Pizza turnover is an easy-to-make appetizer or snack made using frozen pizza dough and any variety of fruit filling, often baked but occasionally deep-fried as well.
Turnovers and calzones share many similarities, yet their differences lie in their dough types, shapes, and fillings. Calzones often use pizza dough while turnovers tend to have American origins.
1. Pizza Dough
This dough is not only great for pizza but can be used in numerous other dishes: burgers, tacos, macaroni and cheese, chicken parmesan, and more. Its easy preparation yields excellent flavor and texture: warm water (not too hot! or you risk killing off the yeast), sugar (to feed and support its rise), salt, and extra-virgin olive oil for richness and flavor enhancement.
For a healthier pizza, swap out some of the all-purpose flour with white whole wheat or gluten-free options like spelled or brown rice flour.
Before stretching and shaping dough, it must first be thoroughly kneaded and rested several times. For best results, this should be accomplished using your hands – although this takes practice! To do this, press a large disc with palms over it then gently stretch outward. If it snaps back repeatedly rest and try again later; otherwise it could indicate too little rest for the dough or too dry conditions have prevented sufficient fermentation.
A thin dough should be formed into small circles or 12-inch circles and placed on a lightly greased baking sheet, before adding fillings to each of them and folding over to seal. Brush a little extra oil onto each one and bake at 350o for 15-20 minutes until they puff up beautifully and sound hollow when tapped on their bases.
Pizza turnovers share some similarities with calzones, stromboli, and other Italian dough-based pastries; however, their shapes, fillings, and culinary origins set them apart. Calzones tend to be thicker and doughier, while stromboli features a light puff pastry crust filled with all sorts of fillings from meats to cheese and veggies or fruits; turnovers tend to be smaller in size and may either be deep fried or baked for optimal results.
Making pizza turnovers requires lightly deflating risen dough and dividing it into six even pieces, then rolling each out on a floured work surface into 12-inch squares. Place one tablespoon of filling close to one edge, fold opposite corners over, press to seal, then repeat with remaining dough and filling. Arrange completed pizzettes on a kitchen-towel-lined baking sheet as you make more.
Low-fat mozzarella and Parmesan cheese can help lower the fat content in these turnovers, while vegetarians can substitute ricotta cheese in its place. Spinach or other cooked vegetables can add nutritional value. Apple, cherry, or peach slices make delicious toppings while for those preferring something savory, you could try ground beef sausage ham, and pepperoni which can all be served either hot or at room temperature.
Pizza turnovers can either be baked (calzone or pizzette) or fried (panzarotti), creating half-moon-shaped pockets filled with cheese, sauce, and other classic pizza toppings. A successful turnover should be firm yet secure around its edges using either a pastry brush or finger dipped in cold water; these may spring a leak while baking or frying; you can reduce this risk by not overfilling and sealing edges well as you form them; for those interested in seafood fillings such as fish, shellfish or squid- these versions may be known as pizza ai frutti di mare or pizza pescatore!
A pizza turnover’s thin crust can be used to make a calzone (although these two have subtle distinctions) or be filled with whatever filling you like; fruits such as apple and cherry are popular choices, and sweet pastry dough may be ideal for this purpose.
To create a delicious pizza experience, use a ready-to-bake crust topped with pepperoni, cheese, and Italian sauce. Additionally, try adding chopped vegetables like shredded carrots for extra nutrition and flavor!
Prepare the pizza dough according to the kit instructions, using either low or medium speed with the dough hook of an electric mixer, or by hand, until smooth and elastic, usually 7-10 minutes. Spread a thin layer of olive oil inside of a large bowl before placing your dough inside of it – toss with oil until lightly coated and place your dough back inside for further work.
Preferably use a pizza peel or baking sheet and preheat before placing your flattened dough on it, if possible. Add any toppings from your kit (or additional ones if you desire). It is important to not overload your pizza with toppings; too many may lead to it losing its crispiness during baking.
Carefully slide your pizza onto the stone, and continue baking it until the crust is crisp and browned and the toppings are hot and bubbling about 10-15 minutes. Allow it to cool slightly before cutting with either a pizza wheel ($15; Amazon) or a chef’s knife.