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Calzone and Pizza

The heady aroma of fresh pizza or calzone baking in the oven is intoxicating to say the least. Once you’ve had it fresh all others just don’t compare. Most people opt for delivery or heaven forbid frozen. When making it fresh is easier than one might think.  Don’t be intimidated by the thought of fresh yeast it very easy to work with. Working with yeast dough can actually be therapeutic the results will be so gratifying and impressive.

As for the yeast this is not very difficult you just need to make sure the water isn’t to hot. 1.) Any warmer than 120°f and the yeast will not survive.   2.) Add the salt to the flour and mix well or I like to add it at the end of your mix.  Adding it at the end after a short rest period also allows the yeast to start working.   You don’t even have to use hot water if you don’t mind waiting.  The warm water just speeds up the proofing and rise time of your dough.  If you’re using cooler water add 30 minutes or more to the rise time to allow your dough to double in size.  So just remember never let the yeast come in contact with the salt.  The salt needs to be mixed in a the end or mixed with the flour before hand.  Salt will kill the yeast bacteria and your dough will not rise.  Don’t worry it’s the good kind of bacteria.

If you have a stand mixer it does all the work for you and if not that’s okay too. No stand mixer not a problem or if you don’t have time to wait on the mixing part Start a day earlier.  Just mix everything into a rough dough and place in a large bowl cover with plastic wrap and your good to go the next day just sit the dough out an 1 hours before you need it.

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Now for pizza sauce or marinara  your choice call it what you want but it still red sauce.  That being said it is one of the easiest things to make and taste so great!  So make your own it doesn’t take a lot of ingredients and anyone can make it.  Once you have had fresh made you will know without a doubt what you’ve been missing.

This recipe will make 4 – 12 ounce dough balls.

Making this dough and letting it slowly rise over night will give a deeper flavor.  But you can use it the same-day as well with great results.

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Dough Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cup of warm water or your favorite beer
  • 2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups of all-purpose unbleached bread flour ( Like to use Caputo Tipo 00 pizzeria flour if you can find it the sell it at central market in Texas or on amazon) But bread flour works fine too.
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

combine the sugar and warm water in the bowl of your mixer then sprinkle the yeast over the mix and let it sit an proof for 5 to 10 minutes.  The yeast will become active and get foamy and creamy looking.  Now add the oil and 2 cups of flour and mix to make a rough sticky dough let it sit for 10 minutes.  add the rest of the flour and salt and mix on medium for 8 to 10 minutes.  Divide the dough  into 4 or 6 balls.  I place the balls of dough on a baking sheet sprayed with oil and cover with plastic wrap let rise 2 hours or over night in the refrigerator.  If using the over night method remove 1 hour before using. One hour before baking place a baking stone in the oven and preheat at the highest setting.  For most ovens that’s 500°F If you don’t have a stone not a problem just use a pizza sheet or any cooking sheet will do.  You still want to preheat your oven.

Sprinkle your counter with flour and shape the dough or roll it with a rolling pin. For the filling you will need.

  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 slices cooked Italian ham, cut into 1 cup grated /4 inch strips
  • 3 slices Italian hard salami cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1/4 cup Romano and Parmesan cheese grated
  •  cover with 1/3 cup sauce after placing on the pizza peel

Place the filling in the center of your dough circle fold one side over and roll the edges to seal.  Gentle place on a pizza peel or the back of a cookie sheet covered with cornmeal.   Cover the top with sauce and slide into the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven sprinkle with more Romano and Parmesan cheese and Basil just slice and serve.  These go great with an Ice Cold Beer.

 

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Pizza Sauce:

  • 1 can fire roasted crushed tomatoes  (I like Muir brand)
  • 1 fist of oven roasted garlic (place in oven for 15 minutes at 500°f while the oven is preheating)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more or less depending on how faint of heart you are)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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While the garlic cool a few minutes place every thing else in a deep bowl or blender.  Peel the garlic and add to the mix if using a bowl with an emulsion blender or blender mix to the thickness you like.  That’s it your ready to make calzone or pizza

 

 

 

 

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