Ever since I found my recipe for this dough, pizza has been a regular dinner for us. I love these tasty pizzas and could eat them everyday. However I like a bit of variation and sometimes make a calzone instead. It’s pretty much the same thing, the pizza is just folded over. However I think it changes the dough a little and makes it into more of a kind of pasty which I love. The great thing about these babies is that you can fill them with whatever you want and take them to work as they are individually sealed. When I make up a big batch of dough, I usually use half for pizza and half for calzones. I used some of my coveted goats cheese in the filling of these and it was amazing, but pretty much anything goes. I even tried some with the pulled pork I made!
500g flour (I used the one for dumplings and noodles.)
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of yeast (I used bobai brand that comes in 8g packages)
4 table spoons of olive oil
14oz ice-cold water
1/2 a kabocha squash (those dark green looking pumpkins)
2 tablespoons of tomato sauce
140g of goats cheese
A large handful of spinach
2 tabelspoons of toasted pine nuts
A knob of butter
Sift the flour, salt, and yeast into a bowl. Then using a table-spoon stir in the oil followed by the water bit by bit, you may find as I did that you don’t need it all, or you can always add more. Use the metal spoon to get right into the middle of the dough and mix it thoroughly. You know you have added enough water when the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl but still sticks to the bottom. If it is too dry add a few more drops of water, if it is too wet add more flour a little at a time until it’s the right consistency.
Once your dough is formed you need to work it for another 5-7 minutes using the metal spoon, this activates the gluten in the flour which makes it springy and elastic rather than a tacky lump. You can do this by putting the spoon into the dough and moving it around, you will find the dough stretches the more you do this. After this take the ball of dough and pull it and stretch it with your hands, I am sure you have seen Italian pizza chefs on TV doing it (I didn’t do it half as elaborately but you get the idea).
Now the dough is ready, form it into balls – I made 3 big ones. The recipe stated that you should leave the balls in the fridge over night before using, but I don’t think it’s hugely important. If you have thought ahead in advance or have a huge amount of restraint and willpower it does help the flavour of the dough develop, but it still tastes great if you use it straight away (the dough will keep in the fridge for up to four days). Roll your ball in flour then put a little olive oil on your hands and coat each ball before putting on a tray or plate. Put the plate in a zip lock bag or failing this cling film and store overnight.
To made the filling cut the squash in to quarters and take out the seeds. Drizzle the pieces with a little olive oil and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until they are soft. Next scoop out the flesh and cut into chunks. I don’t like to waste the skins so I usually sprinkles on a little cumin and roast them in the oven for another 10-20 minutes until they are crunchy for a tasty snack. Chop the spinach then saute in the butter for a minute or two until it has wilted. Add the tomato sauce, pine nuts and crumble in the goats cheese. Mix together with the squash chunks thoroughly.
Roll out the dough into circles. Top with a tablespoon of sauce then add a few spoonfuls of filling. Then brush the edge with egg yolk.
Fold the dough over to make a semi-circle. Then crimp the edges. Depending how skilled you are you can make them look very beautiful. Brush the whole thing with egg wash again then baked them in the oven for about 10-20 minutes or until the dough is golden brown.
Serve on their own or with more tomato sauce for dipping. Voilà easy tasty calzone.