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Sourdough Calzone

You can't say you know Italian pizza if you've never tried the calzone: a soft, yeasty dough envelope filled with all sorts of goodies, baked or fried. Recognised as a traditional food of Campania and Puglia, it goes without saying that every village in southern Italy has its own recipe, different in dough, filling and baking.

The recipe I have used is the same as that for the homemade Neapolitan pizza, the only thing that changes is the way it is stuffed and rolled out: if you want to make a pizza, roll out the dough trying to leave a more pronounced edge to get a soft rim. If, on the other hand, you want to try the calzone, roll out the dough to the same thickness, stuff it as you like and fold it over on itself, forming a half moon.

Proportions for a dough fermented 24 h in the fridge:

Hydro: 74% of flour

Yeast: 10% if using sourdough; 0.5% if using brewer's yeast

Salt: 2.2%.

Oil: 2%.

PS: Remember to adjust the suggested amounts slightly to the ingredients you are using.

Use this ratio as a guide and keep trying. More important than following the recipe is your ability to observe and trust your intuition. And remember: a failure/error is nothing but a good opportunity to learn something new!


INGREDIENTS PREPARATION: 2 h of preparation + 22 h of raising time/ SERVING SIZE: 4 calzoni

  • 410 g of wheat flour type 550 or 1050 (in Germany) - tipo 1 (in Italy) (with a minimum of 12 g of proteins)

  • 65 g of re-milled semolina flour or durum wheat semola

  • 345 g of cold water

  • 50 g of sourdough starter (Biga=ready to use...check the flavor, it should not be too sour!)

  • 10 g of extra virgin olive oil

  • 12,5 g of salt

Same recipe using only fresh yeast:

  • 420 g of wheat flour type 550 or 1050 (in Germany) - tipo 1 (in Italy) (with a minimum of 12 g of proteins)

  • 80 g of re-milled semolina flour or or durum wheat semola

  • 370 g of cold water

  • 2,5 g of fresh bio yeast

  • 10 g of extra virgin olive oil

  • 12,5 g of salt



Mix the dough 24 hours in advance (so if you want to eat it at 7 pm on Saturday, you can mix the dough on Friday late afternoon).

Start with the autolyse: coarsely mix all the flour with the water. Let it rest for 30 minutes, covered with a cloth. In this way, the water and flour will begin to bind together, making the dough easier to work with.

After 30 minutes add sourdough or fresh yeast to the dough and start kneading.

If you are kneading by hand, I recommend doing it directly in the bowl and then moving to a wooden board once the dough has taken structure. If you are kneading with a mixer, use the medium speed for about 10 minutes.

Once the dough has taken shape, add all the salt and mix. Then add the oil in a trickle, allowing it to be slowly absorbed. Continue kneading until your dough is smooth and homogeneous (more or less 5 more minutes).

Transfer the dough into a container with a cap, and don’t forget to oil the container before! Leave it at room temperature for 1,5 h, giving it a fold with oiled hands every 30 min.

Place it in the fridge for more or less 20 hours.

Take the dough out of the fridge 3 hours before you want to eat your calzone.

Divide the dough into loaves of 200 g each. Give it a rounded shape, trying not to dislodge the air obtained from the first rising, but enclosing it within the dough.

Place the dough balls on a floured baking tray and let them rise for about 3 hours at room temperature, well covered.

To roll out the calzone: take a ball, turn it upside down on plenty of flour, trying to open up the dough gently with your fingertips. it is important to turn the dough upside down so your fingers do not stick.

Stuff as desired and close the dough over itself to form a half moon. Pinch the edges well to prevent them from opening during cooking.

If desired, sprinkle with tomato puree seasoned with salt, oil and pepper.



Bake at 250 degrees, static mode. Baking time around 15 min.



- The amount of water is indicative: depending on how well the flour is absorbed, you may need more or less, but you should obtain a very soft dough. Furthermore, if you use a more or less liquid sourdough starter, the amount of water needed in the dough may also vary.

- Autolyse can be useful for any dough that requires large amounts of water, including highly hydrated breads

- It is very important to observe the rising times, otherwise the risk is to end up having an over-proofed dough (flat and hard pizza) or not proofed enough (heavy to digest).

- It is essential that the oven is very hot and does not lose temperature: I advise you to be very quick when putting the pizza in the oven and never open the door during the first 10 minutes of baking.

- You can store a ready-made calzone in the fridge for about 2 days, or freeze it for 1-2 months. Simply take it out of the freezer two hours before eating it and heat it at 200 degrees for 5 minutes maximum.

Buon appetito!


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