Italian · Mains

Rustic-Healthy Crescent Shaped Pesto Calzone


Calzone is an Italian folded pizza which originated in Naples. It resembles a half moon and is stuffed with sauce, cheese, meat and vegies. I made these calzones in a crescent shape like the shape of a croissant. They look really applealing and taste amazing.

I love Basil, so I filled the calzones with pesto. You could fill it with a thick tomato sauce but pesto works the best. Crisp on the outside, and a ooey- gooey centre. Filled with sweet caramelised onions, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. This is truly love. 💖 

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The shape and filling idea was adapted from a website called buono papa.

Ingredients: (Makes 4 medium calzones)

For the dough

  • Plain/ All- purpose flour- 1 ½ cups + extra for dusting
  • Whole wheat flour- 1 cup
  • Salt- a pinch
  • Luke warm water- 1 1/4 cup (between 95° F to 115° F)
  • Active dry yeast- 2 teaspoons
  • Sugar- ½ teaspoon
  • Olive oil- 2 teaspoons+ extra for greasing the bowl

For Filling

  • Basil pesto- 4 generous teaspoons
  • Cherry tomatoes- 5-6; cut in half
  • Onion- 1; small
  • White mushrooms- 5-6; large
  • Mozzarella cheese-  1 cup; cubed
  • Salt and pepper- to taste
  • Olive oil- 2 teaspoons

For dusting and brushing- 

  • Semolina flour- as needed (Note- I like my semolina flour to be a little coarse as I like the texture it gives but you can avoid that and use fine semolina flour)
  • Olive oil- as needed

Method:

For the dough

1) Sift the plain flour and wholewheat flour into a clean bowl. To it, add the salt and mix well.

2) Take 1 cup of the luke warm water, add sugar and mix until the sugar has completely dissolved. Once dissolved, sprinkle the yeast over it.

3) Stir it until the yeast has dissolved. Let it sit for 5-7 minutes.

4) Make a small well in the centre of the flour and pour the frothy yeast mixture into it. 

Calzone dough 1

5) Keeping your fingers slightly inward and stiff, move you hand in a circular motion. Add the rest of the water little by little until a sticky rough dough has formed. Dust your working surface generously with plain flour. Tip the dough onto the work surface. Again, make a small well and into it, pour the olive oil.

6) Fold the dough in such a way that the olive oil is sealed within the dough. Lightly dust the dough with flour, and start kneading the dough. For kneading, the technique is to hold the bottom of the dough with your left hand and stretch the dough from bottom to top with you right hand. Then fold the dough, turn it and repeat it till you get a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Make sure you keep dusting the surface with flour while kneading to prevent it from sticking. 

Note– The amount of flour and water may vary with the strength of the flour, the temperature and humidity of the surroundings.

Calzone dough 2

7) Grease the same bowl with olive oil and place the dough in it. Cover the bowl with cling film or a damp tea towel.

8) Keep the dough in a warm place for a minimum of 2-3 hours or until doubled in size. If the temperature of the surrounding is not hot, you can preheat the oven to the lowest possible temperature (Preferably between 80°C – 100°C.) Once preheated, turn off the oven, let it cool for 2 minutes and place the covered bowl into the oven. I do this once every hour.

Risen dough

Assembly– 

Heat a pan with olive oil. Roughly slice the onions and mushrooms. Add the onions to the pan and allow it to caramelize on a low heat. Once it becomes deep golden, add the sliced mushrooms to it. Add salt and fry it on high heat till all the water from the mushrooms has evaporated. Add pepper and check for salt.

Mushrooms

Preheat the oven to 200°C with the baking tray greased with oil. Gently knock the risen dough back into the bowl. Dust the working surface with flour and lightly knead the dough to form a ball. Split the dough into 4 equal parts.

Assembly calzone 1

Dust the working surface generously with semolina flour. This is very essential because it prevents sticking of the dough. Roll the dough into a rough triangular shape. Make sure you lift the dough while rolling and dust the surface with flour and the dough should be little thick. If the rolled dough is too thin, it can tear while folding it. Gently brush off the excess flour from the side facing you. Spread a generous teaspoon of pesto towards the centre of the triangle. Place 4-5 halves of cherry tomatoes and a little bit of the grilled onion-mushroom mix in a line making sure it is not too close to the edge. Place the few cubes of mozzarella cheese. 

Filling calzone

Brush the edges with olive oil. Start rolling from the bottom. When you reach a point where you can see only a small triangle, stop rolling. Pull the triangle and place it on the rolled dough. Seal the edges, gently crimp any place where there is gap and bring it to the inner side to give it a curved shape. Gently lift the calzone and place it on the greased, hot baking tray. Repeat the same for the others. Brush the calzones with a generous amount of olive oil.

Calzone shaping

Bake in the oven for 22- 25 minutes or until golden brown in colour. Once the top is golden brown, carefully flip the calzone and bake for 2-3 minutes so that even the bottom becomes crisp. 

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It’s okay if the calzone gets a few cracks and cheese starts oozing out as it all adds to the theatre of this dish! Serve hot. 😋

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