How To Make Personal Calzones

Take-out calzones tend to be really doughy and light on the fillings. I like making my own so I can flip that around and load them up with as much as they’ll hold.


1 batch of pizza dough
cooked Italian (or fresh made) sausage
roast beef
sliced swiss
sliced provolone
shredded provolone/mozzarella mix (50-50)
mushrooms, onions pepper, etc.


Start by following the directions for the pizza dough up until after the first rise, and you’ve punched it down. Cut the dough into six or eight equal pieces, depending on how big you want the calzones.

Tuck the edges under each piece and place them on a floured surface to rise a second time. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap so the dough won’t dry out and form a skin.

I was distracted and forgot to cover the dough with plastic. Keep this in mind, it comes up again later.

While the dough is rising, cook up the sausage. Make sure it is broken up pretty well.

The Italian market was out of the bulk sausage, but the patties they make are the same thing.

When the dough has doubled in size again, about 45 minutes, press each piece out with your fingertips into a rectangle.

Now you can start personalizing the calzones. First one gets a handful each of sausage and shredded cheese.

Leave room to fold the dough over and press the edges together. This one is a bit longer than it should have been. Keep it more square shaped.

Fold the edges over and press them tight all the way around.

The next one was a layer of pepperoni, then sausage and shredded cheese.

You can see that this one was more square shaped, so the finished calzone is a better shape. Not as much crust around the edge.

Next up was mushroom, then sausage and shredded cheese.

Then ham, sausage and shredded cheese.

First four are ready to go. Place them on a baking sheet dusted generously with corn meal to keep them from sticking. But how are you going to tell which one is which after they’re baked?

A little stenciling on the crust should do it: H(am), P(epperoni), S(ausage), M(ushroom).

Now how about some un-calzones? These are more baked sandwiches than calzones. First up is roast beef and swiss. Put the cheese down first.

Instead of just folding it in half, roll it up and pinch the ends.

Now ham and swiss.

Remember back when I said I forgot to cover the dough for the second rise? When I tried to press the dough out, instead of stretching evenly, the skin cracked and I got a ragged edge.

That didn’t keep me from filling it with Ham and provolone.

Bake at 500° for about 15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. You can see the cheese leaked out in a few spots where I didn’t pinch the edges well enough.

So, did the little letters I cut in them survive being baked? P … S … M … H … there they are.

And the baked sandwiches (and one more peperoni and sausage calzone).

We were eating with the in-laws, so I needed some way to bring the finished calzones across the street. Fortunately we still had the box from the take-out pizza the girls had the night before.

And the finished product (by the way, these were much harder to shoot in the in-laws’ kitchen with just the overhead fluorescents). Sausage …

Mushroom and sausage …

Ham and sausage …

Pepperoni and sausage …

Ham and swiss (notice how it’s rolled up, not just folded in half) …

A little sauce for dipping …

… and dig in.

And that’s it.

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