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Homemade Calzones or Pizza

Makes 4 very large calzones or two large pizzas

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups flour plus ½ -3/4 cup flour for dusting and kneading

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

1 pkg yeast (.25 oz or 2 tsp)

¼ cup Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil Suggestions: mild Single Varietal, Garlic, Tuscan Herb, Basil plus more for greasing

1 cup fairly warm water (110 degrees is ideal)

Directions:

Place the yeast in a small bowl and slowly stir in the yeast. Let sit for about 3-5 minutes.

Add 2 ½ cups of flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of a standing mixer. When the yeast/water combination is ready, turn on the mixer and slowly add it. Slowly add the Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Choice. Let the mixer form it into a soft dough.

Dust the counter with a little of the remaining flour and turn the dough onto the counter. Knead firmly, using the heel of your hand, folding the dough over as you go. Add more flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. Continue kneading for 6-10 minutes until the dough becomes soft and spongy.

Grease a bowl with a little Flying Olive EVOO. Place the smooth side down then flip it over. Cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel, and leave in a warm place. You can preheat the oven and leave the bowl on top of the stove for 30–40 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.

Punch down the dough. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface again and knead for a couple of minutes to knock out the air. With a sharp knife, divide the dough into fourths (If you are making a pizza, divide into two pieces. Let sit ,covered with a dish towel, for a few minutes.

Turn the oven on to 400 degrees F.

For the calzones: Roll each piece out as thinly as you can, rolling away from you, and turning it as you go. You may have to pull and stretch the dough a little as it tends to spring back. You need each circle of dough to be about 8 inches in diameter, although it doesn't have to be perfectly round.

Spread your choice of filling on half of each dough circle, leaving a margin around the edge. Better to use sauce very lightly or not at all. If you want, heat up the sauce and serve with the calzone once it's done
cooking). Scatter the cheese over the filling. Sprinkle with your choice of spices. Dampen the edges of the dough with cold water. Fold the dough in half and press well to seal. Place two calzones on each greased baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. If they are not browning, brush with a little Flying Olive EVOO during the last couple of minutes. When the calzones are done, carefully loosen with a spatula and serve at once. If desired, serve with your favorite pizza sauce.

For pizza: Stretch each piece of dough to fit inside a pizza pan or a square baking sheet (a pan  with edges is easier and keeps the toppings from falling off the edge!). You may have to pull and stretch the dough a little as it tends to spring back. You need the finished crust to be about 14-16 inches in diameter, although it doesn't have to be perfectly round or square. Match the size to your baking sheet and top with your favorite toppings, spices, and cheese. Transfer to a hot, lightly oiled baking sheet and cook 10-12 minutes.

Some filling ideas: For calzones, cut the pieces smaller than for pizzas, the choice are endless! Your favorite tomato or pizza sauce, pepperoni , precooked sausage, precooked ground turkey or beef, precooked and sliced meatballs, artichokes, spinach, peppers, tomatoes (remove the seeds), olives, onions, garlic minced fine, basil, oregano, Italian seasonings, etc!

Submitted by Barb L.