The Easiest Way To Add Extra Flavor To Homemade Calzones

sliced open calzone
sliced open calzone - sweet marshmallow/Shutterstock

Making homemade calzones is a tasty and underrated way to get your favorite pizza flavors at home. Folded over delicious fillings like ham or pepperoni and oozing with melted cheese and creamy ricotta, you can recreate the takeout favorite with little more than a pre-made pizza dough and a jar of tomato sauce. But while the fillings of a calzone have plenty of flavor (and get all the attention), the dough itself usually remains a purely functional delivery mechanism. Well, we all know that bread doesn't have to be tasteless, and we always want to get as much flavor out of our meals as we can, so we see no reason why your calzone dough should stay plain. That's why you should look to another homey Italian classic, garlic bread, for inspiration in adding extra flavor to calzones.

To give any homemade calzone a flavor boost, brush warm melted butter mixed with garlic and herbs on the outside of the dough after folding everything together. You can also sprinkle a pinch of flaky salt over the top to give the garlic butter itself a little boost. The combo will add a rich garlic undertone to your calzone, which is a nice pop of flavor that works perfectly with sauce and cheese. The butter wash will help with browning the calzone, which also boosts the flavor, and makes everything look a little nicer.

Read more: 30 Popular Frozen Pizzas, Ranked Worst To Best

Brush Homemade Calzones With Garlic Butter For A More Flavorful Dough

garlic and herb butter
garlic and herb butter - Ahirao_photo/Getty Images

Don't settle for bland calzone dough when it can bring just as much flavor as the fillings do. Garlic butter is simple to make, but there are a few rules to follow to get the best flavor out of it, and the most out of your calzones. The first thing is to not skimp on the garlic; a few cloves aren't going to cut it if you want to experience true garlic flavor. The second thing is to cook the garlic in melted butter very gently over medium-low heat, but only for a minute until it just starts to brown. You want the butter to absorb the flavors of the garlic and the heat to activate them along with any additional herbs. Garlic has a tendency to burn quickly, which will rob it of its sharp flavor and can make the butter taste acrid, so a quick, gentle cook is all you need. Then its ready to be immediately brushed on your uncooked calzone dough.

Garlic butter sauce also makes a great base for other ingredients that can add an extra dimension to your calzones. Some grated Parmesan is a standard, not to mention delicious, addition that will bring saltiness and umami to your calzone. Spicy upgrades like cayenne, red pepper flakes, or smoked paprika can also be added to the warm butter if you want your calzone to have a little warmth to it.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.