Sunday, 04 March 2012
Not Enough CHEESE!What’s harder than making homemade calzones? Making homemade calzones with five sou chefs. I cooked my first calzone two weeks ago with the help of my 3 nieces and 2 nephews between the ages of 2 and 11. I'll teach you how to make your own calzone.
Phase 1: Calzone dough Ingredients
2 ½ cups flour (we used 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat flour)
2 1/3 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup water
We needed a stool and a step ladder. I wouldn’t let the younger kids stand on the counter. Their toes might end up in the bowl. Hopefully, you’re not a one-armed cook like me due to the two year old in my left arm who’s munching on mozzarella. The older three fight over whose cooking and I’m trying to remember if everything is in the bowl.
The ingredients made it into the bowl as every kid helped in a small way.
If you have the time, free hands, and forearm muscles, then please mix the dough by hand. If not, then toss it in the Kitchen Aid mixer, attach the dough hook, and put it to work. Warning! Don’t let the kids get too close to the moving mixing bowl. You never know what could end up in there.
When the dough’s not sticking to the bowl and it's looking like a ball, put it aside until you're ready for the pre-bake stretch.
Phase 2: Cheese
Now the fun begins. You can add whatever you want, but the must-haves for my calzones are the cheeses. I absolutely need way too much fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheese.
Before you stuff it, sprinkle a little flour on the cutting board board and rolling pin. Stretch and roll your dough into a circle. With the help of ten extra hands, we flattened our dough in no time. Then the little chefs, each with their own spoon, spread a creamy base of ricotta across half of the circle.
My oldest niece passed along the fresh mozza slices, and everyone took a turn spreading the wealth over the bottom spread. Then, another top layer of ricotta sealed the deal before the little chefs pinched together the “doughy omelet” with their little fingers. I stuffed the second calzone with sauteed spinach.
The oven was preheated to 400 degrees, the cookie sheets greased with a butter stick, and a little sou chef basted the calzones' outsides with an egg wash for a golden brown finish. And yes, butter does make everything better.
Twenty minutes later, the buzzer rang, and the kids flocked to the table. Yes, Uncle Billy does make the “the cheesiest calzones ever.”
Do you have any calzone cooking or eating experiences? What's your favorite type of calzone? Do you ever cook with kids?