½ lb. pizza dough
½ lb. mild Italian sausage
1 cup onion, diced
½ cup button mushrooms, sliced thin
½ cup red bell pepper, diced
8 oz. pizza sauce
½ lb. mozzarella, cut into ¼ inch bars
1. Set the dough on the counter to defrost (about 1 hour).
2. Brown the sausage, breaking it up into small bits. Remove to a bowl.
3. Without cleaning the skillet, add the mushrooms and sauté. Reserve to a bowl when well browned.
Tip: If you do not have picky eaters you may mix all of the ingredients in the same bowl and then divide it all among the calzone. Eilene does not like mushrooms, so I reserve them in a separate bowl. I mark the calzone without mushrooms with a little sauce.
4. Without cleaning the skillet, add the onions and sauté until starting to pick up some color.
Tip: If you do not precook your vegetables they will release all of their moisture inside the calzone leaving you with soggy bread that is falling apart.
5. Add the red pepper and cook until most of their moisture is cooked off.
6. Divide the dough into 6 balls (about half a cup each).
7. On a floured board roll each ball out into a 6 inch circle.
8. Spread the pizza sauce over the middle of the circle leaving the outer half inch clean all around.
9. Scoop some of the meat and vegetables onto the circle and spread them over only half of the circle, still keeping the edge clean.
10. Place two or three cheese bars over the filling.
11. Dampen the clean edge of the dough circle on the side with the filling.
Tip: Have a small bowl of water ready to dip your fingers, or a pastry brush, into to do this.
12. Pull the top half of the dough circle over the filling and pinch-twist the edges to make a seal.
Tip: Pinch the two layers of dough near the fold and twist the dough slightly. Move your fingers about half an inch and repeat around the half circle.
13. Transfer the calzone to a baking sheet and poke two or three small holes in the top.
Tip: The holes allow the steam to escape and prevent the calzone from blowing up like a balloon. Check about 5 minutes into the baking time to make sure that the holes did not seal up.
14. Let the calzone rise for 5 to 10 minutes and bake in a 400º F oven for 15 minutes, until the tops and bottoms are well browned.
15. Cool slightly before eating.