Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lamb Calzones

Ah, the original Hot Pocket.  I had issues scoring some obscure ingredients for another dish and had to find something to do with a pound of ground lamb.  I've already posted nearly everything I know how to make with it. Time to invent something.

Calzones are just individual-sized, folded-over pizzas.  You can make them with frozen pizza dough and any toppings you want.  I just happened to have the lamb and half a pound of shredded mozzarella.  You can put the sauce inside if you want, but I prefer to have it in a bowl for dipping.

These are dark because I made them with part buckwheat flour.  No particular reason, just thought I'd be different.  It's the same recipe as if you used only all-purpose flour.

2-3 C flour
1 C warm water
2 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp honey
olive oil
corn meal
*1 lb ground lamb
1/4 C pine nuts
1 clove garlic, minced
*8 oz shredded mozzarella
1 14oz jar pizza sauce or marinara
*corn meal

1.  Stir together water, yeast, and honey and let sit until yeast activates, about 5 minutes.

2.  In stand mixer, combine water mixture and 1 C flour.  Beat into a batter, about 2 minutes.  Add salt and another cup of flour and beat again to make a light dough.

3.  Generously flour a kneading surface.  Pour dough onto it and knead until dough is smooth and silky, about 5 minutes, adding as little flour as possible.  Oil a bowl lightly with olive oil.  Turn dough ball over in oil to coat all sides and set in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.  Punch down dough, form into 3- to 4-oz balls by weight, and let rest while cooking lamb.

4.  In a medium skillet, toast pine nuts and dust lightly with salt.  Set aside.  In same pan, brown lamb.  Pour off the fat and add garlic.  Lamb should be fairly dry, well-browned, and completely cooked.  Add pine nuts and set aside until ready to use.  Prepare two cookie sheets with either a Silpat and scattered corn meal or a liberal amount of olive oil and corn meal.

5.  Roll out one ball into an 8" diameter round.  It's ok if it shrinks up a bit after measuring.  If using pizza sauce on inside, spread 2 Tb on crust, leaving a 1" rim.  Add 1/2 C of lamb filling on one half of the circle, followed by 1/4 C of cheese.  Fold over other half of crust and pinch closed.  Transfer to cookie sheet.

6.  Once all pies have been panned, brush each with water to soften the crust and make them rise better.  Cut a small slit in the top of each for venting.  Preheat oven to 400º.  If you timed it right, the first pie should have had about half an hour to rise, the last at least 15 minutes.

7.  Bake calzones for 10 minutes.  Rotate pans and bake for another 5 minutes, until well-browned and crisp.  Cool on a wire rack for five minutes, then serve with a side of sauce for dipping.

Makes 5 or 6

Difficulty rating :)

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