Spinach and Mushroom Calzones

I hadn’t had a calzone in years when they randomly popped into my head one day. I really like them, but I think I’ve avoided eating them for so long because I always seem to burn my mouth on them. Anyway, once I got the idea to make calzones into my head I couldn’t get it out. I vowed to be more careful not to burn myself while eating them and started searching for a good recipe. I settled on this Jamie Oliver recipe for a mushroom and spinach filling. While there is a recipe for the pizza dough included, I found it a little difficult to follow so I ended up just deferring back to this recipe posted by The Wednesday Chef. Her recipe is also Jamie Oliver but she lays it out step by step so it’s super easy to follow. So if you are feeling intimidated by pizza dough and want fool proof instructions check out the link! The calzones turned out great. The filling was deliciously garlicky and cheesy. The dough was fluffy and not overly chewy. We had ours with a bottle of Hester Creek Character Red and thought it paired really well. Read on for the full recipe. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I did burn my mouth on the calzones. I guess I’ll never learn!

Pizza Dough

  • 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cups lukewarm water

1. Measure the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Mix the yeast, sugar, and olive oil into a measuring cup with 1 ¼ cups of lukewarm water. Let it sit for a few minutes, then pour the mixture into the well. Use a fork to gradually bring the flour into the well. Sprinkle in the salt and continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough until it is smooth and springy.

2. Set the ball of dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Turn the dough a couple of times to coat it in oil. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set it in a warm room or oven for an hour.

Calzone Filling

  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 11 ounces fresh spinach leaves
  • 8 ounces mozzarella balls, torn into pieces

3. Preheat oven to 450 F. The dough should have risen to about twice its size. Place it on a flour dusted surface and deflate the dough with your hands. Divide the dough into four quarters and roll out into pizza sized circles.

4. Fry the mushrooms in olive oil over medium high heat before adding the garlic and thyme to your pan. Cook for several minutes then add the butter and mix until mushrooms are coated. Season with salt and pepper before stirring the tomato sauce into the pan. In batches begin to the add the fresh spinach, stirring it in once it begins to wilt. Allow the filling to simmer for a few minutes to reduce the liquid.

5. Divide the mushroom mixture evenly between the pizza bases and top with mozzarella. Carefully fold the dough in half to form a pocket for the filling and crimp the edges.

6. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes on the bottom rack or until the dough is puffy and golden looking. Remove from oven and enjoy, being mindful not to burn your mouth on the hot filling!