Operation Washing-Tons of Fun 2010 is well under way. We have a visit planned to find an apartment and an awesome high paying job for my boyfriend (who will be supporting my sweet ass), and my culinary school plans are almost finalized.
Last week I receive my exorbitant financial aid statement for the Culinary Arts Associates Degree and almost threw up a little in my mouth. So the new plan is to get the Baking and Pastry Diploma. It is only a year long and I will still get the basic introductory class in culinary techniques. I reread the descriptions for the classes I will be taking and can’t wait to learn about the ethnic and international desserts, garnishing and plate decorating, and petit fours. The final exam for the class is a grand dessert buffet. A GRAND DESSERT BUFFET. I can’t wait for that one.
I also can’t wait to make these calzones again. I started out trying to come up with a portable breakfast for John to take to work in the mornings and I basically ended up with pizza. Not really a problem since John loves cold pizza for breakfast.
The fennel and onions in the filling gave it a nice sweetness while the fresh parsley and feta kept it lighter than a normal gooey calzone filling. I also used whole wheat flour in the dough and the nuttiness from that helped it feel a little more like breakfast.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 packet instant yeast (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Combine flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor. With the machine running, add the water and olive oil through the feed tube. Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the dough forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand for a few minutes to form a smooth round dough ball. Put the dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
- When the dough is ready, gently punch it down and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and let them rest on a baking sheet covered with a damp dishcloth or plastic wrap for about 20 minutes.
Sausage and Feta Calzones
filling adapted from Martha Stewart
4 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound sweet Italian pork sausage (removed from casing if necessary)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 head of fennel trimmed, cored, and sliced thinly
pinch or two of red pepper flakes
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Dough from recipe above
Flour for dusting
1 egg for brushing
whole fennel seeds for sprinkling
- While your dough in rising in the recipe above, you can make the filling.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat, and break the sausage up into it. Stir occasionally until the sausage is cooked through and evenly browned. Transfer sausage to a paper towel lined plate. Drain pan if necessary.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and onion to pan and cook for about two minutes, or until onion is softened. Add fennel and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking until vegetables are cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until their juices are released, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the reserved sausage. Let this mixture cool to room temperature.
- When mixture has cooled down, gently stir in the crumbled feta and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- When your 8 balls of dough have rested, roll each one out on a lightly floured surface into a 6-8 inch circle. Beat egg with a little bit of water (less than a tablespoon) and brush around edges of circle. Put a heaping 1/4 cup of filling onto one half of circle and fold the other half over. Pinch and twist the edges inward to seal them. Place on a baking sheet or pizza pan coated with cooking spray. Brush tops with more egg wash and sprinkle with fennel seeds. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown all over.
- Cool on wire rack until you can’t resist them any longer.