How to make calzone
Calzones are easy to prepare at home. While having a pizza or bread stone certainly helps to make a crisp crust, you can bake calzones on a heavy sheet pan with great results.
Start with the best pizza dough you can find, or make some yourself.
Using approximately 6 ounces of dough per calzone results in a good shape and serving size; since the vast majority of pizza shops use 12-ounce balls of dough per pizza, it's also an easy weight to find. Making your own dough can be rewarding, but it's simpler to buy some from a local pizza place or market for a few dollars.
Flatten out the half-ball of dough into a rough oval. It's more important that the dough be stretched to an even thickness than be a uniform shape, since you are going to fold it over and crimp the edges to seal it.
Start your calzones off with a base layer of cheese; fresh ricotta is shown here. The cheese makes a good bed for the rest of the ingredients.
Distribute the calzone fillings of your choice evenly over the cheese, avoiding the urge to overstuff. The calzone will puff up during baking and a large mound of ingredients could cause the dough to split and break. Make sure to leave an appropriate border around the edge for crimping -- about 1 1/2-inches of untopped dough.
Fold, pull and gently stretch the top of the dough oval to cover the ingredients. Lightly press the edges together and prepare to crimp. A few dabs of water may help if your dough feels dry to the touch.
Start to crimp from one edge, gently rolling the dough over your finger and pressing in firmly. The dough will adhere to itself and create a decorative finish as you crimp around the edge.
Not only does the finished edge look nice, but it's firmly closed around the filling and will keep the calzone together as it rises and bakes.
Cutting a series of small vents into the top of the calzone will let steam from the filling to escape, preventing an explosion in your preheated 500F oven.
A light sprinkling of coarse cornmeal helps prevent the calzone from sticking to the pizza peel and baking stone as well as lending a slight crunch to the crust. If you do not have a baking stone, a preheated baking sheet covered with parchment paper works well to create a nice crust on calzones and pizzas.
Wait a few minutes for your baked calzones to cool down and serve with a side of tomato sauce if you'd like.