On the heels of the bread-baking success, I wondered if I could apply this Dutch oven baking technique to other doughs. I’ve been feeling the urge to make my own pizza lately, but lacking a baking stone, I had pretty much given up on it. With my new found confidence, I thought “why couldn’t the same technique be used to reproduce a pizza oven?” Unsure of what such a technique would do to pizza toppings, I decided to try my hand at calzone. I pieced together a dough recipe using eggs on sunday and Cook’s Illustrated as references.
The cat was distracting me as I was carefully converting the amounts, and somehow I accidentally put in too much water, had to double all the flour, and ended up with twice as much dough as I had intended to make. But no big deal, I divided it into thirds and froze the two extra balls of dough for later use. The hard part was doing all the kneading by hand – try kneading for 15 minutes straight sometime, it’s tiring! Anyway, once the dough was mixed, kneaded, divided, and rested, I rolled it out into a circle about the diameter of my Dutch oven. I spread half of it with the last of the leftover Bolognaise sauce, sprinkled on some shredded Mozzarella (which Nick was shocked to see came from Germany, as German products are somewhat scarce around here – some unpleasantness in the ’40’s, I understand), Grana Padano, smoked ham, oregano, chili flakes, and topped it all off with more cheese.
Then I folded the other half of the dough over the filling and crimped the edges. To finish it off, I brushed the calzone with olive oil, sprinkled it with sea salt, and cut a few shallow slashes in the top.
Obviously, I’d been preheating the oven this whole time, with the Dutch oven inside, so both were nice and hot. Using parchment paper this time (not a towel!) I transferred the calzone to the Dutch oven, put the lid on, and placed it in the oven. Half an hour later, when it came out, I was treated to this:
Not too shabby. I could have baked it a little longer, I suppose, but we were getting pretty hungry and it smelled really good. We let it cool for a few minutes while I made a quick salad with arugula and tomatoes. We cut it in half and dinner was served!
Now, what to do with those other two balls of dough…