Calzones with Meat Sauce

Pizza Dough:

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water (105-115°F)

1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

1 tsp sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 cup bread or all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal


Stir water, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl; let stand until the yeast has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir in flours and cornmeal until the dough begins to come together.

Place the dough on a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. (I found that I needed to keep my hands well floured). Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside until doubled in size, about 1 hour.


Meat Sauce:

1 lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed) or game meat

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

5 medium tomatoes

1 5 oz can tomato paste

1 medium zucchini, diced

1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms

½ cup torn basil leaves

1 Tbsp dried oregano

1 tsp cumin powder

¼-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large saucepan, heat 2 tsp oil over medium. Add ground meat, onion and garlic and cook until meat is browned, 5-6 minutes. In a blender or food processor, puree tomatoes until smooth. Add pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, zucchini, mushrooms, basil, cumin, pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes.


To make the mini calzones:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a muffin tin and set aside. Break off a little larger than golf ball sized pieces of the dough and press these out on a lightly floured surface into discs. (Again, I found I needed my hands to be floured as well). Place the discs inside the muffin cups and stretch out so the dough covers the sides and if possible out the tops as well. Place some shredded Mozzarella or white cheddar cheese on the bottom of the dough and top with a heaping spoonful of meat sauce. If desired, top meat sauce with more cheese. Fold the dough over onto itself and seal. If there is not enough dough to cover the top, tear off some from the remaining dough ball, flatten and use it to cover the top of the muffin cups. Bake for about 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown. Some sauce and cheese may escape. Let cool for 10 minutes before unmolding.