Last week as you know I celebrated my mom’s birthday. Sometimes we go out to eat to celebrate birthdays in my family, but this year my mom thought it would be easier and more enjoyable to celebrate at home. AKA her nutrition student, cooking loving daughter should make her a special dinner of her choice. I love cooking up different meals for my parents. It is so much fun to keep busy in the kitchen all day resulting in a house that smells delicious. For this particular occurrence I went to bed with the smell of fermented yeast wafting throughout the house 😀 Why? Mom requested homemade Whole Wheat Spinach and Mushroom Calzones from a tried and true cookbook.
These are absolutely delicious! The first time my mom and I ever made them we were so intimidated by the yeast activation step. You see when you are making your own dough, yeast is the leavening agent. It must be activated in order for sugar (glucose) to ferment and produce carbon dioxide (the gas that will cause the dough to rise) and ethanol (alcohol and the reason it smells so good!). Yeast is only active in a specific temperature range. Most recipes call for lukewarm water, well mom and I went through 3 yeast packets our first time because every time we had the water too hot and killed the yeast. Thanks to my Food Selection and Preparation class last Spring I am an expert at dough making now and I got the yeast active and the dough formed on the first try!
The other really cool piece to these calzones is the mushrooms. Has anyone ever cooked mushrooms in the skillet for a long time? Well if you haven’t you should. They cook up and then all of the moisture evaporates leaving them resembling meat in so many ways. It looks cool and tastes delicious.
Does anyone else make their own dough? Do you have trouble with the yeast? What are your favorite pizza toppings?