>> Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Though I didn't gain the "freshman 15" my first year at Ithaca College, I probably should have. Looking back, I'd most definitely have to declare DP Dough the official meal of choice that year. For, when I wasn't chowing on dining hall pizza and ice cream, I was on the phone ordering my favorite: a basic cheese calzone.
To be fair, IC has a great selection of vegetarian options, including a tasty meat-free, dairy-free chimichanga and even vegan grilled cheese. Too, there was this amazing Kosher kitchen. Many of us -- Kosher or not -- chose to eat there because they had THE BEST hummus EVER.
But every chance I got, I'd call to order DP Dough.
On a Friday night before heading to a friend's dorm to hang out. On a Sunday morning (we're talking 12:30 AM) after I'd had too much to drink and needed to fill my stomach with carbs. On a Tuesday afternoon . . . just because.
Of course, I understand the nutritional value of these hefty calzones is pretty much void. Fat, carbs, more fat. And a bit more fat. So, I'd order the cheese calzone, always making sure to add: "Light on the cheese, please." To which I'd get some sort of "Uhhh, OK?" from the guy on the phone. He was probably thinking: "Anything that'll help you sleep at night, crazy girl!"
Now that I'm older and a little wiser, I've learned to make my own calzones. This one, in particular, reminded me so much of the real thing, I just had to share it!
What you'll need . . .
- 2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or one packet)
- 1-1/4 cups warm -- not hot -- water
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar (or honey/maple syrup)
- 2 cups unbleached white bread flour
- 1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Method . . .
- In a small bowl, add the yeast and agave nectar to the warm water. Stir and let sit for five minutes, until frothy.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours and salt. Make an impression in the middle of the bowl with your fist.
- Pour the oil into the bowl with the yeast mixture. Whisk a couple times. Then pour it into the impression you made in the flour.
- Mix with a spatula. Then use your hands to knead everything in a smooth, elastic ball.
- Spritz a large bowl with some oil and place the dough ball inside -- covered with some plastic wrap -- for one hour to rise. (You can allow it to rise more, it won't hurt. But if you're in a pinch, an hour is all you really need.)
- Divide dough into four balls. You may wish to freeze the others (or refrigerate if you plan to use in the next two days.
- 1/4 cup low-fat shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup skim ricotta
- 2 tablespoons (or so) grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon Earth Balance or butter
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. If you have a pizza stone -- allow it to preheat as well.
- Take one of those dough balls and stretch it into a round on a lightly floured work surface (like you would to make a pizza).
- On one half of the round, spread our your mozzarella.
- Then take dabs of the ricotta and distribute throughout.
- Then sprinkle on the parmesan.
- Then take dabs of the Earth Balance (or butter) and distribute throughout.
- Fold over the top end and seal the edges (you may wish to pull the bottom dough edge over the top and press down to seal).
- Poke the top (not the whole way through) a few times with a fork to allow steam to escape.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Then, get a large pan and spray it with a bit of oil. Heat on medium to high heat.
- Leave the oven on, but take the calzone out of the oven and put it on the hot pan. Cook until lightly browned on one side. Then flip and do the other.
- Return to the oven for around another 10 minutes (until cheese is bubbly and top is well browned).
- Cut in half an serve with marinara sauce.
I did a rough calorie count for this baby. It comes in right around 725, which isn't terrible. I estimate that the original likely has more like 1,200 (however, I searched high and low and can't find a reliable calorie count -- one of 'em says 450. I don't think so!). Plus, if you're making your own at home, you can choose to make a smaller or larger one. Use more or less cheese. Add veggies. Whatever you like!
For me, there are just days when I want to indulge. I'm planning to continue to tinker with this recipe (use wheat or pumpkin pizza dough, for example). But the key to making it great is the pan "frying" part in the middle of the process. It gives the crust a crispier texture. So, don't skip that part!
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