Eggplant Parmesan Calzones
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup lukewarm water*
*Use the greater amount in the winter, the lesser amount in the summer, and somewhere in between in the spring and fall. Your goal is a soft dough.
- 2 medium (about 2 pounds) eggplant, cut in 1/2″ slices; peeled or not, your choice
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 2/3 to 2 cups panko or other coarse bread crumbs
- pizza, marinara, or spaghetti sauce
- 2 cups shredded or grated mozzarella cheese, or a combination of your favorite pizza cheeses
- To make the crust: Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, and mix and knead — using your hands, a mixer, or a bread machine set on the dough setting — to make a soft, smooth dough.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or other rising container (an 8-cup measure works well), cover it, and let it rise until it’s just about doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- While the dough is rising, prepare the eggplant. Lightly grease two large baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Slice eggplants about 3/8″ thick. Whisk together the egg and milk. Pour the bread crumbs into a shallow dish.
- Dip each eggplant slice into the egg/milk mixture, and let it drain. Then dip both sides into the bread crumbs. Lay the slices in a single layer in the prepared pans. Drizzle or spray with olive oil, and season with salt.
- Bake the eggplant for 40 minutes, or until it’s soft and the crumbs are beginning to brown. Remove it from the oven, and let it cool right on the pan.
- Gently deflate the risen dough, and turn it out onto a clean work surface. Divide it in half.
- Working with one half at a time, place the dough onto a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Pat it into an 11″ to 12″ circle.
- Brush the dough with sauce, leaving 1/2″ clean all around the edges. Use as much sauce as you like; some prefer just a touch of the red, others like a significant amount.
- Arrange half the eggplant, slightly overlapped, on half of the dough circle. It’ll seem like a lot of eggplant in a small amount of real estate, but don’t worry; it’ll settle as the calzone bake. Drizzle the eggplant with additional sauce, if desired. Top with 1 cup of the cheese.
- Fold the uncovered half of dough over the eggplant and cheese, pressing the edges together to seal. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough and filling ingredients.
- Cut 3 or 4 slits in the top of each calzone, to allow steam to escape. Brush with olive oil.
- Let the calzones rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 450°F.
- Bake the calzones for 18 to 22 minutes, until they’re golden brown.
- Remove the calzones from the oven, and slice into pieces to serve.
Yield: two 12″ calzones, 4 o 6 servings total.