Monday, July 03, 2006

When you mess up pizza ....

... you get a calzone!

M. and I are big pizza fans. We have a favorite whole-wheat crust recipe which is easy to mix up in the food processor and rises quickly. So, preparing pizza has become a favorite and relatively reliably tasty but easy meal in our house. Usually. Today was an exception. After rolling out the dough, I realized I was out of parchment paper. Typically, I assemble the pizza on the parchment paper, slide it into the oven onto the pizza stone where it cooks. And when finished, I slide it right back onto the bottom of a baking pan and remove. It is a flawless system that hasn't failed me yet.

But today, I was out of parchment paper. I assembled the pizza onto the back of a pan covered in cornmeal and hoped it would slide off anyway. No dice. We tried several other devices and likewise, no dice. This pizza was planted. Dressed in the last of the homemade pesto, drained chopped tomatoes, artichoke hearts, mozzarella cheese and sprinkling of parmesan - it wasn't budging.

Frustrated, I flipped it over on itself and asked M. how he felt about a calzone for lunch. He thought it was a fine idea. And it was, although were I to set out making a calzone I think less toppings would be more effective as this particular specimen was quite topping dense. But it was tasty, and kept lunch from being a total waste!

So voila! My Pesto, Artichoke Heart and Mozzarella Calzone makes its international debut.
I used the 12 oz dough recipe to create my pizza/calzone. And I topped it with:

approximately 1/2 cup leftover fresh pesto
1 can quartered artichoke hearts chopped
approximately 3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
1 can diced tomatoes - drained

Again, the pizza would have been spectacular. Were I to plan making the calzone again, I would probably use less toppings (perhaps half a can of diced tomatoes drained and half as many artichoke hearts) just because the calzone was literally almost bursting with toppings in a few places. But the results were yummy - if a little homely!

So this is our house "pizza dough". I love that it uses the food processor which I think is just the smartest (and quickest) way to make dough. We happen to love its nutty flavor, and I actually use regular yeast but give the dough a little more time to rise. And that's worked for me - mostly because I haven't found quick-rise yeast in my usual shopping haunts yet.

Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough

Yield: Makes 1-12 ounce or 1 pound dough
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Ease of preparation: Moderate

To improve the nutritional profile of pizza, include whole-wheat flour in the crust. Using half whole-wheat and half all-purpose yields a light crust with a distinctive nutty taste. Quick-rising yeast shortens rising time to just 10 minutes, making wholesome homemade pizza a possibility for busy weeknights.

To make 12 ounces dough:
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 package quick-rising yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons), such as Fleischmann's RapidRise
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2-2/3 cup hot water (120-130°F)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

To make 1 pound dough:
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 package quick-rising yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons), such as Fleischmann's RapidRise
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup hot water (120-130°F)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Combine hot water and oil in a measuring cup. With the motor running, gradually pour in enough of the hot liquid until the mixture forms a sticky ball. The dough should be quite soft. If it seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water; if too sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour. Process until the dough forms a ball, then process for 1 minute to knead.
2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Coat a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place it, sprayed-side down, over the dough. Let the dough rest for 10 to 20 minutes before rolling.

Nutrition information:

Per 12 ounces: 766 calories; 12 g fat (2 g sat, 8 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 142 g carbohydrate; 26 g protein; 16 g fiber; 1,882 mg sodium.
Per 1 pound: 1,032 calories; 18 g fat (3 g sat, 12 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 189 g carbohydrate; 33 g protein; 21 g fiber; 2,509 mg sodium

To make ahead: The dough will keep, in a plastic bag coated with cooking spray, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.

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dragonFLY said...

Enjoyed visiting today! Thanks for all of the great recipes and ideas.

Joe said...

Great save!

helios said...

What can I say - desperation sparks innovation.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your save -- I would have given up and ordered pizza out!! You're the woman!! ;)