[Note from Photographer’s Ego: Yes, I know these pictures fail to follow that number one rule of food photography: use natural light! I will be building myself a light box soon, not to fret.]
This will be our final tofu recipe for you folks for a while. Our digestive systems are not used to so much soy and they have unequivocally had enough. The Pie especially so. Poor man. Pity him that his wife cooks new things for him on a regular basis. Tsk.
The last time the Pie and I attempted calzones, we ended up with floor pizza. I was determined to get it right this time. The recipe below, with some modifications, comes from the Savvy Vegetarian, and it’s pretty easy. The dough is nice and stretchy, and I could definitely use it again for a calzone with a different filling, which is exciting! The yield for this is 10 hand-hold-able calzones, and I halved it (because there’s only the Pie and myself — Gren doesn’t get people food).
For the dough:
In a small bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon granulated sugar in 1 1/4 cups warm water. Stir in 2 teaspoons active dry yeast and allow that to sit for 10 minutes.
Or until it gets all foamy.
In a larger bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon salt to 3 cups flour and mix well.
Rub in (exactly how it sounds) 1 tablespoon olive oil. Rub it between your fingers until there are no large clumps left.
Stir the water/yeast mixture into the flour until it forms a shaggy ball. Make sure to get all the floury goodness at the bottom of the bowl.
On a floured surface, knead the ball for about 10 minutes. The more you knead it, the tackier it will get, so you will need to add more flour on occasion. Also, keep in mind that the more you knead it, the more elastic it will be (because you worked all the gluten together). You want your dough to be nice and stretchy.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it with a clean cloth and set it in a warm place to rise for about an hour.
For the filling:
Dice up 1/4 cup onion, and about 8 mushrooms and toss them in a frying pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons minced garlic. Sauté until soft.
In a small bowl, mix up 1 tablespoon flour, 1 tablespoon powdered vegetable stock, 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, a pinch of cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
Toss that on the vegetables in the pan and stir it around.
Plop in 16 ounces fresh baby spinach (you can use frozen spinach, if you thaw it and drain it first), as well as 2 12-ounce packages of firm silken tofu and a dash of soy sauce. You can break up the tofu before you toss it in, but it gave me something to do while I waited for the spinach to wilt.
I had some leftover chèvre, 8 ounces worth, so I tossed that in as well. So if you’d like to add that to this recipe, chuck in 8-16 ounces goat’s cheese and stir it around until well-incorporated and completely melted.
Remove the mixture from the heat.
Calzone Assembly and Baking:
Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Punch down your dough. Literally.
Divide it into 10 equal parts, rolled into balls (remember, my recipe is halved, that’s why you only see five).
On a floured surface, roll each ball out into a 6″ round.
Divide the filling into 10 equal parts and place each portion on a round, slightly to one side.
Wet the edges of the dough with your finger and fold over each round to make a half circle.
Squish down the edges with your finger and crimp with a fork to seal them.
Place the calzones on a baking sheet. You can brush them with oil and sprinkle them with salt if you like, for a crusty, salty top. I chose to cook ours on our pizza stone, which I put in the oven when I turned it on. Cut two diagonal slices in the top of each calzone to let the steam escape.
Bake for 15-25 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and the filling bubbles up through the holes.
Be careful, they’re HOT!