1 batch of thin crust pizza dough (3/4 water, ½ teaspoon yeast, 2 cups all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon of salt)
4 ounces cooked meat of your choice, separated into 8 half-ounce piles
4 ounces of cheese of your choice, separated into 8 half-ounce piles (I use mozzarella and goat cheese)
Sauteed veggies of your choice (onions, green or red peppers, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.)
Sauce to bind everything together (like tomato sauce, BBQ sauce or ricotta cheese)
A little milk for sealing the edges
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare your pizza dough (click here for directions) and set aside while you prepare the filling. If you haven’t already done so, cook your meat and set aside to cool. Then saute your veggies in a little olive oil until they are mostly cooked through and set them aside to cool. It’s important to cook these ahead of time because if you add the veggies raw, they will release a lot of liquid in the oven and you’ll get soggy calzones. Plus, cooking them ahead of time gives you better flavor!
Find a bowl in your kitchen that is about six inches in diameter. Use this bowl as a guide to trace eight circles onto parchment paper. Cut the parchment into eight pieces with one circle on each piece of parchment. Flip the parchment upside down so the actual pencil/pen mark of the circle is against the counter and your food-surface is clean.
Cut the dough into eight equal pieces. Place one piece on a piece of parchment paper in the middle of the circle. Press down on the center of the dough and then use the heel of your hand to gently push outward on all sides until you’ve filled the circle. The dough will be about 1/8 inch thick. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough and parchment.
Cover each rolled-out circle as you finish with sarah wrap or an upside down bowl to keep it from drying out while you finish the rest of the circles. Place the meat and cheese in the center of the dough and layer on as many veggies as you think will fit (you’ll get a feel for it after making one or two). Leave just under an inch of space around the edge.
Brush the edge with milk. Lift one side of the dough over itself and pinch the dough together in the middle. Pinch all the dough to one side closed and then go back and pinch the other side closed, formin a half-moon. Repeat with remaining calzones. (Note – the parchment paper will continue sticking to the dough and that’s fine! When the calzone bakes, the parchment will gradually un-stick itself.)
Arrange the calzones on a sheet pan. Just for baking, use a paring knife to cut three steam vents in the top of the calzone – go right through the parchment paper. Bake the calzones for five minutes and then flip them over. Bake for another 5 minutes and flip them over again. Remove the parchment paper. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until the calzones are an even golden-brown and toasty on the edges. Remove calzones to a cooling rack, let cool five minutes and serve!