Grandpa’s Pizzas and Calzones

by on October 19, 2015 » Add the first comment.
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Dough #1 – Easy and Tasty, but no adventure

Making your own pizza dough is really not that hard, but if you are not quite ready to tackle making your own, but want that pizzeria-quality dough, call one of your local NON-CHAIN pizzerias. Ask what they would charge for a ball of dough.  It should be somewhere between $3 and $5.

Dough #2 – Pretty Good, and Really Quick

8 hours before making your pizza, combine the following in a glass bowl

  • 1 TBL fresh yeast
  • 1 C water – very warm to the touch, but not hot – About 105-110º
  • 1 TBL sugar

Sift together in a large mixing bowl

  • 4 C flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Create a pile of flour, with an indentation (well) in the middle using 2 C of your flour

  • Pour your yeast mixture into the well, a little at a time, stirring to incorporate
  • Add more flour if necessary to firm up your ball
  • Once it is kind of firm, knead it in the remaining flour spread onto your counter
    Pull it in with your fingers, and push it away with the ball of your hand
  • Knead until it becomes elastic like Buddah’s stomach
  • Pinch, pull together, and form into a smooth ball
  • Let rise in a large lightly oiled bowl for about 1/2 hour
  • For Family Pizza Night, cut off softball sized pieces
    Roll them into small balls and put into glass bowls for about 2-4 hours
  • When you are ready, flatten them into shape as described below.

Dough #3 – Quality taste and an adventure, but overnight

About 24-36 hours before you will be making pizzas, combine the following in a glass bowl.
PLEASE NOTE: NO SUGAR IS USED IN THIS DOUGH RECIPE.

Sift together in a large mixing bowl

  • 4 C flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 TBL fresh yeast

Prepare 1 C water – very warm to the touch, but not hot – About 105-110º
Create a pile of flour, with an indentation (well) in the middle using 2 C of your flour

  • Pour your water into the well, a little at a time, stirring to incorporate
  • Add more flour if necessary to firm up your ball
  • Once it is kind of firm, knead it in the remaining flour spread onto your counter
    Pull it in with your fingers, and push it away with the ball of your hand
  • Knead until it becomes elastic like Buddah’s stomach
  • Pinch, pull together, and form into a smooth ball
  • For Family Pizza Night, cut off softball sized pieces – otherwise, this will make about two 14 inch pizzas
  • Let rise in a large lightly oiled bowl for about 2 hours at room temperature
  • Cover and refrigerate for AT LEAST 20 hours – and as long as 36 hours
  • When you are ready, flatten the cold dough into shape as described below.
    There is no need to let it come up to room temperature.

How to Handle your Dough

  • Flatten dough ball with your fingers
  • For a pizza, top with red sauce and your favorite ingredients for a great pizza.
    It makes it easier to get into the oven if you flatten your pizza onto parchment paper.
  • For a calzone, fill it half-way with sauce and ingredients for a classic calzone.
    When you fold your calzone in half, you will want to pinch or roll the edge so it doesn’t leak

Some Tips about Cheese

  • Mozzarella cheese is a given.  Buffalo mozzarella is a plus
  • Provalone is an OK substitute for Mozzarella
  • Gruyere has a nice melty stringiness about it
  • Pecorino cheese is another good one to use

Some Tips about Sauce

  • Canned whole Marzano tomatoes – Put through a food mill or use food processor
  • If you have typical store bought tomatoes, halve or quarter them, drizzle them with EVOO and a bit of salt, then bake them at 400º for an hour.  THEN run them through a food mill.

Topping Suggestions

  • Slivered garlic
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Basil chiffonade
  • EVOO drizzle
  • Black and red pepper

Tips for a Successful Bake

  • Cook on pizza stone for nice crisp crust
  • Preheat up pizza stone to 500º – – – 550º if your oven supports it.
    Use your fingertips to flatten dough to a wide disk

Other Yummy Tips

  • Don’t use too much sauce, or your ingredients will get lost.  If you want, serve with marinara dipping sauce for the crust pieces, but not too much sauce.
  • Don’t overcrowd your pizza with cheese.  Leave some space between cheeses.
  • Use real Parmesan, not the stuff in the green can
  • A few leaves of basil give a good taste to your pizza
  • Dirzzle EVOO onto your pizza before baking.
  • Your pizza will bake in about 6-10 minutes at 500 degrees

 

Basic Calzone Recipe

Make substitutions to taste

  1. Remove Bratwurst or Italian Sausage from their casings and brown in a skillet – Set aside
  2. Saute onion in a bit of EVOO in the same skillet
  3. Add salt, pepper, garlic and green chilies
  4. Cook about 3 minutes, then add tomato sauce
  5. Toss in buffalo mozzarella
  6. Put into rolled pizza dough, fold and seal
  7. Bake at 550º for about fifteen minutes

Consider a rolled cheese edge.

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