Thursday, February 12, 2009

Whole-wheat calzone, with mushrooms and blue cheese

For a long time, I was scared of calzone — probably because of my tendency to make the fillings too liquidy (which resulted in a lot of leakage), my tendency to work too much flour into the dough, making it hard to seal (which resulted in even more leakage), and my terrible belief — no doubt due to being brought up in the midwest — that cottage cheese is an acceptable substitute for ricotta (again, resulting in lots of leakage).

Tonight, though, I managed to make decent ones. Since I had actual ricotta, I figured I could make gourmet calzones for the adults and ones just filled with scoops of ricotta for the kids, but this turned out to be overly optimistic — S didn't like the tanginess. Oh, well. As with many last-minute inventions, I didn't measure carefully, so use your judgement if you're going to use this recipe. I used about a quart of mushrooms and half of a largish onion, and it made enough filling for 5 of the 8 calzone (the rest I filled with a couple of scoops each of ricotta). As with any dough, the exact proportions will depend on the humidity, etc., so you might want to start with a little less flour and work it in as needed (though these exact proportions worked perfectly for me tonight). These would probably be more "authentic" with gorgonzola, but I made them with some Irish "ballyblue" I had on hand and they were still tasty.

Calzone dough
2 cups white whole wheat flours
3 cups white flour
1 1/2 TBSP (2 packages) yeast
1 TBSP salt
2 cups lukewarm water (I microwave 2 cups of cold water for 2 minutes)

Whisk together all the ingredients except the water, then pour the water in and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until it forms a shaggy dough. Turn out onto the counter and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding extra flour as necessary to keep from sticking. Grease a bowl lightly with olive oil and put dough in to rise for 1 hour or so.

Meanwhile, make the filling:

Mushrooms (I used crimini, but white button should be fine), cut into 1/4" dice
Onions, minced fairly fine
olive oil
thyme (dried or fresh)
salt & pepper

Heat some olive oil over medium-high heat, add the onions and thyme and sauté until softened but not quite browned. Add the mushrooms, salt & pepper and cook until nicely browned — they will release a bunch of liquid, but cook until it is nearly evaporated. Mushrooms will be a lot smaller than they were originally.

Punch down the dough, knead briefly, and cut into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into an 8-10 inch circle, and place a mound of filling on the lower half of the dough. Top the filling with some crumbled blue cheese. Dip your fingers into some water and wet the outer edge of the dough, then fold over to make a half-moon shape. Pinch the dough together well and cut a slit in the top. Place each on a baking sheet well-dusted with cornmeal.

Let the calzone rise for 30-45 minutes while preheating the oven to 425. Once they are risen, bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

No comments: