Yesterday I went to the food bank. I also tried to make Calzones for dinner. Dinner wasn’t that good but the bounty from the food bank is calling to me. I got so much awesome free food and even some stuff I have never had the pleasure of trying before.
I got some WeGo brand banana flour; actual flour from dehydrated green banana’s. I even got a arrowhead mills organic bag of pastry flour, whole wheat. Now my flour selection at home is huge, not only do I have basic white flour, I also have coconut flour, banana flour, bread flour and now whole wheat, I am really set for baking now.
I also got a whole bunch of produce from the food bank, I got some dried stalks of garlic cloves a whole big bunch of them, they look so rustic, I hung them up in the kitchen. I got some large zucchini and some Armenian cucumber that I thought was more zucchini. I got a large spaghetti squash, a nice and big one. I got some fresh kale, some Roma tomatoes, some carrots both fresh and from the food bank supply. I got some apples and some pantry stuff. I got a bag of already made local pizza dough, and a whole bunch of potatoes, which I really needed.
I asked my husband what kind of “yeast bread” he wanted tonight, as I was itching to make some yeast dough. After some thought he declared he wanted me to try making calzones.
I was a little intimated because I wasn’t feeling well, and kinda just wanted to make something that I had experience with. But the only way to gain experience is by trying, so I went for it. I made my pizza dough, and set the bag of already made dough from the food bank aside.
I wasn’t sure how this experience would work out, but I asked my husband if he wanted calzones from my dough, or the food bank dough, and or bread sticks with the food bank dough. He said he wanted to try calzones with both doughs, to see which one works better.
The biggest thing I was excited to make for this meal was the pizza sauce. I prayed for finding fresh tomatoes to make some at the the food bank and my wish was granted. I put 3-4 large Roma tomatoes into the blender with a whole 4-5 cloves of my new garlic into the blender. It was a way watery mess, I knew that was only the first step.
I had already defrosted some of my frozen mushrooms for the meal so I sauteed them with quarter of a white onion diced and a handful of chard diced. I sauteed until they were thoroughly heated and toasty, and then spooned them hot into the blender with the tomatoes and pureed for about a min.
I poured the contents of the blender back into my sauce pan and tasted it, seasoned it and added a tablespoon or two of canned tomato sauce and then steamed all the water out and reduced it into a sauce. The results were amazing. A yummy reduced pizza sauce with little tiny bits of mushroom, onion and chard in every bite. I was able to save a jar of it after using some on the calzones and I cannot wait to open that jar again.
I tried to make a giant calzone with my dough, and my dough was too sticky. I rolled it out to a pretty good size filled with a layer of sauce, then Italian meatballs from Schwans that I already baked thoroughly and cut in half and then a layer of cheese, I actually successfully rolled it over and tucked it over and made a large moon shape calzone, but when I went to take it off the wax paper it stuck, and gave me a hell of a time trying to get to the cookie sheet to bake. I got it halfway onto the cookie sheet, holy, quite a holy mess, like someone shot meatballs through it…mess and half of the wax paper was still hanging off of it.
I just about had a mental calzone breakdown. I had to walk away from my monstrosity and actually take a break. My husband said while I was freaking out, that he had extracted all the wax paper on it and it was on the cookie sheet. He asked me through my crying, if I could pinch the holes up.
“Once the sauce is on, and the dough is filled and all the handmade dough is used, no you can’t pinch the holes up. In fact the best thing that you can do, is through it into a casserole dish and say its a pizza bread casserole, cause all the filling is coming out.”
And that’s just what I did. I turned that cookie sheet of a mess of meatballs and dough upside down unto a glass pyrex dish and turned the oven on 350, and stuck it in and tried to forget about my very first handmade calzone disaster.. for some reason I think its going to stick with me forever.. get it stick with me.
Anyways, I had more luck with the food bank pizza dough, although I still made some mistakes.
I stretched it out and cut it in half, and filled one with the calzone fillings. I actually had a semi ok calzone to put into the oven, then I did the next one and foolishly forgot cheese. Well at least I had a semi- ok calzone to put into the oven and its dairy free counterpart. Lol
Results are the correct food bank dough one with cheese was good. All the doughs rose like crazy so they were more like sandwiches then pizza doughs. I don’t understand why the food bank dough rose so much, I think because I didn’t stretch it out too thin, like I normally do.
Here is the only picture that survived the calzone night of hell. I am not sure if I will try that again soon. I hope your cooking for yesterday was better then mine. I am going to try and have a much better cooking weekend.