Some time ago, I discovered Chebe’s usefulness as a malleable dough that could be used as pastry dough for knish and tarts. I began to think that its application was limitless- and the best part was that it really wasn’t difficult to roll out, so could even be used for dinner on a weekday night. As I was browsing Chebe’s web site for recipes I came across a recipe for Calzones, and another recipe for Stromboli, both of which intrigued me. While Chebe isn’t my favorite dough for pizza, my complaint is not one based on taste, but rather texture. But I love the texture of it used as a pastry- so why not use it as dough for tasty Italian fillings? As I read these recipes, I realized I didn’t actually know the difference between Stromboli or Calzones. Luckily, Wikipedia was able to enlighten me. Apparently, a Calzone…
“is an Italian turnover made of pizza dough and stuffed with cheese (usually mozzarella cheese and Ricotta, but some varieties contain Parmesan, Provolone, or a locally substituted cheese), meat, vegetables, or a variety of other toppings. The dough is folded over, sealed on one edge, baked (or occasionally deep-fried), and often served with marinara sauce (a sauce based on tomatoes and basil) or bolognese sauce (a meat sauce).” (Source: Wikipedia)
In contrast, Stromboli, while resembling Calzones, “usually contain only mozzarella cheese, while calzones contain a cheese mixture (often including ricotta) and tend to lack marinara sauce. Moreover, Stromboli is rolled to resemble a loaf, whereas a calzone is folded to resemble a semi-circle.”(Source: Wikipedia) While initially I intended to fill my calzone with mozzarella cheese, recently I’ve been thinking about cutting back on dairy, and I’ve also had several requests to experiment more with dairy free recipes here. So, I was inspired to create a ricotta type un-cheese, and make my own dairy free Italian Calzone! Little Italian grandmothers might be rolling in their graves as we speak, but you know what? I think they were pretty good! We enjoyed ours with steamed artichokes. If you haven’t experimented with Chebe as pastry yet, give it a try. And if you’re dairy free, why not try a tasty, simple tofu based un-cheese from books like The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak? And never fear, if you’re soy intolerant, she also has recipes using things like nuts and nutritional yeast. Mmmm mmm good… and vegan too.
Note: I haven’t tried this pastry with egg replacer instead of the egg, but if you try it due to egg allergies or a vegan diet, please let me know how it turns out!
Dairy Free Rico-notta Calzones
Chebe Calzone Dough:
1 pkg Chebe All Purpose Bread mix
2 large eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp plain soy milk
1/2 tsp Italian Seasonings
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 recipe Rico-notta Cheez [recipe follows]
2 tbsp Dairy free tomato or basil pesto for glazing(optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine Calzone Dough ingredients in medium or large bowl. Knead until you have formed a malleable ball of dough. Roll out inside a gallon sized freezer ziploc bag with the sides cut open. (This makes it easier to roll out the dough, as it doesn’t stick to the bag as badly as it would stick to the rolling pin.) There should be enough dough to do this several times. If you have one, use a large dough press and lay one circular sheet of dough lightly over the press.
Spread some of the pasta sauce on one side of the circular press. Place spoonfuls of Rico-notta Cheez on top of the pasta sauce, and top with favorite pizza toppings. Don’t use too many toppings, or the calzone may become too full to seal! Using your hand, take the bare portion of the dough and gently lay it over the toppings. (This strains the dough less than folding it with the press.) Close the press to seal the edges and make it pretty! Take a sharp knife and cut the excess dough outside the crimping edges. Open press and carefully peel the calzone off, being careful not to handle the pretty, crimped edges. Place on baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Brush with dairy free pesto OR spray with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with additional pasta sauce on the side for dipping or drizzled on the Calzone.
1 14 oz container tofu, pressed briefly (or for 30 minutes)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
Combine ingredients in food processor until texture resembles ricotta cheese.
For an attractive Calzone tower, Gently cut the Calzone in half and fold the Calzone backwards on itself so that the open sides are on the same side. Looks like a sandwich or lasagna. See blog photo.