It’s no secret, we love Italian food around my house — specifically, a great homemade pizza. I have perfected the art of pizza making in The GrooVy Foody household, trying out tons of dough recipes until I came across one that is, our idea, of perfection. So for my last recipe entry in Bob’s Red Mill(BRM) and California Olive Ranch(COR) Tasty and Healthy New Year Challenge I decided to put that crust to the test — in a Calzone.
An Un-Whole-y Confession
Though, we prefer and mostly eat whole food, cooked from scratch in our house, I will confess, that after a busy day, I have been known to pop into Trader Joe’s for pre-made doughs (in whole wheat, regular and herb), a jar of their vodka sauce, a package of nitrate-free prosciutto and some free range chicken in order to throw together my chicken, prosciutto and vodka sauce pizza, topped off with TJ’s fresh-in-the-bag organic arugula. This pizza is a crowd pleaser and it’s some that if you make it for guests, they will think you are something of a culinary mastermind, when indeed you just threw together some high quality, but pre-packed goods for a quick and easy, tummy pleasing meal.
Best, Quick Pizza (Calzone) Dough EVER!
But, had you just a few minutes more or a wee bit more energy, you could make your own crust and sauce (or as I do, pull some of my famous Bolo-Nessie sauce out of the freezer or grab that jar of organic sauce off the shelf at TJ’s) for a truly memorable pizza experience. Not surprisingly, the best pizza crust recipe I have EVER come across for the quick and easy variety, is one by Bob’s Red Mill (told you, I was a fan before they sponsored me!) TIP:they also sell a really great gluten-free pizza crust mix.
Now, there are many crust recipes on BRM’s website (many contributed by fans) but let me tell which one I prefer out of all of them — it’s Bob’s own Quick and Easy Pizza Dough and here’s why: it’s quick AND easy just like it says. Plus, it has a wonderful chew to it, as well as the perfect texture for folks, who like a thin, floppy, New York style crust with a good pull to it.
But the REAL secret to good pizza dough is in the yeast — and BRM’s is some of the freshest, most active yeast I’ve ever worked with. Just beautiful and it lasts a long while. One 8oz bag, when stored properly, can last you for months. (If you can keep it that long because once you learn how easy this great crust can be, you’ll never call out for pizza or as in this case, Calzone, again.)
I used BRM’s Whole Wheat Pastry Flour and COR’s Arbequina Olive Oil for a Calzone that high in flavor but also packed full of fiber and good nutrition. My hubby and son love pepperoni, so we filled our Calzone with a thin layer of soft goat cheese, the nitrate-free variety of pepperoni you can find made by Applegate Farms or Hormel’s new preservative-free line of products, sautéed red onion and Crimini mushrooms, and topped it with a layer of grated whole milk mozzarella. I serve this with a marinara or Homemade Bolo-Nessie sauce on the side for dipping.
QUICK & EASY PIZZA or CALZONE DOUGH
Adapted from: Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods
- 1 cup Warm Water (110°F)
- 2 tsp 1/4 BRM’s Active Dry Yeast
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 cups to 2 1/4 cups BRM Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 Tbsp California Olive Ranch Olive Oil (plus more for top and pan)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Grease pizza pan with a light coating of COR olive oil; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water — let bubble for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Beat vigorously 20 strokes and let rest 5 minutes.
On a floured work surface with a floured rolling-pin, roll out the dough until it is the size of the pan you will be using.
Place dough on prepared pan. Spread sauce over dough and top with your favorite toppings. Bake on middle rack of oven for 15-20 minutes. Makes one 16-inch pizza crust (12 slices).
- Tear or cut dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll out dough on floured surface or stretch and toss by hand until it is double the desired size of your Calzone.
- Fill with cheese, herbs, veggies and desired meat of your choice, keeping a 1 inch lip around the edge of the dough, filling-free so that you will be able to seal it properly. Be sure to take care not to over-stuff your Calzone and to get a nice balance of flavors.
- Next, crimp, fold or otherwise seal the edge of your Calzone with a fork along 1 inch lip all around the edge. This will ensure your filling stay tidily inside.
- Then, lightly coat the outside of you Calzone with olive oil using either a pastry brush or your hands and cut three venting slits in the top of your Calzone and place it on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake on middle rack of oven for 12-16 minutes. Makes 4 medium-sized Calzones.
YOUR LAST CHANCE TO WIN!!!
A Tasty and Healthy New Year Challenge Giveaway
Each week, the VP bloggers will challenge you to find (and use) the secret code word of the week, posted in the contest tab labeled “Virtual Potluck” on the California Olive Ranch Facebook page.
Each blogger will pick a single winner per week to receive a pack of the featured products from Bob’s Red Mill and California Olive Ranch.
That’s right- four weeks, 12 winners each week! That’s like 48 chances to win! The more blogs you visit the more chances you have to win~ so what are you waiting for?! Let’s get cooking (and eating!) A Tasty and Healthy New Year!
For more information on how you can win– visit the host page for links to the other sites!