My kiddos LOVE pizza!
Me, not so much. I can get bored easily if we had “pizza night” each week. So to break up the monotony, we have come up with some other options to the usual homemade Pizza Night:
• Make your own individual pizzas
• Make Crispy “Cracker Crust” pizza
• Make Pizza Sandwiches
• Make Calzones
Calzones have actually been a really fun, new option. We have made them a few times, using the dough recipe below, and they have been a real crowd pleaser.
We even tested them out on some dinner guests we had the other night and they loved them. We actually had our guests make their own calzones too, which I think helped break the ice since our guests were strangers to all of us, except for Paul.
Then, when it was time to eat, I felt quite calm because if they didn’t like their dinner, it was honestly their own fault. 😉 But who can mess up a Calzone? They are that simple to make. Really!!!
Here is a SUPERB video I found to help explain how to make calzones easily. Now, I do not use the fancy ingredients he suggests for the inside of his calzone. We use family style shredded mozzarella cheese, from our local “Sam’sClub/Costco”, pepperoni, fresh pineapple, and sometimes bacon. Fill them how you like but at least give them a try.
We dunk our calzones in this AMAZING homemade marinara sauce (minus the meatballs), that I make in a large batch and freeze in freezer bags. Cheaper and tastier. Or try using Alfredo sauce. That is yummy too!
Wendi’s Go-To Dough for Pizza, Calzones, Breadsticks, or Scones
*Given to me by Emily Adair
2 1/2 cups warm water (warm to your wrist temp)
2 Tablespoons yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons oil
6 cups flour (I use 1/3 wheat & 2/3 white)
Start by activating your yeast in 1 cup warm water (test on your wrist – too hot or too cold for a baby’s bath, don’t use) and 1 T. sugar. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. In a large mixing bowl or kitchen mixer, add the leftover sugar, the salt, and the oil. Mix together. Add yeast mixture to the mixing bowl. Add one cup of flour and mix well, until it is creamy. Alternate the rest of the water and cups of flour. Keep mixture creamy until you turn the dough into a nice ball. The ball should “clean” the sides of your bowl. Sprinkle your counter, already covered in saran wrap (a quick clean up trick), with white flour and set the ball on it and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then shape into pizza or calzones or scones or navajo taco shapes or breadsticks.
For a softer crust pizza, roll out dough, stab with a fork (to stop bubbling) and place onto a cookie sheet or pizza sheet. Top with toppings and then bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 18 – 22 minutes or until crust is cooked to your liking and cheese is melted.
For a firmer crust, roll out dough, stab with fork and place onto a cookie sheet or pizza sheet. Bake crust first on bottom rack of a preheated 450 degree oven for 5 – 7 minutes (or until lightly, golden brown). Top with toppings and return to oven until cheese is melted and golden brown.