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Three Cheese Calzones


Adapted from Country Journal Magazine, Jan. 1987.  Great for making ahead for brown bags.   Turnover dough is a little thinner than Strudel dough.  Use frozen bread or pizza dough, or make the dough from scratch.  Pillsbury Pie Crust also works fine.  

This recipe can easily be divided to make one batch vegetarian, and one with meat. A Better Homes and Gardens recipe calls for a filling made with cooked, chopped turkey breast, fresh spinach, and mixed "pizza" cheeses. Bon Appetit  blends ricotta, Gorgonzola or blue, and Fontina cheeses with frozen spinach in one recipe; and,  spicy Italian sausages with mozzarella and ricotta cheeses in another. One vegetarian cookbook combines rehydrated dried tomatoes, chopped broccoli and onions, and ricotta cheese.   See also Fillings for Strudel.

For the dough:

2 t active dry yeast
1 1/4 cp lukewarm water
1/2 cp whole-wheat flour
2 3/4 cp unbleached flour
1 t salt
1 T olive oil

1. In large mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Let rest 5 minutes. Whisk in whole-wheat flour and one cup of unbleached flour. Set this sponge aside for 15 minutes.
2. Stir salt and olive oil into the sponge. Add enough remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to make a soft, kneadable dough.
3. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, using a little extra flour as necessary to prevent sticking.
4. Place dough in oiled bowl, cover with plastic, and leave in a warm spot till doubled.

For the filling:

1   bunch fresh spinach, or 10-oz package of thawed frozen, drained and sqeezed dry

2      med. onions, halved and thinly sliced
3     T olive oil
2-3  cloves minced garlic
1/2  cp ricotta cheese
1     cp mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cp crumbled feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cp chopped fresh parsley
2     t each dried basil and oregano, or, 4 T each if fresh

1. Saute onions in olive oil till soft. Add garlic for last few seconds. Transfer to plate and cool briefly.
2. Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. Mix in cooled onions and reserve.
3. Preheat oven to 450. Grease large baking sheet and dust with cornmeal. Set aside.
4. When dough has doubled, punch it down, knead briefly and let rest for 5 minutes. On lightly floured surface, roll into 15-16" oblong, roughly 1/4" thick. Spread filling down center, leaving at least a 2" border on all sides.
5. Lightly moisten outer edge of dough with wet fingertips. Fold edges toward center and press firmly to seal, curling seam to give it a decorative look.
6. Transfer to baking sheet and let sit for 5 minutes. Brush with cold water.
7. Bake 25-30 minutes. After 10 minutes brush again with cold water and bake till crust is deep golden.