Thursday, January 27, 2011

pizza turned calzone: a whoops dinner

I have been meaning to prepare a homemade pizza for dinner for weeks now. Every time I remember, it's too late to give the dough adequate time to rise. Somehow Tuesday afternoon I remembered and all of the pieces fell together for me to get things done in time for first.

I followed this recipe for the dough, except I only let mine rise once and it was plenty. Not sure why this recipe calls for twice. I was able to mix the dough and get it ready while Malakai played in his crib just after happily waking from a 3 hour nap. I then let it rise while we played and cleaned up the house a little bit.

For the sauce, I just sauteed 2 teaspoons or so of minced garlic with a little red onion. Then let it simmer with a can of plain ol' tomato sauce. I had a 15 ounce can and probably used about 12 ounces, but easily could have used less.

Next I shredded about 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese. I then took the raised dough and tore off a small chunk for a mini pizza for Malakai. It turned out fairly thick, but on my Pampered Chef baking stone it only took about 10 minutes to bake all the way through. This little cheese pizza turned out great, and it was so cute.

Speaking of the pizza stone, I had only used it once and it was over a year ago. I wasn't quite sure how to use it so I read up a bit online. I read that it should be seasoned with olive oil and be in the oven while it's preheating to 425 or so. I followed those directions and ended up with a house full of smoke from the oil.


In preparation for the next pizza I got out the corn meal to keep the dough from sticking to the cutting board or pan. Except what I had purchased was corn starch.


So I sprinkled flour instead, which is what the directions on the above recipe calls for anyway. I then rolled out the rest of the dough, added the remaining sauce and mozzarella as well as a sprinkling of parmesan + romano cheeses. Then I doled out the pre-sliced pieces of pepperoni.

{see how nicely everything seems to be coming together?}

I was nervous about transferring the pizza from my wooden cutting board to the hot baking stone in the oven, and rightfully so. It turns out the dough had stuck to the board. As I tried to pick it up, I was worried about making a hole in it, but there already was one despite how thick I had rolled it out.


Ben + I went back and forth about what to do. I tried picking it up with two spatulas, then using both hands, all while Ben was holding the cutting board over the open oven. We were both trying to figure it out while stifling laughter. I was simultaneously about to laugh + cry. I didn't know what to do.

Next,  I tried flouring a thin plastic cutting mat and sliding it underneath the raw pizza. I got it about halfway and it wouldn't go any further. I told Ben that we were either having uncooked pizza for dinner or a giant ball of messy dough + cheese. Then, I realized...that's kind of what a calzone is.

I decided to fold the pizza in half in one last ditch effort to save our meal (and quickly because Ben had to be out the door for worship practice in 30 minutes). I was able to fold it over, quite messily, but it worked. Then I scooped up the dough with both hands while Ben held the cutting board over the oven and I quickly dropped it on.

SUCCESS! So far.

{this picture exhibits all of my feelings in that moment}

{Ben thought it necessary to take a photo of the weirdness as it baked}

I set a timer for 15 minutes and quickly googled how to bake a calzone. It turns out they're supposed to bake at a slightly lower temperature, so I switched it down to 400 and watched carefully. I took it out around 12 minutes or so. It was cooked all the way through!

Since my original plan hadn't been to make a calzone, I had way too much meat and cheese in the middle. I also hadn't sealed the edges properly, so when I cut it  the cheese + sauce came flowing out.


Meanwhile, Malakai is chomping away at his perfect little pizza and I'm wishing I would have just made a bunch of tiny pizzas and avoided this issue altogether. That, or used more flour.

When Ben + I finally sat down to eat we were pleasantly surprised. As messy as the whole thing was, and as disappointed as I was that it didn't turn out as planned, it was VERY good!

What kitchen bloopers have you experienced lately?


  1. I love our pizza stone. I've never put olive oil on it, and know now to not even try ;)

    We do leave it in the oven when we're preheating however. We mostly use it for frozen pizzas. I love Freschetta's Naturally Rising Hawaiian pizza.

    However, when I make homemade pizza, I make it on Naan instead of pizza dough. (I have a blog post all about it at

  2. sorry I had to giggle a little bit because it sounds like a typical day of cooking for me :) And I can totally relate to that look on your face! Glad it turned out good though!

  3. Hehe, cooking whoopses; don't we all have them!?
    But I love it when things like this happen :) With lots of optimism, this is just funny!

  4. As I was reading this entry, I almost burned my house down. haha I was cooking something for dinner and thought I would check facebook for a minute and right after reading your post my smoke alarm went off! I accidentally left the pot on the stove and "kind of" burned our dinner. So yes, we all have these moments of kitchen mishaps! :-)


thanks for responding, I love your feedback!

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