A calzone is pizza dough stuffed with pizza style toppings. So, basically, a good old stuffed pizza.
So, if you were watching my Instagram this week, you would have seen the little teaser I put out there for this recipe. Calzone is an Italian dish, using pizza dough to encase a whole bunch of fillings. I’m sure there is a traditional filling somewhere down the line but these days they can be made using any of your favourite pizza toppings.
For instance, this Pesto Chicken Calzone is just a variation on my Pesto Chicken Pizza (one of my favourites). It’s the same thing, in fact. As a calzone, what would normally be my toppings are just rolled up inside to become fillings.
I love that this calzone is so easy to make. Even taking the time to make my own dough, this still came together in less than an hour and that includes rising time! It’s an amazing combination of flavours too. I use my favourite store bought basil pesto, some chopped up barbecue / rotisserie chicken, grated cheese and some chopped up onion and mushrooms.
You could encase any of your favourite fillings into a calzone. This recipe makes two bases, so you can either freeze one or use them both and make two different flavours 🙂
And how helpful am I??? I decided to give you step by step photos for this one. You don’t need them. It’s super simple but I just wanted to try it out. The full recipe follows these step by step photos. Now go and bake yourself a calzone.
After baking, you’ll end up with this 🙂
Pesto Chicken Calzone
Pizza Dough (makes 2)
- 350 g flour or bread flour
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 200 ml warm water
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil (note 1)
- Olive oil, extra for greasing and sealing
- Extra flour for dusting
Fillings (for one calzone)
- ½ cup mozzarella, grated
- ½ cup cheddar, grated
- 1/4 small onion, finely sliced
- 2 button mushrooms, finely sliced
- 1 cup shredded chicken (barbecued or rotisserie is perfect)
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 tablespoon basil pesto (note 1)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sifted flour, yeast and sugar. Stir through the salt. Make a well in the centre and add the warm water and oil.
- Using a dough hook, mix on low-medium speed for 7-8 minutes (you can bring together and knead the dough by hand which may take around 10 minutes). When it's smooth and elastic, the dough is ready. If the dough still feels too sticky, you can knead in a little extra flour. Using extra oil or spray oil, lightly coat a bowl and place the dough in. Cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place until it has doubled in size. Normally half an hour will do it (especially if you place it under a warm light or lamp) but it may take up to an hour. Just make sure it doubles in size.
- After it has risen, remove the plastic wrap and punch the dough down. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and split in half. Roll each into a ball (at this stage you can put one in a ziplock bag to freeze if you like). For what you are using straight away, allow them to sit for another 10 minutes to rise a little again. Preheat oven to 215C.
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 35cm x 25cm. It should end up about 3-4mm thick. Transfer to the baking tray. sheet pizza tray.
- Spread your cheese along the middle of the dough, in the longest direction. Make sure to leave about 1 inch gap at the end to allow you to close it up when finished. Follow this with the onion, mushroom and chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Now on the bare side of dough closest to you, (along the length again) spread the pesto. Pull the pesto covered side up and over the top of your fillings. Now pull the far side towards you, over the top of the fillings and the first side of dough (like folding a letter). Pinch together at the seams to seal it. Pinch the ends in to seal those too and cut off any overhang on the ends. Flip the whole thing over. Brush the top lightly with the beaten egg. Then cut 7 slits along the top (these serve two purposes – they will be where you cut the slices once it’s cooked and they allow the steam a way to escape during cooking).
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until deep golden.
- Remove from the oven, and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before cutting as the cheese will be like molten lava.
- I use an Australian standard 20ml tablespoon