Homemade calzones are a step up from Friday pizza night. Make this easy dough recipe from King Arthur Flour then customize your toppings. Start simply with marinara sauce and cheese and progress to vegetable fillings, meat fillings or a combination of the two.
I am excited to share this calzone today. So many cultures have a bread that is basically a standard type of dough folded over to make a pocket filled with meat, cheese or vegetables and then sealed around the edges to create a handheld, portable food.
The calzone seems to be the Italian version and is nothing more than a pizza folded in half. You could even make homemade calzone with pizza dough purchased at the store or from your local pizzeria.
I have fond memories of eating calzone as a lunchtime treat at my first job out of college. Two co-workers and I would walk to a local Italian spot in Philadelphia and we’d feast on these massive calzones. My waistline would only have been able to manage this a few times a week in my early 20s! Damian and Bob, these are for you!
As I often do when looking for a reliable bread recipe, I turned to King Arthur Flour for their recipe. The fillings are fun– make it your choice and change it up. I used three different types of fillings for my calzone and couldn’t name a favorite– they were all special!
Here are other recipes I’ve enjoyed from King Arthur Flour:
What are calzones?
Calzones are in essence a pizza folded in half then baked or fried. At its most simple, a calzone recipe starts with the bread dough and is filled with marinara sauce and cheese.
Calzone fillings range from different cheeses like ricotta or mozzarella, meats like pepperoni, sausage, or even ground beef, or vegetables like mushrooms or peppers. Basically, any ingredient that could be a pizza topping is also an option for a calzone filling.
Is calzone dough the same as pizza dough?
Pizza dough is simply a type of bread dough. I consider calzone dough to be the same as pizza dough. You make calzone dough with the same ingredients and the same process.
So if you’ve found a good pizza dough recipe, stick with it and use it for calzones!
Can you use store bought dough for calzones?
Yes! A wonderful shortcut to making calzones is to use a store bought pizza dough.
If you are making a gluten free calzone, start with a store bought gluten free dough before making your own. I always find that easy shortcuts help me get used to making a dish. If later I want to transition into making the dough from scratch, I have a better idea of what texture and structure the dough should have since I’ve worked with a similar dough before.
Can you freeze calzones?
Yes, calzones are an excellent meal to make ahead of time.
Here are your options:
- Freeze unbaked calzones then thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator before baking.
- Freeze baked calzones and reheat in the oven or the microwave before eating.
- Store unbaked calzones in the refrigerator for up to three days before baking.
Calzones are a good freezer meal to make and deliver to a friend. Label your frozen meal and add directions as to how to bake the calzones before enjoying the meal.
Learning food photography
Now, just for a quick look back I will share the first photo I posted of a calzone over three years ago. Thanks to my mom and my few other readers then who kept reading even though the photography left A LOT to be desired.
Even today’s photo is not perfect but I am sure we can agree that it is greatly improved. I hope to look back in another three years and have an even better photograph to share; I am looking forward to daily improvement. (And, no, when I originally posted these photos I did not know how terrible they were!) So if you are just starting out with your food photography, keep practicing– I will continue to do the same!
Here is a resource page about my photography gear if you want to learn more about growing your photography skills.
- 2 cups water (about 110 degrees F which is warm to the touch but not hot enough to hurt your finger)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (my addition, original recipe leaves this out but I found it helped the moisture and texture of the dough)
- 6 cups All purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 egg plus a few tablespoons water for egg wash with which to brush the dough before baking
Make the fillings your choice, here are some suggestions:
- tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella cheese OR
- ham, pesto and cheese OR
- my favorite this time was olives, sundried tomatoes, feta cheese and parsley
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Once the dough is formed, turn it onto a lightly floured workspace and knead it.
Knead the dough for a few minutes. It will become smooth and easy to handle. Place the dough in a lightly greased glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap that is coated with baking spray. Let the dough rise for one hour or until doubled in size.
One the dough has risen, cut the dough in half if you wish to make 2 large calzones. Alternatively cut the dough into 8 pieces to make individual calzones. Roll the dough into a circle (like a pizza dough) then add marinara sauce and cheese.
Place the formed calzones in a parchment lined tray, cover and allow to rise again for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to a hot 450 degrees F. If you have a baking stone, preheat it at this time as well.
Make a quick egg wash by combining the egg and water. Brush it over the dough. Make a few cuts int he calzones so that steam will escape during baking. To create baking steam in the oven add a pan filled with a few cups of water in a roasting pan on the bottom level of the oven.
Bake the calzone for 15 minutes at 450 degrees F then turn down the temperature to 400 and bake for 30 more minutes or until golden brown.
If you are making two large calzones, cut each into 4 pieces.
Calzones are excellent made ahead of time and reheated. Or freeze the risen calzones and then bake them from frozen. You'll need to lengthen the baking time by about 15-20 minutes if you bake from frozen.
Serving Size:1 individual calzone
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 613 Total Fat: 19g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 69mg Sodium: 1290mg Carbohydrates: 90g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 3g Protein: 19g