HOW TO MAKE NEAPOLITAN CALZONE LIKE A PIZZA CHEF IN NAPLES
Calzone Napoletano, just as the name suggests, is one of the typical dishes of Naples. Born as a variation of pizza, it is made up with a combination of salami, ricotta and mozzarella. The result is a crispy, cheesy, and flavorful calzone that will melt in your mouth. In this recipe we’ll see how to make Calzone Napoletano al Forno, but there is also a fried variant, Pizza Fritta.
We’ll be joined by master pizzaiolo Lucio, from Naples, Italy. Who will show us how to make the calzone step-by-step, and he’ll share some of his tips for making it to perfection.
Vincenzo’s Plate Tips on How to Make Neapolitan Calzone
Avoid Over Kneading the Dough
Kneading should not take more than 15 minutes. The goal is to achieve a dough that is soft and elastic, and not sticky or tough to the touch.
Use your Hands in Kneading
The best way to knead dough, especially with small amounts like this, is by hand. This is because you can feel the dough and make sure that you do not overknead or overheat. You can use a mixer, but you need to be careful not to overmix the dough.
Is your dough going flat?
If the dough goes flat, there are a few reasons why. You might be using a weak flour, or the temperature might be too hot. The dough could also be overproofed. If the dough is overproofed, it will be very soft and will not hold its shape. The right temperature for storing dough is around 21 degrees Celsius.
Avoid the Bottom of the Oven
Do not put the calzone all the way in the bottom of the oven. Every spot in the oven has a different temperature, and the bottom is the hottest. If you put the calzone all the way in the bottom, it will cook too quickly and the crust will burn before the inside is cooked through.
How to know when the Dough is Ready
The dough should be smooth and elastic, and it should not stick to the work surface. To know if the dough is ready, press down on it with your finger. If the dough bounces back, it is ready.
How to roll the dough into balls?
We take each corner of the dough and roll it inwards. Then, using the finger, I will cut the dough to create a ball shape. It is important to make sure that you seal the bottom of the dough ball, otherwise, the dough may tear when you stretch it. Once you seal the dough ball, you place it in a container and cover it.
How to Serve Neapolitan Calzone
To serve Neapolitan calzone, let it cool for a few minutes before slicing it. This will help the cheese to set and prevent it from oozing out. Cut the calzone into wedges or slices and serve immediately after baking. You can also pre-slice the calzone and place it on a baking sheet. Keep the baking sheet warm in a low oven until you are ready to serve.
Neapolitan Calzone Recipe
- Container with Lid
- Brick Oven or Home Oven
- 600 ml Water 2.5 cups
- 3 Grams Fresh Yeast 0.1 oz. 1g Dry Yeast
- 30 Grams Sea Salt 1 oz
- 00 Flour with a W of 300
- Fior di Latte Mozzarella or Provola
- Tomato Sauce
- Pepper as much as preferred
To Make the Dough
- Dissolve the salt into the water.
- Once the salt is dissolved, add a small amount of flour to the water. Start adding about 10% flour. This is to avoid direct contact between the yeast and the salt, as salt can kill the yeast.
- At this stage, we add the fresh yeast to the water. It doesn't take long to dissolve the yeast in warm water, just a few seconds. The humidity will help speed up the process. You can also use dry yeast, which will dissolve in the same amount of time.
- We start adding the flour gradually, a little bit at a time.
- We need to keep kneading the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Once the dough is ready, we will transfer it to a lightly floured work surface and knead it with our palms.
- Using your palms, push the dough down and away from you. Then, turn the dough 90 degrees and fold it in half. Repeat this process for a few minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. The whole process should not take longer than 15 minutes.
- Once the dough is ready, let it rest for a couple of hours, covered with a damp cloth to prevent the surface from drying out. Let it rest for 2 hours.
- Next, we will divide the dough into balls of about 250 grams each. Once we have made the balls, we will place them in a container and cover them with a lid.
- Let it rest.
To Make the Neapolitan Calzone
- Take the dough balls out of the container and dust it with a little bit of flour. Then gently stretch the dough into a circular shape, working from the center outwards.
- Then, add some ricotta cheese. This is a traditional Neapolitan calzone filling, but you can also use provolone or mozzarella.
- Now you can add some salami, which has been cut into very thin julienne strips.
- Also add a bit of tomato, but not too much. At the end sprinkle some Parmigiano cheese on top with a nice touch of pepper.
- Now it is time to fold it. To seal the calzone properly, pinch the edges together or use a fork to crimp them.
- After sealing the calzone, add a little bit of tomato on top, a bit of Parmigiano cheese, some fresh basil leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil. Then, we can bake it in a preheated oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Now, we can bake the Calzone in a preheated oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Give it a gentle spin and then turn it over. Typically, the calzone is cooked on this side first, which we call the "panza" or belly. This is because this is where all the ingredients are.
- Once cooked, set aside to serve. Enjoy!
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate… Enjoy!