When I think of Sunday’s big football game, I think of food. Not the game, the players or even the half-time show. For me, it’s all about the food. Last year I made Whole Wheat Pizza Bites that went over like gangbusters the day of the big game. So, this year I decided to do something along the same lines, but this time I turned the whole wheat pizza dough into mini calzones filled with ground beef, onions, mushrooms and cheese. These tasty hand pies can be dipped into warm pizza sauce or marinara or eaten plain – although I think it may be an unwritten rule that all foods related to watching the big game must be dipped.
To prepare the pizza dough:
In a large bowl or bread machine, combine the flours, yeast, brown sugar, egg, salt and water. Mix ingredients together and knead until you have achieved a soft but not sticky dough. Add additional water or flour if needed. After 12 minutes on the dough cycle in a bread machine, turn the machine off. Leave the lid shut and allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes. If preparing by hand, place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot to rise.
To prepare the filling and assemble calzones:
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with the mushrooms, onion, garlic and Italian seasoning until the beef is cooked and the mushrooms have softened. About 4-5 minutes. Drain the beef mixture and reserve drippings for another use if desired. Set beef mixture aside to cool.
When the dough is ready, separate it into 12 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough into a 6-inch circle. Keep the rest of the dough moist by covering it with a kitchen towel until you can get to it. Add three tablespoons of the ground beef mixture and about two tablespoons of cheese to the bottom middle of the circle, leaving the edges open so the calzone can be easily sealed. Fold the top of the circle down over the filling, leaving a little bit of the bottom edge of the dough exposed. Roll the bottom edge up over the top and pinch to seal. Use a fork to poke three sets of steam holes into the top of the calzone. Repeat the rolling, filling, sealing and poking process with the remaining dough. Transfer the calzones to a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet, and place about an inch apart. Brush with oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake in a 440˚F oven for 9-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately with warm pizza sauce or marinara.
**Dough and filling can be made ahead. Prepare the dough the day before you want to bake with it and refrigerate it in a sealed plastic bag that has had a little flour shaken inside. Set it out about a half hour before you want to roll it, leaving it in the plastic bag to keep it from drying out. The filling can be cooked, cooled and refrigerated in an airtight container the day ahead as well.
Yield: 12 Calzones
Print this Recipe