Homemade pizza and calzones

This past week we got hit hard with a snow and ice storm many people lovingly referred to as snowmaggedon or snowpocalypse.

We didn't leave the house for three very long days.  My husbands work was even without power, so we had a very impromptu family staycation.

I spent a lot of time cooking and I thought I would share with you one of our families favorite meals. homemade pizza and calzones  
It's pretty easy but does take a little prep time in the kitchen so be forewarned.

To make the pizza/calzone dough you need:

1/2 to 3/4 cup warm water (not hot! it kills the yeast. Warm bath water hot)
1 tablespoon dry yeast (or 1 package)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup water with the yeast and sugar.  Stir to dissolve the yeast and let it stand.

While you are letting the yeast activate, mix together your dry ingredients.
Put the flour, oil and salt in your mixer.  I use my Kitchen aid with my dough hook blade.

Your yeast should be ready by now.  See how foamy and bubbly it got?  It usually takes around 3-5 minutes.  If it doesn't foam up, do it again, the yeast was either killed with the hot water, or the yeast is old.

Put your yeast mixture in with your dry ingredients and mix

keep mixing and as you mix, add the extra water that you have, but just a little at a time...not too much.  

The dough should start to clean itself off of the edges.  Once it does this, mix it around about 20 more times, or you can knead it if you don't have a fancy mixer.

After it gets mixed, cover it with a dish towel and let it rise.  This should only take about 10 minutes but you can leave it for up to an hour.

When you take the towel off, the dough should have risen to at least twice it's size like this.  Bring the kids over to ooh and ahh cuz that's pretty awesome!

While I wait for the dough to rise, I usually chop up vegetables to put in the pizza and/or calzones.  Since we were snowed in, this is what we had on hand.  You could use any of your favorite toppings.

To make a calzone, I take a small piece of the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface.

Then I put pizza sauce in the middle along with any of my toppings.

Then I fold up the edges and pinch the edges together like so.

My younger two kids don't like calzones, so I make them personal pizzas instead.
Same thing, just roll out the dough, then sprinkle on your toppings.

You can also make a calzone like this.

Place the finished product on a baking sheet and sprinkle Italian seasonings on top.

Bake at 425 degrees for 17 minutes

I usually double my dough recipe and with the leftover dough make a pizza I can stick in the freezer for one of our busy nights.  It makes for a quick dinner and since I already have the toppings out, I can whip the pizza together pretty quickly.

Add a salad

or make a veggie tray and serve it to your hungry family.


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