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How to make perfect Pizza and Calzones at home

My family loves to make homemade pizzas and calzones. In fact, one of the things I love to can from my tomatoes in the summer is Garlic Herb Pizza Sauce. These pizza and calzone recipes use the prepared sauce and satisfy my family's desire for this delicious meal.

a woman adding sauce to a homemade pizza
add sauce

This may seem really basic, but begin by placing your dough on a large flat baking sheet or stone. If you need a good recipe for pizza dough, check out this link:

There have been a few times we have rolled out our pizza dough and started to put toppings on it just to realize we had to move it onto our pan still. Let me tell you it is hard to do that without losing some of your toppings and making a mess.

I then add my sauce. I usually use about a cup of sauce for a medium-sized pizza. I like to used the back of the spoon for spreading the sauce. If you begin in the middle and work your way out it is easier to keep it off the crust edge.

a woman adding toppings to a homemade pizza
add toppings

There are a wide variety of toppings to choose from. The key for placing them seems to be to place the flat items towards the bottom. Any topping you want dry and crispy you place on top of the cheese (like pepperoni or bacon bits).

a woman adding cheese to a homemade pizza
add cheese

I like a lot of cheese on my pizza. I usually add about 2 cups for a pizza this size. The key is to get it to the edge of the sauce and not allow toppings to show through. I like to use mozzarella. If I am feeling adventurous I may mix some other cheese in with it or add a layer of different cheese to the top. Mozzarella melts so well that it makes a great base.

a woman adding filling to a calzone on a baking tray
add filling

The calzone is very similar except the toppings are only placed on one side. I use about 3/4 cup of sauce and apply the toppings a little more thickly. Remember that this has the top which will greatly increase the crust content of each bite. Sometimes I place cheese on the inside of the calzone but others I wait until later. It looks amazing with the cheese on top.

a woman pressing the edge of a calzone with her fingers
seal edge

The top is then folded over and the edges get pressed together with your fingers or a fork to create a seal.

a woman folding the edge of a calzone on a baking sheet
seal edge again

Those sealed edges are then folded up and pressed again as an extra seal. Without doing this often the seal will break spilling any liquid contents. Plus it adds a nice edge to hold the cheese if you are placing it on the outside.

a woman covering a calzone with foil on a granite countertop
cover with foil

Cover the calzone with foil and both the pizza and calzone are ready to go in the oven. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. If you notice the crust darkening up too fast you can drop the temperature down to 350.

a homemade pizza on a pizza pan
golden brown pizza

After 15 minutes, your pizza should have golden brown crusts with the tops of the cheese looking brown but the rest of it soft and gooey.

a woman's hand adding cheese to a calzone on a baking sheet on a granite countertop with a pizza in the background
add cheese

The calzone needs to cook longer because it is so much thicker. The foil can now be removed and the layer of cheese and a sprinkling of dry basil can be added. It is then returned to the oven for an additional 15 minutes.

calzone on a plate with a woman's hand on a granite counter with a pizza cutter in the background
golden brown calzone

The calzone is ready to be removed when the edges are golden brown and the cheese is melted well.

homemade pizza and calzone on plates on a granite countertop
completed pizza and calzone

That is all there to it. Homemade pizza or calzones that are fully customizable and delicious for your meal.

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