The Best Calzone EVER



1 loaf of Rhodes frozen Bread Dough
cornmeal
pizza sauce (spaghetti sauce will work just fine too)
1 package shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of real parmesan cheese (not the powdered jarred stuff)
pepperoni slices, and lots of 'em
little can of sliced black olives
small can of sliced mushrooms
1/2 of a bell pepper, diced
1/4 of an onion, diced
Any other pizza toppings of your choosing


For starters, if your using a pizza stone, be sure to preheat it in a 500 degree oven for about 30 minutes before baking your calzone.  Once your stone is preheated, turn your oven down to 350. You will need to wait about 10 minutes or so for the temp. to drop back down to the needed 350. I don't like waiting, so, I personally am perfectly content with my ole cookie sheet and preheating at 350 to start off with.

You can find Rhodes frozen yeast dough Loafs in the freezer section of your grocery store.  I have became a HUGE fan! Serious down home taste, and  it's quite inexpensive too.  You get 3 frozen loaves for just a few bucks. I love their frozen yeast dough Rolls too. 

Thaw your dough in a lightly greased dish in a draft free warm place.   Just follow the directions on the back of the bag. I've had great success with turning the light on in my oven and letting it thaw in there. The warmth from the light bulb in MY oven seems to be just the ticket.  I do this even when I'm making a loaf of bread. Draft free and just the right amount of needed warmth for rising.

Now, my very first piece of advise....once your done rolling out your dough, place it on your cooking sheet BEFORE filling with all your goodies.  TRUST ME! I won't go into the head scratching I did once I filled the dough, braided it up and then needed to move that flimsy filled sucker onto my cookie sheet.  It wasn't pretty. I learned my lesson.

Now, back to the directions.

Whatever surface you decide to roll your dough out on, you need to dust it with some cornmeal. This will prevent sticking and I must say, add a nice pizza'ie texture to the dough. Roll your dough out into a large rectangle. You can stretch and pull to help the process along.  It will "shrink back" in the beginning of your rolling out process.  Don't get discouraged, it will eventually hold it's shape. Promise.

Now, transfer  your dough to a lightly greased (Pam spray is great) cookie sheet. To make the transition easier, I usually fold the dough in half and then move it.

In the very center of your sheet of dough, about 4 inches width worth, ladle your pizza sauce first, the entire length of your dough. Time for the layering. I am going to tell you which filling ingredients I chose, but you by far can use your favorites.  So, here goes:

Pizza sauce
sliced black olives
sliced mushrooms
diced onion
diced bell peppers
pepperoni and lots of it
shredded mozzarella
fresh parmesan (I found a small tub of shaved  Kraft parmesan in the lunch meat/cheeses isle of the grocery store).  I keep it in the freezer and grab a dab when needed, very tasty and melts beautifully.


Once my first layering was finished, I repeated the steps. I was going for "big"!

Now that you've got all your goodies layered on your dough, it's time for the tricky but fun part. Your going to cut 1 inch strips on each side of your dough, all the way up to the filling, maybe a hair short of the filling.  I used a pair of kitchen scissors for this, worked real good. Here's a good photo to use as a visual guide from stickafork.net. (I  didn't think about photographing this step, whoopsie).



Time to braid your strips. Starting at one end, take each strip of dough and wrap it across the filling, and gently pinch the dough so it sticks to the "side wall", you'll understand this step once you are face to face with your masterpiece in the works. Alternate sides, until the calzone is braided.

I sprayed the top of my priddy bundle with Pam cooking spray and then gave a sprinkle/shake of the ole trusty jarred parmesan cheese.

Poke into your oven and cook it for  25ish minutes. Again, all of our ovens cook differently, so time may vary. Golden-brown is my gauge.
 
So so good, and really a great base idea that you could get creative with. Ham and cheese? Chicken, cream cheese and jalapeno's?? HB meat, cheddar cheese, onions, tomatoes and pickles? There is no end to the options. You get the point. Now, go on and get your creative on. Oh, and don't forget, ENJOY!







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