This year I am answering the call from so many readers who have asked for two things: calzones and Easter Pie. Easter pie you might think could be coconut pie. Why not? Look a bit further though, and you’ll see an Italian tradition that involves something like a calzone (although it’s often baked in a baking dish like a “pie” or even a quiche), with a bottom and top crust, and a filling that ranges from ricotta and chopped, hard-boiled eggs to sausage, cheese and sugar.
In my own experiments, I opted for the traditional calzone shape, and I’ve given you the dough recipe and directions – fill it and bake it however you like. I’m telling you though, this is one of those recipes you may try for the first time this Easter, but you will return to again and again, with a potentially different filling each time throughout the year!
For an even easier meal, just use my Jules Gluten Free™ Pizza Crust Mix! (Only add 1/4 cup water, instead of the 1/2 cup called for on the bag)
- 1 1/2 cups of Jules Gluten Free™ All-Purpose Flour
- 3 Tbs. milk powder (dairy or non-dairy like Dari-Free™ ) or almond meal
- 1/4 tsp. oregano
- Pinch or two of garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg substitute)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 4 Tbs. warm water
- 2 1/4 tsp. rapid rise/bread machine yeast (Red Star® Quick Rise)
- fillings of choice (pasta sauce; cheese; meats; vegetables; etc.)
Whisk together all dry ingredients except yeast. Combine wet ingredients and add to the dry mix, reserving some of the water. Slowly mix while adding the dry ingredients. Add more water as needed to achieve a firm dough that can still be spread. Add the yeast and beat on high (with paddle attachment if using a stand mixer) for 2 minutes.
Prepare a baking sheet by lining with foil and spraying with cooking oil. Set aside.
Prepare a clean counter or pastry mat by dusting with Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour. Divide the dough into 4 separate portions. Scoop one portion onto the counter or mat, rolling in flour to prevent it from being sticky. Pat the dough out into an elongated disc, using the palm of your hand. The dough should be approximately 1/4 inch thick.
Dough in the foreground will be topped by another disc of dough to make larger calzones; dough in the background with less fillings will be folded over into the half-moon shape.
Scoop fillings of choice onto the center of the dough (do not mound the fillings high), leaving at least a 1-inch perimeter uncovered by fillings. Using a bench scraper or spatula, gently lift one half of the dough and fold it over itself to form a half-moon shape. Doughs like this one made with my flour are stretchy enough to allow you to pull the dough gently over the fillings; nonetheless, don’t let the dough get so thin that it tears.
*Alternatively, to make larger calzones, mound extra fillings in the center of the dough, then cover that dough with another and seal around all four edges, instead of rolling the dough over onto itself to seal. Using this method, the recipe makes two large calzones.
Wet the edges of the dough by dipping your finger in water and rubbing it across the dough edges. Press the edges together to seal, then roll edges up slightly to form a rounded crust, if you like; transfer to the baking sheet. Brush off the top to remove any excess flour; brush olive oil over the top of the dough to help it crisp and brown. Cut two small slits in the top of each pocket to allow steam to escape.
Repeat with remaining dough. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 15 minutes in a warming drawer or oven preheated to 200º F then turned off.
Preheat oven to 425º F (convection) or 450º F (static).
Uncover calzones and bake for 20 minutes. Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of your crust, but cook only until the dough is lightly browned and crunchy when you knock on it with your finger.
This recipe may also be prepared as an Italian “Easter Pie” by lining a baking dish with crust, (be sure to leave enough crust to come up the sides of the pan and fall over the edge to allow a seal with a top crust) filling with desired ingredients, then sealing with another crust on top. Brush with egg and water mixture, sprinkle with sugar and bake according to above directions; cook times will vary depending on the size of the pan and the depth of the fillings, but bake a minimum of 20 minutes, until the top crust is lightly browned.