My dear friend Liz is pregnant with her second child!! This is fantastic news, except for the fact that I wish I could be closer to her to celebrate. Liz lives in Pennsylvania, and with me up here in Toronto, it makes popping by for dinner & a chat quite tough.
When Liz was pregnant with her first child, we lived in the same college town and spent almost every evening together, studying, giggling, chatting, shopping, singing, and eating. I came down with a condition I like to call “Sympathy Pregnancy”, whereby I managed to get all of the food cravings, while Liz was the one who was really pregnant.
One day, we were sitting together in music theory class, and she passed me a note with one word on it: Calzones.
Now I am highly food-suggestible. Mention a food, and I have a giant craving for it. But when I was Sympathy Pregnant with Liz, it was a case of: mention a food and I need it now. So when Liz suggested calzones, all bets were off. I couldn’t think of anything else for the rest of the day, and we raced back to my place after classes to order calzones from our favourite delivery place, who only did calzones — how perfect in a college town!
In honour of Liz and the new baby-to-be, I thought it was high-time for some Symapthy Pregnancy Calzones of love. These are made with a 100% whole wheat pizza dough, and they are mightily delicious. These dough pockets are perfect for stuffing your cravings into, whether you are pregnant or not — ideas for fillings follow at the end of the recipe.
The dough makes enough for about 4 people. Feel free to keep any extra dough in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for later use. You can also use the dough for regular pizzas.
If you have picky friends and family, this is a great dish for entertaining, as everyone can fill their own calzones with whatever pre-prepared toppings & sauce they’d like. You can even mark the calzones with a letter or a shape cut out with a cookie cutter so you know whose is whose.
Enjoy! And send lots of love and good thoughts to Liz and her family!
Whole Wheat Calzones for Liz
Dough Recipe Adapted from Homemade Pizza Dough at Cooking for Seven, Serves 8, or save some dough for later.
* For each calzone, I used about 1/4 c. tomato sauce (or 1-2 Tbsp. pesto or olive oil), 1/2 oz. cheese, and 1-2 c. chopped veggies
- 1/2 c. warm water
- 2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
- 1 1/4 c. room temperature water
- 2 Tbsp. walnut oil (or olive oil)
- 4 c. (567 g or 20 oz) whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. seasoned pepper (a store-bought blend of black pepper, parsley, basil, onion & garlic — feel free to replace with your favourite herbs)
- 1/2 tsp. dried red chili flakes
- extra whole wheat flour, for dusting
- pizza sauce* (tomato sauce, basil pesto, garlic scape pesto, or olive oil with herbs)
- cheese* (I love blue cheese, mozzarella, or goat’s cheese in calzones), optional
- chopped veggie toppings* (see variations below for ideas)
- egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water
In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine warm water and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes, then add the room temperature water and oil. Stir to combine, then set aside.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine flour, salt, seasoned pepper (or dried herbs), and chili flakes. Mix to combine on lowest speed. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour the yeast/water mixture into the flour mixture and let the mixer run until all ingredients are combined, and the dough has just formed a ball, about 30-60 seconds.
Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
Switch the mixer’s attachment to the dough hook, and turn the mixer on to knead the dough for 7-10 minutes, until the dough is quite elastic. Remove the dough from the mixer bowl, and transfer to a clean & oiled bowl. Cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 90 minutes to 2 hours.
Once the dough is ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400F.
Flour your work surface lightly, and roll out the dough into rounds about 23 cm in diameter (9″).
Spread your sauce on one round, going to about 1-2cm (1/2″) from the edge.
Then pile the toppings on half of the round.
Fold the dough round in half, over your toppings, and press the edges down with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds of dough.
Using a pastry brush, brush each calzone with the egg wash. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, or onto a preheated pizza stone in the oven, and bake at 400F until golden-brown on the outside, about 20-25 minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes, then eat! We like them with extra tomato sauce for dipping.
Of course, you’ll want to come up with your perfect combination, but here are some ideas to get you going.
Classic Veggie Calzone – sauteed mushrooms, onions, black olives, green pepper & mozzarella with tomato sauce
The For-When-You’re-Not-Pregnant Stinky Cheese Calzone – sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and crumbled blue cheese with tomato sauce
The Pesto ‘Zone - tomatoes, fresh basil, and crumbled goat’s cheese with basil pesto
Vegan Roasted Veggie Calzone - roasted red peppers, onions, garlic, and eggplant with olive oil and fresh basil (skip the egg wash on the calzone, to keep it vegan)
Chipotle Calzone! - green peppers, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, 1 Tbsp. chipotle sauce and 1/4 c. tomato sauce
Spinach Calzone - spinach, garlic, onions, ricotta, mozzarella and tomato sauce
KitchenOperas Calzone – (be prepared, this is my favourite pizza combination, but it’s a little weird!) - pineapple, sauteed mushroom, onion, gorgonzola cheese and a little bit of tomato sauce
Submitted to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday. Yum.