Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chicken Artichoke Pesto Calzones

These Calzones are Amazingly Good!
The pizza dough recipe that I used to make these Calzones made the meal as good as if we were eating at a pizzeria.
I served the Calzones with warm (pre-made) Alfredo sauce for dipping, and a green salad.
For my two little boys I made them their own mini cheese pizzas, they are not into Artichoke and Pesto yet.
Once you get your pizza dough made, they really do not take long at all to make. I do have to say though making your own pizza dough from scratch is well worth with effort.

Chicken Artichoke Pesto Calzones
Serves 8

2½ pounds pizza dough (you can use your favorite pizza dough OR the recipe I use I have at the bottom of this post)

1 cup pesto
1 cup frozen artichokes, defrosted and roughly chopped
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella or fontina cheese
olive oil for brushing

1. Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Turn the risen dough out onto an unfloured work surface. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces. Gently reshape each piece of dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, and let the dough rest at least 15 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.

2. Working with one piece of dough at a time and keeping the other pieces covered, stretch and pull the dough into a 7- to 8-inch round. Set it aside while you stretch out the remaining rounds of dough. You’ll want to form and fill just four at a time, and then work on the other four while the first set bakes. (Cooks Illustrated stacks the rounds with squares of parchment paper)

3. Spread 2 tablespoons pesto onto each round of dough, leaving about a 1-inch border around the edge. Divide the toppings evenly between the eight dough rounds, forming a pile in the center of the bottom half of each dough round and leaving a 1-inch border uncovered.

4. Fold the top half of the dough over the filling-covered bottom half, leaving ½-inch border uncovered. With your fingertips, lightly press around the silhouette of the filling and out to the edge to lightly seal the dough shut.

5. Beginning at one end of the seam, place your index finger diagonally across the edge and gently pull the bottom layer of the dough over the tip of your index finger; press into the dough to seal. Repeat the process until the calzone is fully sealed.

6. With a pastry brush, brush the tops and sides of the calzones with olive oil. Carefully transfer the calzones to parchment paper; Bake on a cookie sheet or baking stone. Bake until the calzones are golden brown, about 11 minutes; Remove the calzones from the parchment, cool 5 minutes, and serve. While the first batch of calzones bakes, form the second batch and bake them after removing the first batch from the oven.

Basic Pizza Dough Recipe:

-4 cups of Bread flour

-2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid rise yeast

-1 1/2 teaspoons salt

-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

-1 1/2 cups of warm water (110 degrees)

1.With a stand mixer combine flour, yeast, and salt together.

2. With the mixer running, pour the oil, then the water slowly into the flour mixture until a rough ball forms 30 to 40 seconds. Stop the mixer and let dough rest for 2 minutes. Turn back on the mixer for 30 seconds to 1 minute longer. The dough should be sticky and cling to the blade, add 1/4 cup more flour if needed to make a smooth dough. Form dough into a round ball place in a large oiled bowl (I spray it with Pam). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (1 to 1 1/2 hours).

**Note** Using bread flour is what gives the crust a more Pizzeria taste, it is chewy once baked and spreads more thinly while forming it into a pizza round. You can substitute all-purpose flour or whole wheat four but it will not taste as good.


1 comment:

Melanie said...

These calzones look fantastic! We must be on the same wavelength because I am posting a calzone recipe later this week.