What to feed a group of seventeen year olds that are going to be gaming all night? Something that will yield enough for midnight fridge raiding! Pizza is always good.
For me, weekend cooking should be simple, fun food that can be quickly assembled or involve some together kitchen time.
A calzone is an Italian oven-baked folded pizza that originated in Naples, and stuffed with everything that you would put on top of a pizza. An alternative to folding the dough over, is to plait it around the filling.
Roll out a portion of dough for each person, have all the toppings ready, get the kids into the kitchen to load the fillings that they want, and close them up – rustically imperfect! You can make them any size you want. This dough will be enough for 6 large calzone.
This is Jamie Oliver’s fantastic pizza dough recipe. You can ask your bakery for ready dough.
We rolled these out large. The boys managed to eat half (which just fitted into a plate) at dinner-time and the next morning there was a lonely little crust on a plate in the fridge. Mission accomplished!
Rustic Braided Calzone
For the pizza dough:
800g bread flour
200g semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
600ml warm water
1 tablespoon castor sugar
4 tablespoons good olive oil
For the tomato base:
2 tins Italian chopped tomatoes,
½ small onion finely chopped
Pinch of crushed chilli
½ tsp crushed garlic
½ glass White wine
A tot of good balsamic vinegar
For the filling:
Assorted fillings: cooked bacon, salami, sliced mushrooms, chili, feta, etc
Olive oil, salt, pepper, origanum
For the dough:
It’s super easy to do the dough in a processor with a dough hook, although you can knead it by hand.
Mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil with the warm water and leave to stand for a few minutes.
Sift the four and salt into the processor bowl and make a well in the middle.
Add the yeast mixture (which should be a little frothy) into the well.
If you are using a mixer, start on a very slow speed until the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated, then knead on a medium speed until the dough is springy and smooth.
If you are mixing by hand, work on a clean surface and pour the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredient well. Using a fork, slowly incorporate the flour from the sides and then work well with your hands for about 10 minutes.
Place the dough into a large oiled bowl and cover with cling film and then a clean tea towel. I add a tablecloth over for good measure. Leave in a warm place to rise – about an hour. Once risen, punch down and then re-cover. The dough is ready to use.
For the Tomato Sauce:
Fry onion in a little olive oil, take your time with this, it must be soft, and not browning. Add garlic.
Add white wine, cook off.
Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over low, low heat for least 30 mins stirring frequently.
The tomato needs to be quite dry.
Divide the dough into 6 portions or more, depending on the size calzone you want.
On a floured surface, roll out into a large rectangle.
Smear some tomato sauce down the centre of the dough.
Top with grated mozzarella cheese and the fillings you want.
Sprinkle origanum, drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Slit the sides of the dough approximately 2-3cm in width and then fold over each side alternatively to ‘plait’ over the filling.
Lift carefully onto a greased oven tray.
Bake at 220 deg C for 20 minutes till golden and crisp.
Stand for a few minutes and serve. You can slice them up to serve a crowd.