This scrumptious pizza pocket recipe answers the call from my readers who have asked for two things: a gluten free calzone recipe and a gluten free Easter Pie recipe.
When you hear Easter Pie you might think I could be talking about coconut pie. Why not? Who doesn’t love a good gluten free Coconut Pie on Easter? I sure do!
But this savory version of gluten free Easter Holiday Pie is something altogether different, though arguably no less delicious.
By happy coincidence, this Italian tradition for Easter Holiday Pie (also called Pizza Rustica or Pizzagaina) involves something akin to a calzone (although it’s often baked in a baking dish like a “pie” or even a quiche), with a bottom and top crust and a filling that ranges from ricotta and chopped, hard-boiled eggs to sausage, cheese and even sugar — probably about anything you want to stuff in it, like a good calzone.
If you’re more into a traditional full Easter Pie stuffed with meats and cheeses and bordered with a top, side and bottom crust, I urge you to hop over to my gluten free Stuffed Crust Pizza recipe which you’ll notice looks just like these traditional slice-and-serve, bake in a springform pan type savory pies.
In my own experiments, I’ve most often opted for the traditional calzone shape, and I’ve given you the dough recipe and directions – fill it and bake it however you like.
I’m telling you though, this is one of those recipes you may try for the first time at Easter, but you will return to again and again, with a potentially different filling each time throughout the year!
This gluten free calzone recipe is so versatile and so delicious filled with nearly anything, that you could honestly serve it several times a week and no one would ever get bored. We’ve stuffed these pies with traditional pizza fillings, of course, but also with Indian dishes like lentils, okra, channa and masala vegetables; we’ve also simply used this dough as an excuse to get rid of leftovers in the fridge.
If you can tuck it inside, I bet it’ll taste even better than it did the first time around!
Make these gluten free calzones larger and slice like a two-crusted pizza for sharing purposes. It’s fun to make this recipe lots of different ways.
And since these calzones are so handy and portable, don’t overlook any leftovers for lunch boxes! They make great travel food, too. No need to re-heat them, they’re great cold — like the cold pizza of our youths, such great memories!
And yes, I did just say that these gluten free calzones taste great cold! That’s because they’re made with my gfJules Flour or Pizza Crust Mix. It really does make all the difference folks. Trust me. Or just try it for yourself; tasting is believing!
While I try to offer a from-scratch recipe for nearly every recipe on my site, this is definitely one of those recipes that’s way faster and easier using my award-winning gfJules Pizza Crust Mix. If you do choose to use my mix instead, you have the choice of using half of the mix or the whole mix itself.
If using half the pizza mix, only add 1/4 cup water, instead of the 1/2 cup called for on the package, if using half a mix; add 1/2 cup water if using the whole mix (in other words, use half the amount of water called for to make a pizza).
- 1 1/2 cups of gfJules™All-Purpose Flour
- 3 Tbs. milk powder (dairy or non-dairy like Coconut Milk Powder)
- 1/4 tsp. oregano (optional)
- Pinch or two of garlic powder (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg substitute like 1 Tbs. flaxseed meal in 4 Tbs. warm water)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 4 Tbs. warm water
- 2 1/4 tsp. rapid rise/bread machine yeast (Red Star® Quick Rise) - yeast packet comes with gfJules™ Pizza Crust Mix
- fillings of choice (pasta sauce; cheese; meats; vegetables; etc.)
If making from scratch, whisk together all dry ingredients except yeast in a large bowl.
Combine wet ingredients and add to the dry pizza crust mix or whisked dry ingredients, reserving some of the water. Slowly stir together, adding more water as needed to achieve a firm dough that can still be spread. Add the yeast and beat on high (with paddle attachment if using a stand mixer or using a wooden spoon) for 2 minutes.
Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper and spraying lightly with cooking oil. Set aside.
Prepare a clean counter or pastry mat by dusting with gfJules All Purpose Flour. Divide the dough into 4 separate portions. Scoop one portion onto the counter or mat, rolling in flour to prevent it from being sticky. Pat the dough out into an elongated disc, using the palm of your hand. The dough should be approximately 1/4 inch thick.
Scoop fillings of choice onto the center of the dough (do not mound the fillings high), leaving at least a 1-inch perimeter uncovered by fillings. Using a bench scraper or spatula, gently lift one half of the dough and fold it over itself to form a half-moon shape. Doughs like this one made with my flour are stretchy enough to allow you to pull the dough gently over the fillings; nonetheless, don’t let the dough get so thin that it tears.
Don't feel like you have to stick to the traditional cheese and pepperoni type fillings; we've even made breakfast calzones filled with scrambled eggs!
*Alternatively, to make larger calzones, mound extra fillings in the center of the dough, then cover that dough with another and seal around all four edges, instead of rolling the dough over onto itself to seal. Using this method, the recipe makes two large calzones.
Wet the edges of the dough by dipping your finger in water and rubbing it across the dough edges. Press the edges together to seal, then roll edges up slightly to form a rounded crust, if you like; transfer to the baking sheet.
Brush off the top to remove any excess flour; brush olive oil or mixed egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water) over the top of the dough to help it crisp and brown. Cut two small slits in the top of each pocket to allow steam to escape (or make your initials!).
Repeat with remaining dough. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 15 minutes in a warming drawer or oven preheated to 200º F then turned off.
Preheat oven to 425º F (convection) or 450º F (static).
Uncover calzones and bake for 20 minutes. Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of your crust, but cook only until the dough is lightly browned and crunchy when you knock on it with your finger.
If a larger round calzone was made, cut into quarters to serve; if individual crescent-shaped calzones were made, serve as is or with more sauce for dipping.
This recipe may also be prepared as an Italian “Easter Pie” by lining a baking dish with crust, (be sure to leave enough crust to come up the sides of the pan and fall over the edge to allow a seal with a top crust) filling with desired ingredients, then sealing with another crust on top.
Brush with egg and water mixture and bake according to above directions; cook times will vary depending on the size of the pan and the depth of the fillings, but bake a minimum of 20 minutes, or until the top crust is lightly browned.
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