However you spell it, these pizza-ish turnovers, filled with local veggies and cheese, warmed our bellies and house last night. A twist on pizza Thursday, these pockets don’t require much more work than full-size pies. In fact, filling, shaping and baking seven calzones seemed to take even less time than assembling three pizzas. And they were great company food, fun and easy to eat even for the toddlers.
I made this batch vegetarian. You can add meat—I recommend almost any variety of Dai Due‘s scrumptious sausages fashioned from locally sourced ingredients (they return to Austin Farmers Market this Saturday)—or you can feed your vegan by replacing the cheeses with organic miso. I love South River‘s handmade white miso. Just stir in your favorite miso to taste, starting with at least a couple tablespoons.
LOCAL-ZONES makes seven pockets
- 2 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon turbinado sugar. I buy this in bulk at Central Market. I bring in my own jar and a staff member tares the weight for me.
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt. I use Real Salt.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, organic or local—Texas Olive Ranch
- 10 ounces organic kamut flour. Experiment with other whole grain flours such as spelt or local wheat. Look for Richardson Farms at Sunset Valley Farmers Market or Wylie Farm and Ranch at Austin Farmers Market.
- 12 ounces organic all-purpose flour. The best price I’ve been finding lately has been Whole Foods 365 in the 5# bag.
- 2 ¼ teaspoons bread machine yeast (rapid rise or instant, NOT active dry)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cleaned Texas leeks, halved and sliced thin (available at Central Market for $2.99 per bunch of three). Chop them finer if you wish.
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ pound Kitchen Pride Texas-grown cremini mushrooms, chopped fine. I use the food processor.
- pinch dried thyme, or fresh if you wanna brave the damp.
- 3 Texas-grown broccoli tops, chopped fine—food processor again.
- several cloves organic garlic, minced
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup canned organic tomatoes. I used Muir Glen diced fire-roasted, pulsed in the processor to a chunky texture.
- 16 olives, chopped. Check out Texas Olive Ranch’s selection the next time your at our farmers markets.
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 4 ounces chèvre. I used Wateroak Farm‘s very creamy plain fresh goat cheese. You’ll find their products as well as Swede Farm Dairy‘s at Sunset Valley Farmers Market. Maid in the Shade goat cheeses sell at the Austin Farmers Market and a variety of Pure Luck‘s goat cheeses can be purchased at Central Market, Whole Foods Market, Wheatsville Co-op and Boggy Creek Farm.
- ½ cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil and kosher salt for shaping
Make the dough: I use the bread machine’s dough cycle, but I remove the dough as soon as it’s finished kneading and give it a cool 4 hour rise in the refrigerator. This dough is very active and you may need to press it down a couple times during the fermentation period. You can even let it rise longer, refrigerated, if you need extra time to whoop up yer filling.
Cook the filling: Heat the 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, salt and a Tablespoon or so water and saute until the leeks have softened. Raise the heat and add the mushrooms and thyme. Cook, stirring until the mushrooms have dried a bit, then add the broccoli. Continue to cook and stir until the broccoli is fairly tender, then stir in the garlic and oregano, releasing their fragrance for a minute before adding the tomatoes. Stir around a bit on lowest heat to assure an un-runny filling, then mix in the olives, basil and cheeses until well-blended. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Before assembling, preheat your oven to 500º. Place a baking stone on the bottom rack. You can get by without a stone, but your crusts will bake up crisper and more evenly.
Divide the dough into seven equalish pieces. I do this by forming a ball with the dough and then dividing it with a knife into uneven halves. I divide one half into fourths and one into thirds. You can pinch and add to even the seven portions up, if necessary, but you needn’t be too worried about a little imprecision. Roll each ball into an approximately 9″ circle. Place about 2/3 cup filling onto one half of the dough, leaving a ½” border of dough. Fold the bare half of dough over the filling and seal the edges by pressing the seams firmly with your fingertips. Place finished calzone on a piece of parchment paper. Repeat for each ball of dough, making seven calzones, then brush the tops of each with a light coat of olive oil and finish with a sprinkling of kosher salt as desired. With a sharp paring knife, slash four or five 1½” or so bias cuts into the top layer of dough on each calzone.
Using a large spatula (the pancake turner kind), cake lifter or pizza peel, slide as many calzones as will fit roomily onto your baking stone or oven rack. Bake for about 10 minutes, until nicely browned. Let calzones cool on a rack for about 5 minutes before eating. They’re hot!