I have a terrible confession: After almost a decade in the South I’m a little tired of barbecue ribs. OK, a lot tired. Do you know how much meat sticks in your teeth and how many napkins you go through eating just one rib? This puts me at odds with the master smoker in the house who would love ribs every weekend. These calzones are the perfect compromise. I didn’t have to gnaw on a bone and Greg still got to enjoy some smoked meat.
For the Filling
- 1 1/2 cups barbecue meat (shredded rib, pork etc.)
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 1/2 large pepper, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
- 1/2 cup semolina flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 1 tsp yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water, plus extra water as needed
Let yeast sit until bubbles form on surface, about five minutes. In a large bowl mix flour and salt and then create a well in the center. Add oil to yeast and pour into center of flour. Scoop sides of flour into liquid mixing well. Add more warm water a tablespoon at a time until dough forms a rough mass that barely holds together. Remove from bowl and knead by hand for 10 minutes. As you knead, the dough will become more pliable and smooth. If after five minutes it has not begun to soften add more water. If it seems too soupy or sticky add some flour, but again wait five minutes to do so. When done the dough should be very smooth and not sticky at all. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let rise for two hours. Punch down dough and form into two balls. Let rest 10 minutes before rolling out for calzones.
To assemble calzones, roll out each ball of dough into an even rectangle or oval about 1/4 inch thick. Spread half the barbecue sauce on one side leaving a 1/2 inch border. Make sure there’s plenty of room to fold the dough over without stretching it. Top with meat, veggies and cheese. Fold the dough over and pinch the edges together to make a seal. Brush with olive oil and dust with grated Romano if desired. Bake at 400 until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.