Monday, June 20, 2011

BBQ Chicken Calzones

One time in my past life I worked at a bakery called Mrs. Powell's Cinnamon Rolls. It was pretty much amazing to pull fresh cinnamon rolls out of the oven in the morning and load them with frosting. Believe it or not I never got sick of any of the food there, even after 2 years of working there. To balance the sweets, we made a few savory items and one of them was called a BBQ sandwich. It was really a calzone but we called them sandwiches. These were my favorite!!! The combo of tender chopped chicken with a perfectly sweet BBQ all cooked inside fresh flaky bread yeah. Pretty good.

I've tried to recreate these with a few different dough recipes and we actually prefer the pretzel dough variation! We used our standard pretzel dough recipe for these but you could also use our pizza dough recipe. We have even made them with store bought pizza dough and they work great. 


1 1/2 c warm water
1 Tbsp Sugar
2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast (make sure it isn't too old or it won't work as well!)
4 1/2 C flour
2 ounces melted butter
10 c water
1/4 c baking soda

Or use this pizza dough recipe.


2 standard chicken breasts

BBQ sauce of your choice, we like Sweet Baby Ray's

1-2 C FRESHLY GRATED mozzarella cheese. Pre-shredded will disappoint will be gummy when it melts.


Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

While the dough raises, start a pot of boiling water and boil the chicken breasts until tender. Remove from the boiling water and shred with a fork. Return to pan and add a few big squirts of BBQ sauce and combine. It should look something like this.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan. (skip this step if using pizza dough)

Next, weigh your dough all together and then divide by 8. You want your calzones to be uniform and each ball of dough should roughly be 2-2.5 ounces, or whatever the weight of your dough divided by 8 is.

Take each ball of dough and roll it into a large circle, then top with a little chicken and cheese.

Gently fold over to seal the edges, then take a fork and pinch the ends together by pressing down around the edges with a fork or one of those fancy pastry wheel things.

Now, you may skip the boiling process if you are using pizza dough. BUT. If you are following the pretzel dough method, you will want to boil your calzones. We tried just brushing them with a baking soda solution and this is what happened.

They were pretty gross actually...way too much baking soda taste and it was hard to get it all even.

Carefully put each calzone in the pot of boiling water and let it cook on each side for about 30 seconds. This boiling process will give it that golden brown pretzel look and taste. The baking soda does something scientific so don't leave out the baking soda!

Transfer each calzone to the half sheet pan and once you have boiled them all, bake for 12-14 minutes.

Remove from oven and brush with melted butter or take a stick of butter and just rub the hot calzones with the butter.

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