Measure water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, and then add yeast and give it a quick stir. Let the mixture sit until yeast is dissolved and a bit frothy, about 5 minutes. Mix in olive oil to yeast mixture.
Meanwhile, in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment mix together bread flour and salt until combined. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in yeast mixture and mix until a cohesive dough forms. Stop mixer and switch to a dough hook. Knead on medium speed until smooth, about 4-5 minutes. Form dough into a smooth, round ball.
Lightly oil a large bowl or container with ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Move dough to prepared bowl or container and roll the dough around in the oil to lightly coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or place the container’s lid on and let the dough rise until double in size, about 40-60 minutes.
While the dough rises, make the filling. In a medium mixing bowl combine all of the filling ingredients. Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator until assembling the calzone.
PREPARE OVEN AND BAKING SHEETS:
Right after making the filling, prepare the oven. It’s important to have a well-heated pizza stone for baking the calzones on top of.
Move the oven rack to the lowest setting and place the pizza stone on top of that rack. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
Place all of the sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process or blend on high until completely combined about 30 seconds.
Transfer the sauce to a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened.
Cover and keep the sauce warm until ready to serve.
Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface and divide the dough in half, and then each half into thirds (you should have 6 pieces of dough). Reshape each piece into a ball.
Move the dough balls to the prepared baking sheet and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap.
Rest the dough for 15 minutes.
ASSEMBLE AND BAKE:
Cut 6, 9x7-inch square pieces of parchment and set aside.
Take the filling out of the fridge and use a spoon to divide the filling into 6 portions.
Grab one piece of dough (keep the others covered) and transfer it to a floured work surface.
Roll the dough into a 9-inch circle.
Place one portion of filling on half of the dough. Fold half of the dough over itself and press the edges to seal.
Carefully transfer calzone to parchment, brush it with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.
Repeat with 2 more dough balls and filling.
Trim the excess parchment, and then transfer the calzones to a pizza peel. Slide calzones onto the preheated pizza stone and bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
While the calzones are baking, assemble the remaining 3 calzones.
Use a pizza peel to remove the baked calzones from the oven and place them on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Bake the last batch of calzones the same way.
Serve the calzones with the sauce either in a small bowl for dipping, or simply cover the entire calzone with sauce. Enjoy.
This recipe makes 6 LARGE calzones. When I serve these with a salad, most adults that I serve these to will only eat half of a calzone.