Calzones are pockets of pizza dough baked to golden brown perfection, holding molten, gooey and scrumptious fillings within themselves. This is an Italian – Gone- Desi Calzone, which has the goodness of a whole wheat crust, accompanied by a zesty fresh cottage cheese and vegetable filling, and jazzed up with robust Indian spices. In short, it is the best of Italian cuisine, tweaked to suit Indian palates 🙂
See how crisp the crust is, and how cheesy the filling is??? *drool*
DO NOT be intimidated by the number of steps in this recipe. You could actually make the filling the previous day and store in the refrigerator. Similarly for the dough as well, which means you will only need to assemble and bake them quickly whenever hunger strikes 🙂 If you already have pizza dough sitting in the fridge, then its only a matter of rustling up the filling with your favourite vegetables! Honestly, this is not difficult at all. Some amount of planning in advance will make this process incredibly easy and effortless for you. Of course, the insanely delicious, hot, and dripping with cheese calzones will MORE than make up for all the effort you put in!
Read on for the recipe!
For the dough:
- Instant yeast – I packet (~7g)
- 1 cup warm water (and 1/4 cup more, if required)
- Olive oil – 2 tbsp for the dough alone, plus some more for oiling hands, oiling dough and mixing bowl (2-3 tbsp together).
- Honey – 1 tbsp
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Whole Wheat Flour – 1 3/4 cup
- All purpose flour – 1 cup
For the filling:
- Fresh Paneer (Cottage Cheese) – 200 g
- Black olives – chopped, 1 tbsp
- Green and red peppers – diced, 1/4 cup
- Fresh green peas – 2 tbsp
- Jalapeños – 1 tbsp, chopped
- Green chutney – 1 tbsp
- Tomato Ketchup – 1 tbsp
- Fresh cream – 1 tbsp
- Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Add honey into a bowl.
- Add olive oil and salt to this.
- Mix well with a spoon until incorporated.
- Se this aside.
- Measure out the flour and the instant yeast in a mixing bowl. Mix with your hand to distribute evenly.
- Now add warm water little by little and knead with your hands.
- The dough will be very sticky like shown in the picture. Thats alright.
- Add the honey mixture to this dough and mix well to incorporate.
- Now transfer this dough to a smooth surface. I used a chapati rolling stone.
- Add about a tbsp of olive oil to the dough, and start kneading.
- Stretch the dough out with your palm as in the picture. Then gather back the dough and stretch it again. This will work the gluten present in the flour. Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5. Keep kneading like this until the dough becomes tacky. This will take 8-10 minutes. You can also use an electric dough mixer to make this step easier.
- In the 6th step, you can see that the dough has now smoothly come together, without sticking to the stone.
- Oil the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl well.
- Gather the kneaded dough into a smooth ball shape.
- Apply about a tsp or two of olive oil lightly all over the dough using your hands.
- Place it inside the bowl gently
- Cover with moist cloth and allow it to dough to rise in a warm place. This will take 2 hours.
The Paneer Bhurji Filling
- Saute your veggies first in a tsp of olive oil (green peas, chopped red and green peppers, chopped jalapeños, and black olives).
- Once the veggies have been lightly cooked, for abt 30 seconds, add the crumbled cottage cheese.
- Mix well to incorporate. Keep the flame on medium-low.
- Add the red chilli powder and salt.
- Add the green chutney (my green chutney is a little lighter in colour because I added cashew nuts while grinding).
- Add the ketchup and fresh cream and mix well.
- Switch off the stove. Filling is ready now.
After an hour, the dough would’ve nicely risen, and almost doubled in volume.
Use your hand to gently punch out the dough. No need to knead the dough.
- Take a small orange-sized portion of dough and flatten on a smooth surface.
- Using your fingers, stretch the dough to form a circle.
- Stretch slowly, keeping the thickness at medium, not too thin.
- Stretch into a thick, circular tortilla.
Assembling the Calzones
- Place some filling in one half of the dough. Be sure to leave some gap on the edges, else you will not be able to close and seal the calzone.
- Add cheese. I cut a cheese slice in half and placed it over the filling.
- Close the calzone with the other part of the circle.
- Pat edges with your fingers to seal firmly.
- Use a steel or plastic fork to crimp the edges of the calzone.
- The 6th picture shows you how the sealed calzone will look.
- With the help of a sharp knife, make slits on the top of the calzone.
- In picture two, you can see that I’ve made 3 small slits. These will act as steam vents while the calzone is baking in the oven.
- Brush the calzone with a mixture of olive oil and Italian seasoning.
- Place the calzones on a non-stick baking sheet.
- Pre-heat your oven for 10 minutes. Bake calzones in the heated oven at 180 deg C, for a period of 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Allow calzones to cool for 10 minutes after baking.
TIPS & TWEAKS
- Feel free to experiment with the fillings – mushrooms and cheese, grilled vegetables, spinach and sweetcorn, plain cheese and garlic, etc. The world is your oyster!
- The longer you let this dough prove, the better. 2 to 3 hours should be great for this dough, imparting a softer texture to the calzone. If you’re in a hurry, try to let it rise for at least 60 minutes.
- Whole-wheat baked goods tend to be denser than their APF counterparts when it comes to texture, they’re not as fluffy. 1 calzone portion can be pretty filling serving size for 1 person.