I worked at a take’n’bake pizza place for six years during and after high school. I love making pizza (well, prepping the pizza… I don’t cook them. That’s left for Mr SBC to do).
baked (the provolone almost got a little too done!):
Snoopy trying to steal a bite:
Here is my recipe:
The Tastiest Calzone You’ll Ever Eat
For the cooking cream:
1 tub Philadelphia Cream Cheese Spread
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp (can do up to 1 Tbsp) of minced garlic
For the calzone:
Ready made 16 oz dough ball
1 8oz bag of shredded mozzarella cheese (whole milk mozzarella melts better)
1 8oz bag of shredded Italian blend cheese (optional)
3 slices of provolone cheese (we prefer unsmoked on this)
4-5 leaves of fresh basil (use more or less depending on your taste preferences)
1 tomato, diced (Roma tomatoes work great on pizzas)
1 handful of cashews
¾ to 1 cup of cooked chicken, cubed (optional)
Parchment paper or oil (and foil if you don’t want it directly on the pan)
Pizza pan or large cookie sheet
To make the cream:
Put all of the cream ingredients into a pan, heat over medium heat until well blended and hot. If you prefer your mixture to be a little creamier, you can add a touch of milk, a little at a time, until the desired consistency. You want this to be spreadable but not too wet. We rarely have to add more than the 2 tablespoons of milk.
Note: You can make this ahead of time and place in the fridge. It also freezes well.
To make the calzone:
Before you begin:
Remove your pre-made dough ball from the fridge. Lightly oil a medium glass bowl, put dough ball into bowl, and roll around to lightly coat the dough in oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel, and let dough proof for a minimum of one hour. Check the dough. It should have nearly doubled in size. Note: in the winter, I’ve had to let it proof for two hours because the house is cooler. Continue to step one when dough is fully proofed. Another note: dough that isn’t proofed enough will shrink back on itself while rolling, so you’ll have a hard time getting it rolled out.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Either lightly grease your pan, or cover with parchment paper.
- Lightly flour your clean surface, and roll out dough ball to a roughly 12-14” circle. If using a pizza pan, it should be just slightly larger than the pan (no more than a ¼” overhang. If using a cookie sheet, be sure the calzone will fit on the sheet lengthwise).
- Place the rolled dough onto your pizza or baking sheet (you won’t be able to move this later without everything falling apart, so don’t forget to do this step!). If using a cookie sheet, it’s okay for the back half of your circle to hang off, as you will only be putting toppings on one half of your circle.
- Making sure you leave a half inch lip empty (see the example above), spread your cooking cream onto the dough. We use anywhere from ½ to ¾ of the mixture. You want even coverage.
- Sprinkle on the mozzarella (reserve a small handful if you’re not using the Italian blend cheese). Spread evenly over the cream. De-stem and tear your fresh basil and distribute evenly over the cheese. Add your tomatoes and cashews (and chicken if you’re using it), then top with a handful of the Italian cheese blend (or the mozzarella you saved), then fold the other half of your dough over this.
- Starting where the blue dot is in the example above, use your finger to braid the dough closed. This video shows how to do this at the 40 second mark. I don’t crimp the edges closed beforehand like the video does. If you’re having the issues he’s having with the tacky dough, put a little oil or flour on your finger tips to keep the dough from sticking to you (I’ve never had this problem, and you shouldn’t with a premade doughball). The smaller and tighter you make your braid, the better your finished calzone will look.
- Make 3 slits in the top of your dough (the three blue lines in the example. You need steam to be able to escape). Cover the top with the three slices of provolone, and you’re ready to bake!
- Bake on the center rack of your oven for 20-25 minutes. Be sure to check after 15 minutes for doneness. Your calzone is done when the crust is golden brown. Be sure to check the bottom!