What is even better than homemade gluten free pizza? How about homemade gluten free calzones? In this recipe we tell you everything you need to know about how to make gluten free calzones from scratch. We provide instructions on how to make gluten free calzone dough from a few common household ingredients. If you prefer to skip a few steps, you can also follow this recipe using store bought calzone dough.
This recipe for homemade gluten free calzones is egg free, nut free, and vegetarian friendly. It can easily be made vegan friendly and dairy free by replacing the mozzarella cheese with your favorite vegan cheese.
How to make calzone dough
How do you make calzone dough? Here is how to make calzone dough from scratch.
- Proof the yeast. The first step in making calzone dough is to combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix the ingredients together and wait for 5 – 10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy on the surface. If you do not see air bubbles forming on the surface of the water, that is a sign that the yeast are dead or inactive and you should try using different yeast.
- Add the flour, oil, and salt. After the water starts to become frothy, add the flour, olive oil, and salt to the bowl. Mix the ingredients together and knead the dough a few times.
- Let the dough rise. Cover the bowl that the dough is in with a damp towel or a sheet of saran wrap. Leave the dough to rise in a warm area for 1 hour until the dough doubles in size. If it is cold in your kitchen, it may take the dough longer than 1 hour to double in size.
Are calzone and pizza dough the same?
One question I get asked frequently when I talk about making calzones is whether calzone dough and pizza dough are the same. The answer to that question is yes – the dough that is used to make calzones is indeed the same dough that is used to make pizza. You just need a little more of it!
The dough that we use to make these calzones is the same dough that we use to make our gluten free pizza crust. In this calzone recipe we make a double batch of our standard pizza dough because one calzone requires twice as much dough to make as a similarly sized pizza slice.
How to make homemade calzones
How do you make homemade calzones? Here is how to make homemade calzones.
- Make the calzone dough. The first step in making calzones is to make the dough. Calzone dough is made using flour, water, sugar, salt, yeast, and olive oil. You can also use a store bought pizza dough if you want to save some time.
- Separate the dough into 6 balls. The next step is to separate the calzone dough into 6 equally sized balls. Each of these balls will be used to make 1 calzone. You should cover up the dough balls that you are not using with a sheet of saran wrap or a kitchen towel so that they do not dry out.
- Flatten the dough balls. After you separate your dough into individual portions, grab a ball of dough and flatten it by pressing down on it. The calzone dough should be around 1/2 cm thick when it is done. Gluten free pizza dough has a tendency to stick, so we recommend lining your working surface with a sheet of parchment paper. You should flatten the dough with your fingers rather than using a rolling pin. If you use a rolling pin, too much air will be pressed out of the calzone dough. If the dough is sticking to your hands as you shape it, you should wet your hands with a little bit of water or olive oil.
- Add toppings to one half of the dough. After you flatten the calzone dough, you should add the toppings to one half of the dough. You should leave a rim around the side of the calzone dough that does not have any toppings on it so that you can seal the calzone dough shut. If it is your first time making calzones, we recommend leaving a thick rim that is at least 1/2 inch wide. The thicker the rim is, the easier it will be to seal the calzones.
- Fold and seal the calzone. After you add the toppings, fold the other half of the dough over the toppings. Press down on the dough around the edge of the calzone to seal the dough. If you are having trouble getting the dough to seal together, you can wet your finger with some water and apply the water to the rim. It is important to get a good seal, otherwise the sauce will leak out of the calzone as it cooks.
- Brush the calzone with olive oil. After the calzone is sealed, brush the top of the calzone with some olive oil and add any spices you want to add. You can also use an egg wash or melted butter if you do not have enough olive oil. This helps the calzone brown and prevents it from drying out.
- Cut air holes in the calzone. The final step is to cut a few air holes in the top of the calzone. It is important to cut air holes in the calzone so warm air and steam can escape through the holes. If you do not cut air holes, the calzone might end up breaking open as the warm air and steam expands.
Tips for working with gluten free dough
Is it your first time working with gluten free pizza dough? Here are some tips for working with gluten free pizza dough.
- Line your working surface with parchment paper. Gluten free pizza dough is a little more sticky than regular pizza dough. It is easiest to work with gluten free pizza dough if you line your working surface with parchment paper before you shape the dough.
- Press the dough rather than pulling it. Gluten free pizza dough is not as stretchy as regular pizza dough. When you are shaping gluten free pizza dough, you should press down on the dough rather than pulling at the edges of the dough. This advice applies whether you are making gluten free pizza or gluten free calzones.
- Wet your hands with a little water or olive oil. Is the pizza dough sticking to your hands as you press down on it? Try wetting your hands with a little water or olive oil. For best results, we recommend pouring a cup of water and a teaspoon of olive oil into a bowl and keeping it next to you while you are shaping your calzones. You can dip your hands in this bowl to wet them as needed.
How do you seal a calzone
How do you seal a calzone so that it does not break open? Here are some extra tips on how to seal a calzone.
- Add some water. If you are having trouble getting your calzone to seal together around the edges, try adding a little water. Wet your fingers in a bowl of water then use your fingers to apply the water to the calzone dough.
- Fold the bottom edge of the calzone over the top the top edge. Do you want an extra sturdy seal on your calzone? Here is our favorite technique. The first step is to leave a rim around the edge of the calzone when you fold the top of the calzone over the filling. After that, fold the rim on the bottom of the calzone over the top of the calzone. This creates a little lip that catches any toppings that might otherwise fall out.
- Let the dough rise. The calzone will seal up better if you leave the dough to rise for a second time for 15 – 20 minutes after you shape the calzones. As the calzone dough expands, any gaps between the top and bottom of the dough will be filled in.
- Cut deep air-holes. This tip does not have as much to do with sealing the calzone as it does ensuring the calzone remains sealed while it cooks. Make sure to cut large enough air holes in the top of your calzone so that hot air and steam escape from the inside of the calzone. If you do not cut air holes in the calzone, the calzone may break open as the warm air and steam expands.
Do you flip a calzone
Do you need to flip calzones as they cook? No, you do not need to flip calzones. Calzones should have air holes on the top of them so that hot air and moisture can escape as the calzones cook. If you flip your calzones as they cook, the toppings will leak out of the air holes.
How to tell if a calzone is done
How do you tell if a calzone is done cooking? Here is how to tell if a calzone is done.
- They look lightly brown. Calzones should lightly brown when they are done cooking. If you are having trouble telling whether your calzones have browned, try taking them out of the oven and looking at them under direct light. It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether calzones have browned if you look at them in the shadows of the oven.
- They feel firm. A calzone that is done cooking should feel firm when you press on it. If the dough compresses or feels soft when you press down on the outside of the dough, you should let it cook more.
- They sound hollow. You can also listen to calzones to determine whether they are done cooking. A calzone that is done cooking will have a hollow sound when you knock on it.
Gluten free calzones
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
Gluten free calzone dough
- 3 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 packet yeast (around 2 1/4 teaspoons)
Olive oil topping
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
Making the calzone dough
- Combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast for the gluten free calzone dough in a large mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients together then wait 10 minutes until the mixture starts to become frothy. The water should be warm, but not hot. You should be able to hold your finger in the water for 10 seconds without feeling any discomfort.
- Add the rest of the ingredients for the gluten free calzone dough to the mixing bowl with the water, yeast, and sugar. Mix the ingredients well and knead the dough a few times. Depending on the brand of flour you use, you may need to add a little more water or flour. If the dough is dry and crumbly, add water 1 tsp at a time until the dough comes together. If the dough is too loose or sticky, add more flour 1 tbsp at a time until the dough becomes easier to work with.
- Cover the bowl the calzone dough is in with a damp kitchen towl or a sheet or saran wrap. Leave the dough to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. If the dough is left in a warm area, it should take around 1 hour to double in size. If it is left in a cooler area, it will likely take more time.
Making the calzones
- Preheat your oven to 475 degrees and prepare your working surface by laying out a sheet of parchment paper on it. Lay another sheet of parchment paper out on a large baking sheet. You can put the calones on this baking sheet when you are done shaping them.
- Split the pizza dough into 6 equally sized balls of dough. Cover the balls of dough while you are not using them so that they do not dry out.
- Grab one ball of dough and flatten it until it forms a large circle that is about 1 cm in thickness.
- Add the mozzarella cheese, marinara sauce, and basil to one half of the circle. Leave a rim aroud the edge of the calzone that is around 1/2 inch thick that does not have any toppings on it. Leaving a nice, thick rim of exposed dough around the edge of the calzone will make it easy to seal tha calzone without pushing any toppings out.
- Fold the half of the calzone dough that does have any toppings on it over the half of the calzone that does have toppings on it. Press down around the rim of the calzone to seal the top edge of the calzone to the bottom edge of the calzone. If you are having trouble getting the top of the calzone to seal over the bottom of the calzone, try using your fingers to apply some water to the dough.
- Combine all of the ingredients for the olive oil topping and brush some of the olive oil topping over the top of the calzone. This will help prevent the outside of the calzone from drying out.
- Cut a few airholes into the top of the calzone. These will allow steam and hot air to escape from the calzone as it cooks and prevent he calzone from bursting open.
- Put the calzone you just made on the baking sheet you lined with parchment paper. Repeat this process until you are all out of calzone dough.
- Bake the calzones at 475 degrees for 15-18 minutes. When the calzones are done, they should appear lighlty brown and make a hollow sound when you knock on them.
Substitutions for gluten free calzones
- Mozzarella cheese. If you want to make these calzones vegan friendly, all you have to do is substitute the mozzarella cheese with some vegan cheese shreds.
- Marinara sauce. Not in the mood for marinara sauce? Have a tomato allergy? Try substituting the marinara sauce with some basil pesto!
Other recipes you will love
Do you want to try making a regular gluten free pizza crust before you go all in on gluten free calzones? Check out our recipe for a homemade gluten free pizza crust. This pizza crust is made with the same dough that these gluten free calzones are made with.
Are you looking for a fun pizza recipe that is absolutely packed with flavor? Check out this recipe for buffalo cauliflower pizza. This buffalo cauliflower pizza is topped with spicy buffalo cauliflower, zesty red onions, green onions, and a creamy sour cream drizzle.