Friday, April 28, 2006

Pizza or Calzones

• 1 pkg dried yeast (or 3-tsp instant)
• 1 Cup warm water (105F - 110F) Bottled water is best
• 1 tsp salt
• 3 1/2 Cups High Gluten Bread flour
• 2 T olive oil
• Cornmeal to prevent sticking (not needed if you use parchment paper)
• Makes two 13-14 inch pizza shells or 6-calzones.

Dissolve yeast in water; let stand 5-10 minutes. Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in center of flour and gradually work half the yeast mixture into well with your fingers. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and gradually work in remaining yeast mixture. Add a tablespoon or more of water, if needed to make dough soft and smooth. Turn dough onto flat surface and knead vigorously for at least 10 minutes.

Shape dough in large ball and place in large greased bowl, turning dough over to grease top. Cover with a damp cloth, let rise in a warm place till doubled in bulk, about 45-60 minutes. Place in refrigerator for further rising for 6 hours.

Once risen, divide dough in half or 6- rounds for calzones. (At this point, dough may be frozen for later use.) On parchment paper, roll each half into a 13-14 inch circle about 1/8 inch thick, leaving a thick ridge around edge so topping will not spill over. Rub surface with about a tablespoon of olive oil and top with your favorite filling.

If doing calzones, stuff the rolled out dough leaving 1” around the edges, fold over, and wet the edges. Press with a fork to seal. Make slices in the top for the steam to escape. Heat oven to 500 degrees for about 30 minutes for pizza. Then lower heat to 475F – 450F and bake pizza for 10-15 minutes (depending upon the heat accuracy of your oven). Bake it directly on your pizza stone which has been in the oven while it is preheating or on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Be sure you have made slits in the top of each calzone so the steam can escape. Bake Calzones at 400F on a parchment lined cookie sheet until puffy and golden. To serve, dip in marinara sauce.
Calzone pictured.