The tiring and hectic days finally seem to get over and as I started my new journey in my new job today, I feel ecstatic and a bit nervous too. Nevertheless, my mom wanted to carry some exotic bread from here before she left and sadly we could not make it to the market, so I treated her by making these beautiful Calzones. I packed a few for her so that once she reaches home she can just reheat and savour them.
I intended to post Italian recipes frequently and with that intention, last year I explained about a few regions of Italy and there cooking style in my post Eggplant-Zucchini Lasagne in Tomato- Ricotta Cheese Sauce. I did post a few recipes on Pasta but unfortunately did not make it to writing more about this cuisine.
In this post I will discuss the Puglia (Apulia) region and Basilicata. It is in south-eastern Italy and is famous for the Calzones which are believed to be originated here. Mushrooms are abundantly found here and are always added to the local pizzas. The Apulians are also very fond of savoury breads made from pizza dough.
A calzone is like a folded over stuffed pizza. The circle of pizza dough is folded in half over the filling and then sealed. During baking the pizza dough swells and resembles a ‘stuffed stocking’, which is the literal translation of the word calzone. A traditional calzone is stuffed with tomato and mozzarella cheese but one surely has an independence to innovate their own stuffing, I’ve used cottage cheese and bell peppers in a tomato based sauce as my stuffing here.
The calzone can be a substantial snack and when combined with green salad and soup can make an easy dinner.
For Pizza Dough
4 cups APF
3tsp. active yeast
1-1/2 cups warm water
1tbsp. olive oil
2 red onions chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
200gms cottage cheese cubed
1 green pepper finely chopped
1 red pepper finely chopped
3 garlic pods
1” piece ginger
salt to taste
2tsp white pepper pwd.
1tbsp. tomato ketch up
olive oil for cooking
100gms mozzarella cheese
and egg wash
Method for the Pizza Dough
Mix all ingredients in the food processor and knead a dough, grease it with oil and let it double in volume for about 30mins.
Method for making the Stuffing
Heat a little oil and add crushed ginger-garlic to it followed by onions and sauté till transparent, tip in the tomatoes and mix salt, oregano and basil.
Mix tomato ketch up, cottage cheese and peppers and cook till done. Cook on high flame so that the juices dry up completely.
Method of making Calzone
Divide the dough into 8-10 equal portions.
Take a portion and spread some APF on the floor and spread the dough using hand or roll using a rolling pin into a 4” disc of 4-5mm thickness.
Spread enough stuffing and also spread mozzarella cheese and fold the disc into a ‘D’ shape. Using a fork design the border. Apply an egg wash, pierce at 2-3 places using a fork, this prevents bursting of the calzone while baking.
Bake at 240C for 10-15mins.