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Pumpkin Calzones and a Mystery Solved

I solved the mystery of the missing meatloaf! Ok, so that isn’t true. My detailed-obsessed friend Dishboy Scott, found the now rancid meaty loaf inside a large cottage cheese container tucked way back inside my refrigerator.

I seriously thought I was going crazy. Now I know I’m just senile. I can’t even remember putting the darn thing in there.

You wanted to know all this didn’t you? No? Ok, well moving on then.

These charming/silly pumpkin calzone sandwich thingies are all natural. The dough is light orange from pumpkin infused dough, and then finger painted with a paste mix of unsweetened cocoa powder and water. The paste tastes surprisingly good baked into the dough, not at all like sweet chocolate. This pocket sandwich is savory and a touch garlicky, as opposed to a normally sweet pumpkin creation.

I found that the fuller I made the calzones, the more pumpkin-shaped they became. The dough itself is delicious, and my new favorite. I’ll be using it for pizza, rolls, and other savory breads in the future.

Pumpkin Calzones
1 recipe Savory Pumpkin Pizza Dough (Below)
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple in pineapple juice
4 Provolone cheese slices
Thinly sliced deli ham, torn into pieces
Thinly sliced onion slivers
Thinly sliced bell peppers
2 cups shredded mozzarella
Olive oil for brushing
Salt & Pepper
Crushed red pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon water or enough to make a thick paste
Warm marinara sauce
A few small basil leaves for decoration (optional)

1. Strain the juice from the pineapple in a colander, pressing the juice out with the back of a spoon.

2. Divide the dough into four equal sized pieces. Then divide those pieces in half.

3. Roll out each piece until quite thin and place four of the pieces on two cookie sheets covered with parchment paper. Brush the 4 pieces of dough all the way to the edge with olive oil.

4. Then top each with a slice of provolone, then top with ham, onion, bell peppers, some pineapple, ½ cup shredded mozzarella, a little salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste leaving a ¾” boarder.

5. Top calzones with the other dough pieces, pinching well to seal. Then pull the top up into a stem shape, and give it a little divit on the bottom. Brush tops with olive oil.

6. With your fingers, paint the stem brown with the cocoa paste. Then paint four lines down the pumpkins, smearing in the paste.

7. Cover the pumpkins with another sheet of parchment or a clean towel and rest in a warm place for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

8. Uncover the pumpkins and bake for 18 to 20 minutes until done. Poke a small hole near the stem with a knife and tuck in a piece of basil for a leaf.

9. Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping or smothering calzone.

Makes 4 large calzones.

Savory Pumpkin Pizza Dough
½ cup barely warm water
1 teaspoon honey
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
3 ½ cups bread flour
1 cup canned pumpkin, (Not pumpkin pie filling)
2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bowl
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ cup garlic powder

1. Measure water in a wet measuring cup and stir in the honey and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes.

2. In a stand mixer with a dough hook add all the ingredients including the yeast mixture and knead for several minutes.

3. Turn the dough onto a clean surface and knead with your hands for a couple more minutes. Coat a large bowl with a little olive oil, toss in the dough turning coat once to coat, and cover in plastic wrap.

4. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until large and poufy.

Recipes by Laura Flowers