Since I’ve decided my pizza/calzone dough recipe is a keeper, I’m finally going to share it with you. But first, a couple more things I’ve done with it. The first isn’t exactly revolutionary, but I was pretty proud to have made such a fine pizza from stuff I found lurking in the fridge.
I think we can all agree that I have a slight addiction to caramelized onions. I’ve taken to using them on my pizzas in place of tomato sauce. Not that I have had any complaints.
This next pizza is an absolute stunner. I breaded and fried eggplant slices and placed them on the pizza with a simple tomato sauce (courtesy of Nick), slices of fresh mozzarella, and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Voilà! Eggplant Parmesan Pizza!
It was seriously the best pizza I’ve ever made. The eggplant was deliciously crunchy with meltingly tender insides, and the cheese and tomato sauce complemented it perfectly. Now I want more!
Doesn’t that just get your creative juices flowing? Then I guess it’s time to give up the recipe:
Croque-Camille’s Pizza/Calzone Dough for Tiny Kitchens
This can really be done in any kitchen. The kneading is, of course, easier with a food processor or stand mixer, but doing it by hand is pretty satisfying in its own right. Baking stones are great, but not every kitchen has room for one. An inverted cast-iron skillet is a good makeshift pizza stone, and if you’re making calzone, simply bake it inside a Dutch oven.
The frozen dough will keep for a few weeks and is great for last-minute dinners. One ball of dough makes a pizza or calzone for two, and it will thaw in about an hour if you leave it out on the counter.
560g/20oz. bread flour
60g/2oz. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. instant yeast
3 tsp. coarse sea salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
350ml/12½ oz. water, 40 C/105 F (30 seconds in the microwave ought to do it.)
- Combine all ingredients and knead by hand 10-15 minutes. The dough should be fairly smooth, but a little shagginess due to the whole wheat is normal.
- Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a dishtowel, and let rise 1½ to 2 hours, until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 230 C/450 F. If you are using a baking stone/cast-iron skillet/Dutch oven, put that in now, too.
- Divide into 3 pieces and shape each into a ball. (At this point, if you’re only making one pizza or calzone, wrap the two remaining dough balls in plastic wrap and freeze.
- Rest dough 15 minutes, covered with the dishtowel. Roll out into a circle 27 cm/10½ inches in diameter.
- For pizza, top dough as desired and place on a cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal or directly on the baking stone. Bake 20-25 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through baking time, until crust is golden brown on edges.
- For calzone, arrange desired fillings on half of the dough circle. Moisten the edges of the dough and fold the circle in half to form the calzone. Try not to create any huge air pockets. Crimp the edges to seal, brush the top with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and cut a few slashes in the top – not all the way through, though! Bake on parchment paper in preheated Dutch oven (with the lid on, in the actual oven) 15 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking another 10-15 minutes, until the crust is your desired shade of golden brown. Or just bake directly on a baking stone.
- For both – let cool a few minutes, then cut and serve.
Makes 3 pizzas or 3 calzones, each big enough to serve two people.
A note on kneading the dough: A good way to check if your dough has been kneaded enough is by the “windowpane test.” Pull off a small bit of dough and gently pull it out as thin as it will go. If you can get it thin enough to see light through it, it’s ready. The whole wheat in this recipe has the effect of cutting the gluten strands, so you may not be able to get a completely smooth dough, but if your windowpane test comes out like so, it’s good enough.
Now let’s hear some of your pizza topping and calzone filling ideas! If you use my recipe, let me know how it goes.