Pizza Today - September 2017 - 35

W

hile calzones have
been around for
decades, they continue
to grow in popularity
year after year. I want
to share the best practices for creating some
creative calzones for you to incorporate
into your well-balanced menu.
One of the best vessels you can
use for an endless variety of culinary concoctions is the calzone.

Like a pizza, I want you to look at a
calzone as an empty canvas.
A calzone is essentially a folded pizza
and anything that you can put on a pizza
can be put in a calzone. You've got to
be careful, however, of how much sauce
and how many ingredients you stuff
inside this delectable baked treat. Too
much sauce will create a soggy calzone
and make it almost impossible to pick
up and eat. Customers get excited about
adding lots of fillings, which leaves us
trying to figure out how to cram so
much into our dough.
Remember, too many ounces of calzone fillings may be undercooked by the
time the dough is finished and golden
on the outside. Therefore, train your staff
to limit the amount of filling. Or, if a
customer wants many fillings, train the
crew to use less of each so that your calzone can bake properly. My preference
for the ideal calzone is a 12-ounce pizza
dough ball stretched out to 12 inches.
Put your ingredients on the lower half
of your stretched dough, preventing the
toppings or fillings from overlapping
the bottom edge of the dough. This will
ensure a proper seal of your calzone,
which is critical so it doesn't open during the baking process. When your seal
separates, sauce or cheese can ooze out
while in the oven and make a real mess.
If you are going to use any
sauce in the calzone, it is better

to add your sauce last by drizzling a
small amount over your other fillings.
This will allow the sauce to bake
down over the other ingredients leav-

ing a crispier bottom.

Once all of the appropriate fillings
are on the dough, simply fold the top
down to the bottom to cover all the
ingredients. Some folks use egg wash,
but I just act as though I'm trying to
push my fingers straight through to the
bottom of the dough (which always seals
it well). Here's the trick: as the calzone
bakes (which is generally the same time
and temp as a pizza), it will get very hot
inside. That will create some steam and
it will want to escape. That's why I slit or
rip a little hole in the top of my calzones
before they go into the oven. That steam
that wants to escape will find the path
of least resistance. If there's not a hole
in the top, it will rip a hole in your seam
and make a mess in your oven. So don't
forget the hole in the top. Think of it as
a chimney.
OK, we've got the basics,
essentials and calzone building
techniques down. It's time to put

our chef hats on and get creative. So
many pizzerias have your basic calzone
with pepperoni and cheese or ricotta and
tomatoes, but if you want to knock your
customers' socks off and have them talking about your amazing calzones at the
water cooler, you've got to get creative.
It's important that we know our customer base as well. You don't want to have a
sophisticated and overpriced calzone on
your menu if you're feeding a community
who can't afford it or have never heard of
the fillings you're offering.
A finishing option to give your
calzones that perfect look would be to
give them a light brush of butter blend
or olive oil with a dusting of grated
Parmesan mixed with parsley flakes once
it comes out of the oven.
I love a great steak bomb calzone. It's
something everyone can relate to. Cook
your steak with grilled peppers, onions,
mushrooms, garlic salt and pepper. Then
put about 10 total ounces of that mixture with some cheese, and you've got a
winner for sure.
Think about some of your favorite
entrees or sandwiches and figure a way

to transform them into a calzone using
the principles that I've shared with you.
Chicken cordon bleu is a classic
French dish that can easily be made into
a calzone. Use either grilled or cooked
breaded chicken breast, ham and Swiss
cheese. You can add a drizzle of Alfredo
sauce and now you've got a French
classic.
The only thing better than a great
Reuben sandwich would be an amazing Reuben calzone. Sliced lean corned
beef, Swiss cheese, very well drained
sauerkraut and a drizzle of 1000 Island
dressing will yield you some raving fans.
Pulled pork can be used on a Cuban
sandwich as well as a pizza topping and,
of course, is great in a calzone. Let's
call this one a "Bar-B-Q Pit" calzone.
Toss six ounces of pulled pork with two
ounces of your favorite barbecue sauce
and spread that on the bottom half of
your 12-inch stretched pizza dough.
Next, add two ounces of ham, one
ounce of crumbled bacon, two ounces of
grilled onions and three ounces of your
pizza cheese to finish off this hand-held
barbecue calzone.
These are just a few great
ideas for some extraordinary calzones that are sure to please. Add

your own flair and creativity. Don't be
afraid to try some vegetarian options using things like spinach, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and feta cheese. A
breakfast calzone with scrambled egg,
ham, bacon, caramelized onions and
cheddar cheese can create a whole new
meal period for you if you feel there is a
need for feeding folks breakfast.
Once you've got your calzone repertoire down to some great choices, let
your customers help create and name
some new ones. That always creates a
buy in factor.
I hope you can take some of these
creative tips and run with them. Now, go
stuff it....your calzone, that is! n
JEFFREY FREEHOF is

a frequent Pizza
Today contributor, Pizza Expo speaker,
chef and restaurant consultant.
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 3 5


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - September 2017

Pizza Today - September 2017
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
On Tap
Destinations
Knead to Know
Exposed Ceilings
Calzones
Baked Ziti
Chicken Florentine
Shrimp Scampi
Coupons
Celebrating Anniversaries
Road to Pizza & Pasta Northeast: Two Action- packed Days
Pizza Today on the Road: Rome’s Pizza, San Antonio, Texas
Pizza Today on the Road: Pizza Italia, San Antonio, Texas
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - September 2017 - CT1
Pizza Today - September 2017 - CT2
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Pizza Today - September 2017
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Cover2
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Commentary
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 4
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 5
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Contents
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 7
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 8
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 9
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Contributors
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 11
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 13
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Interact
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 15
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Conversation
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 17
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 19
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 21
Pizza Today - September 2017 - On Tap
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 23
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Destinations
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 25
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 27
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 28
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 29
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Exposed Ceilings
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 31
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 32
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 33
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Calzones
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 35
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Baked Ziti
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 37
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 38
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 39
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Chicken Florentine
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 41
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 42
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 43
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Shrimp Scampi
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 45
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Coupons
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 47
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 48
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 49
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Celebrating Anniversaries
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 51
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 52
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 53
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Road to Pizza & Pasta Northeast: Two Action- packed Days
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 55
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Pizza Today on the Road: Rome’s Pizza, San Antonio, Texas
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 57
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 58
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 59
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Pizza Today on the Road: Pizza Italia, San Antonio, Texas
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 61
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 62
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 63
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 64
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 65
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 66
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 68
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 69
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 71
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 72
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 73
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 74
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 75
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 76
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 77
Pizza Today - September 2017 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 79
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 80
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 81
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 82
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 83
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 84
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 85
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 86
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 87
Pizza Today - September 2017 - 88
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Cover3
Pizza Today - September 2017 - Cover4
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