cowboy calzones

for the last six months or so, i've made homemade pizza about every other week. while relatively easy and oh-so-delicious, i was getting slightly bored with our toppings and was looking for something else to do with my now favorite pizza dough. one night, over said homemade pizza, jason and i were talking about eating pizza as kids and i mentioned that sometimes i would forgo pizza for a calzone and that i couldn't remember the last time i had one. right then and there i knew calzones would be on the menu for the following week. jason had one and only request: add meat. and because i'm not a huge fan of pepperoni, this cowboy version loaded with ground beef and three cheeses was the next best thing.

cowboy calzones
crust adapted from pink parsley, filling adapted from your home based mom
45 minutes active time, makes 8 calzones

to freeze calzones, cool completely, wrap individually in plastic wrap or wax paper, and seal in a plastic zip top bag. defrost in the refrigerator for a day (or a couple hours at least) before reheating either in the microwave or oven.

for the crust:
3 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons sugar
~1/3 teaspoon instant (or rapid rise) yeast
1 1/3 cups ice cold water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

for the filling:
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced
8 ounce can tomatoes with chilis
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese
1 egg, beaten
  1. to make the crust, combine the bread flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a food processor. add the water and pulse until combined. let rest for 10 minutes. once rested, add the olive oil and salt and pulse until it forms a ball of dough. wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.
  2. remove the pizza dough from the refrigerator about an hour before using it.
  3. preheat your oven to 450F. line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.
  4. coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and brown the beef with the onion over medium high heat. drain excess grease. add the tomatoes, stir to combine, and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until thickened slightly. while the mixture is simmering, combine the cheeses and egg in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. add the cheese mixture to the meat mixture and stir to combine.
  5. divide the pizza dough into eight equal portions. flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll each portion into a 6-8" circle. divide the meat mixture equally among the dough circles and spread out evenly over one half. fold the dough over and seal the edges either with a fork or by turning the bottom edge over the top of the dough (see my picture above). brush the tops of the calzones lightly with olive oil and cut a few slits in the top of each one. 
  6. bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. let cool a couple minutes on the baking sheet before eating.

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