Every morning I ask my boys what would they like to eat for lunch. Makes it easier on me, if they actually agree on what to have for lunch, if not I would probably have to cook 3 different kinds of food.
Today the answer was " something with pizza". Who can cook something with pizza? Pizza is a food all on it's on, well a food group all on it's on when it comes to my boys.
I thought about making a pizza, but no pepperoni in the fridge, just plenty of left over roasted chicken breast. Calzones was perfect for my left over chicken breast, plus is a food "with pizza in it".
O.K. the recipe like most of my recipes is doubled up. If you don't have hungry sorry, starving teenagers in the house make just half of the recipe. Also the filling is what I had handy, but be creative and use your favorite ingredients. For my husbands calzone I added some roasted red pepper cut in small pieces. Mushrooms, artichokes, onion etc.... anything you like the sky is the limit. Also this dough is excellent for pizza, just make only half the recipe for one extra extra large pizza or 2 large ones.
For the dough
4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp of sugar
4 tbsp of olive oil
5 1/2 cups of flour
2 cups of warm water
1 tsp of fresh basil finely chopped.
1 tsp fresh parsley finely chopped.
2 tsp salt
For the filling
3 cups of roasted chicken breast cut small ( or the equivalent in any other kind you like: pepperoni,salami, bacon etc....)
1 bottle of pizza sauce 375 ml ( I used Primo, but you can use any kind of pasta or spaghetti sauce)
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg well beaten for egg wash ( optional)
parmesan to sprinkle ( optional)
Place the water in a medium size bowl ( make sure it's warm), stir in the sugar and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let stand for 10 minutes, until foamy.
In a large mixing bowl place the flour make a well in the center and add salt, olive oil, chopped herbs.
When the yeast is foamy, stir to dissolve and add to the well.
Draw the flour in the middle little by little until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough comes together.
Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 7 to 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a large mixing bowl lightly oiled turning once to grease top. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and a tea towel and place in draft free place for 30 to 40 minutes or until it doubles in bulk.
In a medium pan pour the pizza sauce ( or pasta sauce) and set over medium heat. Cook for about 25 minutes stirring occasionally, until the water has evaporated almost completely and you are left with a jam consistency sauce. Remove from the stove and let reach room temperature.
In a mixing bowl mix the cut chicken breast, mozzarella cheese and add the sauce. Mix well.
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. You will need 3 baking sheets. If using a convection oven usually you have to go about 25˚ lower ( at list my oven needs to). I used silicone mats on the baking pans but you don't really need to.
When the dough has doubled in bulk, punch down to expel the air. Divide the dough in 16 or 17 equal size potions (as I said my recipe is for hungry people).
Stretch with your hands or gently roll the dough into a circle ( or close to it), place a generous amount of filling on one half of the circle and fold the other half over the filling pressing with your fingers on the edges to seal well.
I like using a ravioli cutter to cut the excess dough and to give a decorative edge to the calzones.
But this is purely optional.
Place the calzones on the baking sheets, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with parmesan if desired. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. If baking two pans at the time, rotate the baking pans at half time to ensure uniform baking.
Serve with green salad for a great lunch.