A calzone is an Italian dish which originates from Naples, although calzones became quite popular everywhere in Italy and many other parts of the word. Essentially, a calzone is a stuffed pizza or turnover, made with an outer crust of pizza dough and an inner filling that typically includes an assortment of cheeses, meats, and vegetables. The pillowy savory pastries are often found packed in lunch boxes, being eaten from the hands at a corner, and served at many Italian restaurants.
The process to form a calzone starts with pizza dough, which traditionally is formed with yeast, water, flour, salt, and vegetable oil. The fungus is proofed in warm water before the different ingredients are added and mixed until the dough is slightly sticky. The cook kneads the dough on a floured board before placing it during a warm place covered with a moist towel to rise. When the dough has doubled in size, it’s punched down and allowed to grow again before being formed into the specified shape, which may be used for calzones or pizza.
The filling is scooped onto one half the dough round, which is folded over and crimped to form a decent seal. The calzone can vary widely in size from one serving to a monster calzone meant to be split among several people. Typically, the calzone is going to be baked, but smaller calzones are sometimes deep-fried. The calzone is served hot, and cautious diners usually open it up to vent for a couple of minutes before trying to eat it. Traditional calzones are served with a side of sauce, but some restaurants bake the sauce inside to form it a self-contained package.
Fillings for calzones vary counting on taste and region. Generally, a calzone is hearty fare and meant to be an important meal. Most fillings start with a mix of cheeses, including Parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella, with various parts of Italy adding regional specialties like Romano.
Next, chopped cooked meats are added, along with side vegetables like onions, garlic, spinach, tomatoes… a completely vegetarian calzone could also be made with an upscale vegetable mixture or the addition of tofu. Spices and herbs added typically include oregano, pepper, nutmeg, basil, marjoram, fennel, parsley, thyme, sage, and rosemary.
If the calzone is being cooked with a sauce, it’ll be mixed with the filling before the filling is scooped onto the dough.