A’ight, mofos. This boy’s gonna COOK.
I sometimes mention that I make my own pizza/calzone from scratch. This is typically followed by statements such as:
- LMFAO you have a penis, you can’t cook!
- What brand frozen pizza do you use?
- So you order Domino’s… what do you add to the pizza after it arrives that construes as ‘cooking’?
Etc., etc. The fact is, I do make it from scratch. There’s no secret, and if I can do it, yes, anyone can do it. Trust me on that. I just follow this recipe. That being said, I’ll outline it step by step for those who fear that this is too daunting.
There are a couple of pieces of hardware that you do need. If you don’t have them, get them. Once you start cooking you’ll start using these frequently.
- Scales ($10)
- Measuring cup ($6)
- Measuring spoons ($5)
- Rolling pin (if hard pressed, use a wine bottle, just scrub the label off first) ($12)
- Cheese grater ($8) (or buy pre-grated cheese for almost twice the price)
- Baking tray (came with oven)
- Large bowl (whatever)
- Oven of some sort (hurrrrr…)
- 1kg strong white bread flour or Tipo ‘00’ flour or 800g strong white bread flour or Tipo ‘00’ flour, plus 200g finely ground semolina flour
- 1 level tablespoon fine sea salt
- 2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
- 1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 650ml lukewarm water
Optionals I use:
- Fresh basil
- Green olives (pre-sliced)
- Frozen chopped spinach
- Dough: 10-15 mins (plus 30 mins to rise)
- Prep: 5 mins (grate cheese, chop up garlic, basil (done as dough is rising))
- Oven time: 30 mins
Now, living alone and doing my own thing it means that there’s often waste. To minimise waste, I do 1/4 of the recipe on Jamie Oliver’s website. Sometimes, however, I do make the full recipe. Whatever I don’t use for dinner I cut up in chunks that would make one pizza, roll it up, wrap it in cling film and toss it in the freezer. I try to use it within a week and a half. Tonight, however, I’m making the 1/4 recipe.
1. First I mix the water, yeast, sugar and olive oil in the measuring cup as this needs to sit for a few minutes. I should be using a finer sugar, but I’m using what I have. When I go through this I’ll likely switch it up.
2. I don’t bother sifting the flour. I just dump it in the bowl, sprinkle the salt on top. I poke a couple of fingers in the middle to make a well, then I dump all the water in. BAM. Like a boss. Then, with my fingers, I just mix everything until it becomes a thick paste. Might stick to your fingers. Deal with it.
3. Then I knead it. I push it in with my fist, fold it over, repeat over and over and over. If it gets too sticky, I rinse the one hand in cold water. I do this for about 10 minutes.
4. I sprinkle the bottom of the bowl with flour, then sprinkle some on top of the dough. I place a moist tea towel or something over it and let it rise for about 30 mins. In the winter when my place is freezing I put it in my toaster oven under “keep warm” – but don’t let it be hot, just warm.
5. The dough should have risen. I punch it around like a prison snitch to get the air bubbles out, then out it goes flat as a pancake.
6. I add the cheese, passata (do NOT let any reach the edges. The edges must be dry or it won’t seal properly.If you do get sauce on the edges, wipe it off, but you’re pretty much screwed). Whatever the hell else I want to add. It’s MY calzone. I can add mac and cheese to it if I waaaaaant to. Pfft. Whatever. YOU’RE gross. Ugh. Also, salt. You’ll need to add some salt to this mofo. Then fold it over. I use a fork to seal it, making imprints all around, then fold it over on itself, and go at it with a fork again. I usually turn it around, bottom side up, o make sure the fork left imprints all the way through… if not, I go at it again.
7. I drizzle some olive oil on the bottom of the baking pan (I put some aluminum foil down first, yo). Then drizzle a bit on top. Then in the oven, 375F, 30 mins. Even if it explodes, it’s still edible. You’ll get the hang of it. Still happens to me (typed before putting it in the oven).
8. Om nom nom nom nom nom. Nom. Om.
Should you try this recipe yourself, take a pic or two and e-mail ’em (Laouik@gmail.com)! I’ll update this post with them. (I DOUBLE DARE J00.)
UPDATE May 12, 2011 – And one person has! Thank you C.J. :D