure if he's even ever had them before, but saw them in the pizza store, got really excited and wanted them. 

I have definitely mastered the pizza thing, but I've never made a calzone before.  So, I of course went online and followed some instructions off of someone's blog (of course I can't remember which blog now).  I really liked how they weighed out the dough to keep things consistent.  They suggested using 4 oz. pieces of dough.  I've made the dough a thousand times before but have never weighed it, so that seemed like a decent number to me.  Now, however, thinking back, that was a HUGE piece of raw dough, because it still had to proof, then bake, which would make it about 2 times the size. 

So, using a double batch of pizza dough, I ended up making 8 incredibly giant calzones, 3 of which I ended up freezing, because once we ate them for several days straight, we didn't want to see them for a long time to come!  So here is the process I went through making them for the first time.  I will definitely make them smaller next time and not fill them as full, because several of them lost their delicious cheesy filling.  We'll just have to wait till next time to see how much better they will be.  They were crazy delicious though, especially when dipped in warm homemade marinara sauce!  Yum!

Spicy Chorizo Calzones:

Yes, I am a GIANT calzone, but made Hubbs happy!

Pizza Dough:
1 cup warm water, not too hot
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups unbleached flour

vegan cheese, shredded
sauteed green peppers and onions
homemade marinara sauce
vegan sausages, cooked and sliced

1.  To prepare the dough: place the water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.  Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes until bubbly.  If it does not bubble up, the yeast may be dead, so start over.
2.  Into the bubbled up mixture, add the olive oil and sea salt.  Mix again.  While the stand mixer is working, add the flour in 1/2 cup increments until it is all incorporated.  Mix for a couple minutes, until when the dough is touched, it springs back. 
3.  Place a towel over the dough, place it in a warm place and allow it to double in size, about 45-60 minutes. 
4.  In the meantime, prepare the rest of the ingredients: saute the veggies, prepare the marinara sauce, shred the cheese, saute and slice the sausages.
5.  Punch the dough back down and separate the dough into 2 ounce pieces.  Generously flour the countertop, roll the piece of dough in the flour and roll out into a nice sized circle. 
6.  Place the cheese, veggies, sausages and marinara in the very center of the circle.  Do not overfill.  Carefully place the top of the dough over the center, and using a fork, press the dough together to create a good seal. 
7.  Finish the rest of the calzones as above.  Once the calzones are filled, place on a oiled baking sheet and again cover with a towel.  Allow to rise for about 30 minutes.
8.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
9.  Once the calzones have risen again, place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the dough has cooked all the way through and the top is nice and golden.  Let cool for several minutes before serving.

The uncooked pizza dough with the "cheese" & sauteed veggies
& my flour bin in the background (didn't notice it there before)

Topping with the cooked vegan sausages

Homemade Marinara

Sealed the calzone

After the calzone baked, all the cheesy goodness
seeping out the side.

Fresh baked calzone sliced in half for the Hubbs
How freaking delicious does this look??



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