Friday, August 31, 2012

Gluten-Free Calzones

Calzones or Pizza?

I've made gluten-free pizza several times. Okay... more than "several" times.

And I even have a favorite gluten-free pizza dough recipe.

But pizza is pizza.

My daughter likes to watch cooking shows. And cooking shows don't often show pizzas being made.

But apparently she watched calzones being made.

"How about calzones? Can we make them?" she asks me.

Of course we can!

Gluten-Free Calzones

Now that we know we are not making pizza, be sure to go collect all of your favorite pizza toppings.

No, we are not making pizza, but you will want to make those "toppings" be your "fillings."

No teeth fillings involved. Honest.

Calzone fillings!

No, we are not making pizza, but you need to make gluten-free pizza dough after collecting all of those calzone fillings.

I have a favorite gluten-free pizza dough. Actually, I have two favorite gluten-free pizza doughs.

But now, after following the instructions for rolling out your gluten-free pizza dough, it is no longer pizza dough.

It is calzone dough.

And now you want to build your calzones with your favorite fillings.

Most people will want to start with a sauce. Tomato sauce. Alfredo sauce. White sauce. Marinara sauce. Choose your favorite. Spread it around your rolled calzone dough, but do not get very close to the edge.

You need that sauce-free edge to stick to the other side once we fold it over.

But no folding yet!

After smoothing out your favorite sauce, now layer your favorite fillings in half of sauced area.

If you are drinking while cooking, you shouldn't be sauced. Please be careful of who and what gets sauced.

Here you can see we wanted to be generous with the shredded cheese, so that it covers what will become the top of this greek calzone.

Shredded mozzarella, crumbled feta cheese, sliced kalamata olives. If we had had fresh basil, I would have added julienned basil leaves.

Be sure you add all your adjectives when making calzones.

We felt the need to be rebellious and put cheese on both halves of the sauced area.

You too can be a rebel. I give you permission.

Here's another example of our rebellion.

Cheese on both halves, pepperoni on one half.

And our third creation consisted of cooked sausage, sauted mushrooms, and sliced black olives.

See, we were careful to keep all of our adjectives here too!

Next, you have to quickly and carefully lift your not-so-loaded half of the dough, aim straight, and flop it onto the loaded half. All without letting any of that rebellious cheese go flying!

Then, pinch all of the open sides together. Except that our dough was quite sticky, so pinching wasn't the problem.

Our problem was keeping the dough stuck to dough and not stuck to fingers!

Ah, but we ultimately succeeded!

Now, if you have not been over eager about removing the second piece of parchment paper, your calzone is still sitting on it. This is good.

Pull your toasty hot baking stone out of the toasty hot oven. Shake coarse corn meal on the stone. This will prevent your calzone from sticking. If you use fine corn meal, the stone will burn the meal before you ever get the stone back in the oven. This is assuming you've heated both your stone and your oven to toasty hot.

If this is not the case, then you will have to improvise and avert your eyes while I describe the next step using the parchment paper.

Carefully grab both sides of the parchment paper with your calzone balancing in the middle. Carry the paper and calzone over to your toasty hot stone, position it carefully to just above one edge of the stone...

... and then flip the calzone onto the middle of the stone.

The primary goal here is to get the calzone onto the stone. The secondary goal here is to get the calzone close to the middle of the stone.

Bake at 450º for 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven.

Here's why your goal was the middle of the stone:

See all that lushness oozing out of the calzone on the left and out of the calzone on the right?

Yes, those are your favorite fillings. Those are your favorite fillings after being on a toasty hot stone. You don't want those fillings dripping over the edge of your stone onto the bottom of your toasty hot oven, where they will be lost to humanity for ever more!

Lost at least until it is time to break out the oven cleaner.

Don't let that happen to you. Keep your calzone to the middle and you will be fine.

This dough baked up lightly crispy, but it certainly did not turn very brown. But that's okay. The taste was great!

Just remember to be careful serving these. They just came out of a toasty hot oven and off of a toasty hot stone.

They are toasty hot inside!

Be careful of the toasty hot steam inside.

Okay. Steam isn't really "toasty." But be careful of the steam, all the same!


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