Have you ever heard of a calzone pizza? If not, let me tell you, you are missing out!
I believe I was around 19 or 20 years old when I first tried calzone, and 30+ years later, I still enjoy having one from time to time, either at home made by myself, or when we visit a pizzeria.
Calzone pizzas are constructed from pizza dough and loaded with meats, sauces, cheeses, and vegetables. They are sometimes referred to as “inside out pizzas”. The maker rolls out the dough in a circle like a pizza, puts the ingredients, sauce and cheese on half the base, folds it over then cooks it, and there’s your calzone pizza.
The Italian calzone is similar to the Spanish empanada. They are smaller in size and stuffed with paste-like fillings.
What is a Calzone?
So firstly, what exactly is a calzone pizza? A calzone is essentially a folded pizza, with the toppings and cheese enclosed inside a half-moon shaped dough. It is then baked to perfection, creating a crispy, golden-brown crust on the outside, and a gooey, melty filling on the inside.
The great thing about calzones is that they take all the deliciousness of a pizza, and make it even better by enclosing the toppings and cheese inside the dough. This creates a whole new level of flavor and texture, as the filling melds together and marries with the crust during the baking process.
But it’s not just about taste. Calzones are also super convenient and portable. They can easily be picked up and eaten on the go, making them a perfect choice for lunch, a snack, or even a quick dinner. And with so many topping options to choose from, you can never get bored of calzones.
So, if you haven’t tried a calzone before, I highly recommend giving it a go. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.
History of Calzone pizza
Calzone is a type of pizza that originates in Italy. The word “calzone” means “trouser leg” in Italian, likely referring to the shape of the folded dough.
Calzones were first served on the streets of Naples, Italy, in the 1700s. They were designed to be consumed quickly. Calzones were really made at this time by simply folding a raw pizza in half and baking it.
When made properly, the creamy ricotta and mozzarella inside are warm and gooey, and the outside crust is roasted crispy. Italian calzones have always been and continue to be relatively tiny.
Calzones gained popularity in the United States around the middle of the 20th century. It’s believed that calzones were introduced to the US by Italian immigrants, who brought their traditional recipes with them.
Today, calzones are enjoyed all over the world and can be found on the menus of pizzerias and Italian restaurants. They are a popular choice for those who love the convenience and portability of a pizza, but with the added flavor and texture of a stuffed and baked dough.
How is Calzone different from Stromboli?
Calzones are similar to Stromboli, another type of Italian folded pizza. Stromboli is made with a longer, narrow strip of dough that is rolled up to enclose the filling, while calzones are made with a round dough that is folded in half to enclose the filling.
Calzones and stromboli are both types of Italian folded pizzas that are filled with a variety of ingredients and then baked until the crust is crispy and golden-brown. However, there are a few key differences between the two.
One of the main differences is the shape of the dough. Calzones are made with a round dough that is folded in half to enclose the filling, while stromboli is made with a longer, narrow strip of dough that is rolled up to enclose the filling.
Another difference is the type of filling that is typically used. Calzones are often filled with traditional pizza toppings such as tomato sauce, cheese, and a variety of meats and vegetables. Stromboli, on the other hand, is usually filled with deli meats such as ham, salami, and pepperoni, as well as cheese and sometimes vegetables.
Finally, the way that the dough is sealed is also different between the two. Calzones are typically sealed by crimping the edges together, while stromboli is sealed by rolling the edges under and tucking them in.
Overall, calzones and stromboli are both delicious options for a tasty and convenient meal, and the choice between the two will depend on your personal preference for flavor and texture.
Calzone pizza filling
So what’s typically in a calzone? What kind of ingredients can you expect to find? That really depends on your personal preferences. Some classic calzone fillings include tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your choice of toppings such as sliced meats, vegetables, and herbs.
But the fun doesn’t stop there! You can also get creative with your calzone fillings and try out new and unique combinations. How about a calzone filled with ricotta and spinach, topped with sliced tomatoes and a sprinkle of parmesan? Or maybe you’re in the mood for a barbecue chicken calzone, with shredded chicken, barbecue sauce, and a blend of cheddar and monterey jack cheeses. The options are endless!
So next time you’re in the mood for a tasty and convenient meal, give a calzone a try. Your taste buds (and your belly) will thank you.
Since everyone has different preferences, there is no set formula for the ideal calzone pizza filling. You can make calzones to your specifications just as you can with pizza.
Here are some suggestions:
- Leftover chicken
- Cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar, gouda, ricotta)
- Vegetables (onion, tomatoes, spinach, peppers)
- Cooked bacon
Any of the toppings you can find within our hundreds of pizza recipes can be used in a Calzone pizza as well. Feel free to experiment and explore the many taste options available to you.
How do I make calzone pizza?
If you can make homemade pizza, you can definitely make homemade calzone pizza! While making calzone with pizza dough, thinly roll it out. Be careful to leave at least 1 inch of space around the borders uncovered while spreading the tomato sauce.
Add whatever you want on top of one-half of the dough. You can use anything you like, such as cheese, salami, sweet corn, canned mushrooms, and onion.
The second half is then folded over the filling, and the edges are sealed by pressing down. The dough should then be folded toward the center and pressed down once more to create a second seal that will prevent the filling from leaking out.
You should then bake the calzone for approximately 15 minutes in a preheated oven or until the top is well browned.
Making calzone dough
You use pizza dough to make calzones. There really isn’t any special version called calzone dough. You can either use a dough recipe from this website, or you can also buy pizza dough from the grocery store or local pizza shop.
In either instance, the dough will become a beautiful, flexible dough perfect for making a homemade calzone.
Tips on cooking homemade calzone pizza
Here are some tips I have learnt over time, making calzone at home.
- Instead of reducing the recipe to create fewer calzones, just prepare the whole batch. Let the dough proof, and then split it out into individual servings (balls).
- Use a limited number and freeze the remainder for later. The frozen balls should be placed first on a plate with space between them before being placed in a Ziploc bag.
- When you are prepared to use it, defrost it in the refrigerator (covered in plastic wrap). Let the dough come to room temperature before rolling it out. Please note that it will take longer to roll.
- They may also be kept for up to three days in the refrigerator. Keep each piece of dough separately in a Ziploc bag as they will continue to grow.
- For dusting, you shouldn’t require a lot of flour. In fact, it is simpler to roll out the calzone dough when it adheres to the surface. Sprinkle flour on the dough’s surface if it starts to adhere to the rolling pin.
- Olive oil brushing on calzones before baking is entirely optional!
- Eggs are also used to make the traditional calzone pockets, which I have not yet attempted to make. Please share your experience if you tried it yourself.
Frequently asked questions about Calzone pizza
There are many questions about Calzone pizza floating around. Here I have collated some of the biggest ones, and answered them as best I can.
Which is better; calzone or pizza?
It’s really a matter of personal preference! Both pizzas and calzones can be delicious, and which one you prefer will depend on your individual taste buds and dietary needs.
Pizzas are made with a thin, flat crust that is topped with sauce, cheese, and a variety of other ingredients, such as vegetables, meats, and herbs. They are typically sliced into wedges and are easy to eat with your hands. Pizzas can be made with a wide variety of toppings, so you can choose a flavor that suits your taste preferences.
Calzones, on the other hand, are made with a thicker, doughy crust that is folded over and sealed around the filling. They are typically shaped like a half-moon and are served in a slice. Calzones are often filled with cheese, as well as other ingredients such as vegetables, meats, and/or sauce. They can be a bit more substantial than pizzas, and the filling can help to balance out the richness of the cheese.
Ultimately, whether you prefer a pizza or a calzone will depend on your own preferences. If you like a thin, crispy crust and a wide variety of toppings, you might prefer pizza. If you prefer a thicker, doughier crust and a more substantial filling, you might prefer a calzone.
How long do I cook calzone on a pizza stone?
Cooking a calzone on a pizza stone can be a great way to get a crispy, delicious crust, but it’s important to make sure that you cook the calzone for the right amount of time to ensure that it is fully cooked and safe to eat.
As a general rule, you can cook a calzone on a pizza stone for about 10-15 minutes at a temperature of 425-450°F (220-230°C).
However, keep in mind that the cooking time can vary depending on the size of the calzone, the thickness of the dough, and the specific ingredients that you are using. It’s a good idea to check the calzone regularly as it cooks to make sure that it is not burning and to ensure that the filling is hot and fully cooked.
You can use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the calzone, or you can cut it open to check that the filling is hot and the dough is fully cooked.
Are calzones healthier than pizza?
Calzones and pizza can both be made with a variety of ingredients, so it’s hard to make a general statement about which is healthier. However, in general, calzones may be slightly healthier than pizza because they are typically made with a smaller amount of cheese and have a thicker, doughy crust that can help to balance out the richness of the filling.
That being said, the overall healthiness of a calzone or a pizza will depend on the specific ingredients that are used to make it. If you are trying to make a healthier choice, you may want to opt for a calzone or pizza that is made with whole grain dough, vegetables, and lean protein sources. You can also ask for less cheese or choose a sauce that is lower in sugar and fat.
Do calzones take longer to make than traditional pizza?
Sure! Calzones and traditional pizzas can take different amounts of time to make depending on a few factors, such as the size of the calzone or pizza, the complexity of the recipe, and the cooking method.
In general, calzones may take a bit longer to make than traditional pizzas because they require an additional step of folding and sealing the dough around the filling.
However, this difference in cooking time may not be significant, and it’s also worth noting that there are many variations of both calzones and pizzas, so the amount of time it takes to make them can vary widely.
If you are in a hurry, you might try making a smaller, simpler calzone or pizza, or choose a recipe that uses a faster cooking method, such as grilling or baking in a preheated oven.
What cheese do calzones have inside?
The type of cheese that is used in a calzone can vary, but some common options include mozzarella, provolone, and Parmesan. Some calzones may also include a mixture of different types of cheese.
It’s important to note that the cheese used in a calzone will contribute to its flavor and texture, so the type of cheese that you choose can make a big difference in the overall taste of the dish.
If you are trying to make a healthier calzone, you may want to choose a cheese that is lower in fat and calories, such as part-skim mozzarella.
Is a calzone baked or fried?
A calzone is baked, not fried. The dough is typically made with flour, water, and a small amount of fat (such as oil or butter), which is mixed together and rolled out into a thin circle. The filling ingredients are placed on one half of the dough, and then the dough is folded over and sealed to enclose the filling.
The calzone is then placed on a baking sheet and baked in the oven until the crust is golden-brown and crispy.
Another type of Calzone, the Panzerotti, is a specialty calzone from the Italian province of Apulia. They are fried calzones with mozzarella and tomatoes.
Some variations of calzones may also be brushed with an egg wash or sprinkled with a little bit of cheese before being baked, in order to give the crust a nice shine and added flavor.
Try a calzone today!
I trust that this detailed guide on calzone pizza has helped explain this delicious food in more detail, and if you have never tried a calzone pizza before, you are now super keen to. This fantastic style of pizza which originated in Naples in the 18th century, is still as popular today as ever.
Give a calzone a try, either by making it at home or buying it from your local pizzeria. I promise you will find it a great alternative to the traditional pizza!