The March theme for #BakingBloggers is calzones. I don't think I ever ate a calzone until I met Tom.
My mom never made them and if we ordered food out, it was either pizza or cheese steaks. Obviously, I've now had quite a few calzones over the past few years but when I saw this challenge I knew I wanted to make something different.
I saw a recipe using pretzel dough instead of pizza dough for the calzones and I had to look no further. I knew I'd stuff it with ham and cheddar cheese and serve it up with a honey mustard dipping sauce.
Ham and Cheddar Pretzel Calzones
For the Pretzel Dough:
- 1 ½ cups warm water 110-115 degrees
- 1 packet dry active yeast
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon kosher salt plus more for sprinkling on top
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1 egg lightly beaten
For the Filling:
- 1 lb. ham chopped into pieces
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water and yeast and let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy.
- Add the sugar, salt, flour and butter. Using the dough hook, mix on low speed until a shaggy dough forms and the mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl.
- Grease a bowl and set aside. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes, then place in the prepared bowl and cover. Place in a warm place and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Turn out the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and punch down. Divide into 8 equal pieces.
- Loosely roll each piece into a ball and place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Roll out each piece of dough into a 8-10 inch circle. Divide the ham and cheese down the center of each and then fold the dough over to create a half circle. Crimp the edges with a fork to make sure they’re sealed.
- Preheat the oven to 425. Bring a large pot of water to a low boil, then add in the baking soda.
- Carefully lower calzone dough into the boiling water and cook for 15 seconds, then flip over and cook for an additional 15 seconds. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, shaking off excess water.
- Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Lightly beat an egg and brush on top of each calzone. Sprinkle kosher salt on top.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool 2-3 minutes before serving.
There's an Amish market up the street from our house and they sell all kinds of delicious things stuffed inside of pretzel logs. These calzones reminded me of them, except for the obvious shape difference.
You'll want to let them cool a little bit before eating them as the cheesy is quite melty and steaming hot inside. If you're entirely impatient like I am, slice them in half about a minute or two after them come out of the oven (while you're making the honey mustard) and by the time you sit down to eat them, they'll be cool enough.
If I could eat bread more often, I'd definitely keep these on a regular rotation, but for the time being they'll be a once in a while treat.
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