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Naturally leavened calzone

Calzone Recipe

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  • Author: Maurizio Leo
  • Prep Time: 27 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 28 hours
  • Yield: 6 calzone
  • Category: Sourdough
  • Cuisine: Italian


This cheesy, crispy, and delicious sourdough calzone is like pizza, but better.



  • 35g white flour (about 12.5% protein)
  • 35g water
  • 35g ripe sourdough starter, 100% hydration

Main dough

  • 564g white flour (about 12.5% protein)
  • 106g whole wheat flour
  • 381g water 1
  • 28g water 2
  • 15g fine sea salt
  • 106g ripe levain


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ white onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced 
  • 1 (28-oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Grated parmesan cheese (optional)]

Filling (for one calzone)

  • 1 tablespoon (14g) parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (27g) whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup (90g) shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese


  1. Levain – 9:00 a.m.
    Mix the levain ingredients in a jar and leave them covered at a warm temperature, 74-76°F (23-24°C), to ripen for 3 hours.
  2. Mix – 12:00 p.m.
    To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the flourwater 1, and ripe levain. Mix on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes until the ingredients come together and no dry bits remain. Increase the mixer speed to medium (I use #6 on the Famag) and mix for 3 to 4 minutes until the dough begins to smooth. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 10 minutes, covered. Add the salt and water 2 to help it dissolve. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes until the salt is incorporated. Then, increase the mixer speed to medium and mix for 4 to 5 minutes until the dough clumps around the dough hook and is smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a bulk fermentation container and cover.
  3. Bulk fermentation – 12:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. (3 hours)
    At a warm room temperature, 74-76°F (23-24°C), bulk fermentation should take about 3 hours. The dough does not require any sets of stretches and folds.
  4. Divide, ball, and proof – 3:15 p.m. (overnight)
    Grease a large dough tray, half sheet pan, or six individual 4-cup containers with olive oil. Scrape the dough out to the counter and divide it into 200g pieces. Shape tightly into balls and place in the proofing container(s). Cover and place into the refrigerator overnight (or up to 2 days later).
  5. Warm proof – 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it finish proofing at room temperature for 3 hours before shaping and cooking. During this time, make the tomato sauce and filling.
    Tomato sauce
    Heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a saute pan over medium. When the oil is warm, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the whole peeled tomatoes and their juices. Cook, using a spatula to break up the tomatoes, and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, 30 to 45 minutes. Let the sauce cool slightly and transfer to a blender. Blend on low until smooth. Set aside to cool completely.
    Cheese filling
    In a small bowl, combine the 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese, and 1 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  6. Shape and bake – 12:00 p.m.
    Preheat your high-heat oven until the floor of the oven reaches around 575°F/300°C (If baking in a home oven bake at 475°F (245°C) for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, then bake at 450°F (230°C) for 10-15 minutes longer).
    Flour a work surface and the tops of the dough balls. Scoop up one dough ball and flip it over onto the floured work surface. Sprinkle flour on top and use your hands, shaped like an inverted “V,” to press out the dough from top to bottom. Rotate the ball and press it out again. Then, flip the dough over and again, with your hands shaped like an inverted “V,” press the dough out. Next, pick up the dough with your hands, make fists, and drape the dough over your knuckles. Gently and slowly, pull your hands apart to stretch the dough. Rotate the dough over your hands and continue to stretch in this way a few more times until the dough has spread to about 8-inches in diameter. Lay the dough back on the work surface.
    On one half of the dough circle, mound the filling, leaving a 1-inch border between the filling and the edge of the dough. Wet your fingers and dab around the circular edge of the dough (this will help it stick). Pick up the other side of the dough circle and fold it over the mound of filling so that the two wet edges of the circle meet exactly. I like to gently press the top of the dough to expel any extra air inside. Then, using a fork, seal the edge of the dough by pressing down forcefully with the tines all along the edge. Turn the fork 90° and go around the edge again to make a hash (“#”) mark to seal further.
    Brush a light layer of olive oil on the top of the dough. Slide the calzone onto a pizza peel (or cutting board), and then slide it into the oven.
    Bake the calzone, rotating it periodically to ensure even cooking, until the crust is a deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the intensity of the fire in your oven. Transfer the calzone to a plate and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Then top it with the tomato sauce (or serve it on the side for dipping) and sprinkle with the grated parmesan cheese. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.


Once the dough has been balled and placed into the refrigerator, it can be left up to 2 days.