This time for the dough needed to encase the filling, I used the pound version of our manageable whole-wheat pizza dough. Thanks to the use of the food processor, it was done in a snap, leaving me a little extra play time with Gus before having to go back into the kitchen!
After giving the yeast some alone time with the flour in the warmth of the cabinet above the refrigerator (good place for dough I've found!), I took my handy dough scraper and plunged it though the wheat-y mass to form four equal pieces. Once each was hand stretched into a rough round, I mixed together a two-cheese filling consisting of shredded mozzarella, ricotta, diced pepperoni, crushed red pepper flakes and a spoonful of cornstarch to control some of the excess moisture. Use your favorite pepperoni, but I do tend to use turkey pepperoni because it doesn't ooze nearly as much grease as it bakes like regular pepperoni does.
To give a jolt of tomato inside, I spooned a little marinara sauce over the filling - but don't go too wild with this, just a tablespoon or two is good. Stuffed pretty full with a fair amount of moisture, you'll want to be sure to cut a slit or two on the top of each assembled calzone to give the steam somewhere to vent, otherwise the pressure might lead to a messy blowout! If you want a shiny coat, drizzle each with a little olive oil right before sliding the calzones into the oven. A few minutes before they were done, I did notice that the sauce and cheese had just started to bubble through from the vent we cut in... so it did its job, but also gave Gus and I something riveting to watch as they baked!
The duo of mozzarella and ricotta made for a filling that brought a wonderful textural contrast between the creaminess inside and the crisp, yet tender golden crust. With its zesty punch, the pepperoni bits were a welcomed addition, without making the filling seem too rich or heavy (especially using the turkey variety). Serve with a little extra marinara on the side for dunking to tie in with the dose inside - but do yourself a favor and warm it up first!
Two-Cheese Pepperoni Calzones