Sometimes I tell myself that I’m not going to set foot in my kitchen. Not with with a 10 foot pole! After spending a lot of time cooking and baking over the holidays, today was supposed to be just that kind of day. No recipe development, no tweaking of ingredients, no cameras, and most importantly, NO dishes!
But what’s a girl to do when she gets hungry? I mean, I surely needed to feed myself and my kids, right? Well before I knew it, tummies were grumbling and the fridge looked bare. I did have a red bell pepper, an onion, zucchini, broccoli and some frozen marinara from our summer tomato harvest. One thing led to another and suddenly I was mixing a batch of dough for calzones like I was possessed.
These piping hot pockets can be filled with whatever combination of ingredients you crave, fully-loaded so that no accompaniments are required. A perfect, hand-held meal that seems to universally comfort adults and children. These gluten-free calzones are good enough that I wish I could have shared them with my Italian Grandmother. I’m confident that Grandma Florence would have given them two thumbs up.
I guess I’ll try to stay out of the kitchen tomorrow…..
- 1 cup (130 grams) brown rice flour (superfine for best results)
- 1/2 cup (90 grams) potato starch
- 1/3 cup (45 grams) tapioca starch
- 3 tablespoons ground golden flax (for increased fiber)
- 1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum (I use authentic foods for a corn-free variety)
- 1 packet active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (Hain brand for corn-free)
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, honey or agave
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup, minus 1 tablespoon warm water
- 1-2 tablespoons of additional olive oil for coating the dough
- sauce and toppings of your choice
—> Add ALL ingredients to a mixing bowl of a heavy duty mixer, fitted with paddle attachment.
—> Start mixer on slowest speed, and pulse off and on to incorporate ingredients. Be careful to not splash ingredients: go slow. After about 30 seconds, increase mixing speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes.
—> Increase mixer speed to medium-high and mix for one additional minute. The mixture should look like a thick cake batter, and it should stick to the sides of the mixing bowl. It will NOT look like traditional wheat dough, and it should NOT form a ball. Use the picture below as a guide for what the dough should look like:
→ Now scrape the dough into a clean, large bowl that has been liberally coated with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Turn the ball (don’t worry, it isn’t a pretty ball at all, but rather a spiky, gooey mess!) over a few times to distribute the oil all over the surface of the dough.
→ Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise for 30-40 minutes in a sufficiently warm, 80 degree place ( I use the top of my toaster oven set on warm. I have to put an upside down, metal cake pan on top of it, and then place the bowl of dough on that, so that the bottom doesn’t get too hot).
→ After the dough has risen, scrape it onto a piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap (I use pan spray, but a bit of oil will work too) and wrap it up like a package. Go ahead and press out some of the air as you package it up so that it deflates the dough a bit.
→ Refrigerate dough for 45 minutes, or up to 3 hours. While the dough is chilling, assemble toppings and sauce and line a sheet pan with parchment, foil or a silpat mat.
→ Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
→ With oiled hands, divide the chilled dough evenly into 4 (or 6) round balls depending on how large you want your calzones to be. Working with one ball of dough at a time (cover the remaining balls loosely with plastic wrap), place it onto the center of parchment paper or plastic wrap.
→ Lay a piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap (I didn’t need to add additional oil to the plastic since my dough was already quite oily) over the top and using your hands, flatten the dough into a disk. The dough should be a little thicker than a 1/4 inch.
→ Remove the plastic wrap and fill one half of the circle with sauce and toppings. Then fold the dough over, to cover the toppings. I lift the parchment paper with the dough, and “close” it like one might close the cover of a book. See the picture below (please note that this photo is from a prior batch when I used to use rice flour instead of oil for handling the dough. the oil proved to be the easier technique) :
→ Crimp the edges with lightly oiled fingertips (or a fork) and gently transfer to the prepared sheet pan. If you have trouble transferring the calzones, trim the parchment paper with scissors until it is trimmed down in a rough outline of the calzone and place the calzone and the parchment paper to the pan. (see below)
→ Bake in the center of preheated oven (375 degrees) for 25-30 minutes depending on desired level of browning.
→ Remove from oven and cool on rack for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Yield: 4-6 calzones depending on how large you make them.