Calzone di Ricotta alla mamma

Ingredients:

Filling

1 pound good-quality ricotta cheese, well drained

1/2 pound fresh mozzarella or provolone cheese, cut into bits

1 1/2 tspn fine sea salt

coarsely ground black pepper

Dough

1 cup warm water (110 degrees Fahrenheit)

1 package active dry yeast

1 1/2 tspn sugar

3 to 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tspn salt

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Topping:

1 large egg, lightly beaten with a fork

coarse sea salt for sprinkling on top of calzones

Preparation:

  1. In a bowl, combine the cheeses and salt and season generously with pepper and mix well. Cover and keep refrigerated while making the dough.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, and sugar. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the olive oil and 2 1/2 cups of the flour and mix by hand or on medium speed with the dough blade until blended. Add additional flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough begins to wind around the blade or is not sticking to your hands. Strive for a soft but not sticky dough.
  4. Lightly flour a work surface and turn out the dough. With wet hands knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into four equal-size balls and place them on a clean kitchen towel. Cover and let rise until doubled in size.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. With a rolling pin, flatten each ball and roll into an 8-inch-diameter round. Spread 1/2 cup of the ricotta filling on one half of each round. Fold the other half of the round over the filling to create the calzone, or turnover, shape. Seal the edges with a fork that has been dipped in flour.
  6. As you form the calzones, place them, 2 inches apart, on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 20 minutes.
  7. Brush the tops of each calzone with the beaten egg; sprinkle with the coarse salt and make an X with a scissors in the top of each one.
  8. Bake the calzones for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot.

Makes 4 calzones

Recipe courtesy of Ciao Italia Family Classics, by Mary Ann Esposito