Monday, July 18, 2011
Whole Wheat Pepperoni Calzones
On Friday night we planned a good three hour drive to head to the mountains for the weekend. Usually, we eat on the road, grabbing a burger or finding a deli to get some grub. This time though, I wanted to keep it cheap and use food we already had on hand. I had all the fixings for a few little pizzas, I just had to make the dough.. which I wanted to experiment with. I also wanted to make the pizzas easier to eat on the run, meaning I was making calzones! I love all things pizza related.
I was searching and searching for a good whole wheat pizza dough recipe. The problem is that I've been spoiling myself with Alton Brown's recipe, this means that every other recipe seems to fall flat.
So I started wondering, what if I just substitute half the bread flour for whole wheat flour? I kept searching but this question was nagging at me. So, that's what I did. The recipe calls for two cups of flour, I used one cup regular old flour (not even the bread flour he asks for, I'm out!) and one cup of whole wheat flour. I was so hopeful.
I made the dough Thursday night, and on Friday it had risen and was ready for me. But, it felt a bit odd. It never, even after an hour of being in the mixer, got the 'bakers window' that makes the dough so fabulous. Bummer. Oh well.
I made the calzones pretty small. The dough makes two smallish pizzas, I cut the dough in half, then into fourths. This made good, hand held sized calzones.
Have you ever been slapped by hot pepperoni? You bite into a delicious calzone, pull your bite away and whack! You get hit by hot, sauce covered pepperoni right on your chin. I have, and it's a problem I was aching to solve. That's why I cut the pepperoni into fourths- these small pepperoni pieces worked fabulously.
Did I over think this? I think not.
After I put all the goodies on half of the dough circle thing (which I rolled out using a rolling pin, because the dough was not stretching well), I painted a little water around the egdes and folded it over.
I cook it the same way I cook my pizzas: HOT HOT oven. I used my 'pizza stone', which is actually a terra cotta planter bottom. It works like a dream. They only took 6-7 minutes each. Quickness!
Here is the good stuff. You can see that the dough was very thin, admittedly it was kind of cracker-like. However, the insides were sooo good.
After they all cooled off, I wrapped them in little napkins and put them in a box so they could travel with us unharmed. It worked like a dream! Now, to just tweak the dough recipe so that I get that chewy texture I was missing..
Whole Wheat Pizza/Calzone Recipe
adapted from Alton Brown
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pure olive oil
3/4 cup warm water
1 cup bread flour (I used AP flour, but prefer the bread flour if you've got it!)
1 cup whole wheat flour (as I mentioned above, next time I might adjust this ratio a bit, feel free to tweak it)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons olive oil
Olive oil, for the pizza crust
Flour, for dusting the pizza peel
1 1/2 ounces pizza sauce (for the calzone, I used about 1 1/2 tbsp)
1/2 teaspoon each chopped fresh herbs such as thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes (I used basil in mine as well)
A combination of 3 grated cheeses such as mozzarella, Monterey Jack, provalone, or fontina.
Place the sugar, salt, olive oil, water, flours and yeast into the mixer's work bowl. (I proof my yeast first, out of habit, so in goes a watery, yeasty mess- I just follow the yeast package instructions there)
Mix the dough on low using the paddle attachment. Then switch to the hook and knead for 15-20 minutes. Check the dough by tearing off a piece and stretching it out a bit, if it tears you need to knead it more! With the whole wheat, I found that it tore even after about 45 minutes of kneading. If you used all bread flour, this would not happen. Just a note. You are looking for a stretchy, taught dough.
When the dough is ready, take it out of the bowl and gently roll it into a ball on your countertop. Place it in a large bowl with a bit of olive oil to keep it from getting dry or sticking. Cover it with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge overnight.
Ready to get to work? Put your pizza stone or other contraption in the oven, on the bottom rack. Then crank the oven up really high, around 500 degrees.
Split the pizza into two balls. If you are going for plain pizza stop here and shape the dough and dress it, for handheld calzones, cut the two dough balls into fourths. Use a rolling pin to shape the dough into circles.
On the thin dough circles place the sauce, herbs, then on half of the dough put the cheese and pepperoni. Using a pastry brush apply some water around the edge of the dough (just a tiny tiny bit, I only put it on half of the dough edge) to help prevent the good stuff from seeping out. Gently fold the dough in half and pinch the edges together. Cut three tiny slits in the top of the dough.
Place on pizza stone in super hot oven and bake for about 5-7 minutes. Check for doneness. Let cool for 5 minutes before eating.