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how to prepare home-made calzone for freezing??

My plan: Make several calzone at home, and freeze them for later enjoyment.

But: How do I do this, once the actual calzone have been made? I see 3 possibilities. . .
a. Make the calzone, and freeze right away. (ie., uncooked)
b. Bake normally till fully cooked. When done, freeze them once they've cooled.
c. Bake part of the way (to firm up the dough, I would guess). Remove, cool, and freeze in that partly-cooked state.

Anyone actually done this? If so, what did you do? How did they turn out? What did you do to re-heat them? (Temperature? Wrapped or not in foil? etc.) Do the calzone go right from freezer to heated oven, or; first defrost, and then bake??

Thanks for any tips.
-josh

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  1. i make them and bake them, but not to fully golden, then cool, wrap in foil and freeze. to serve i pop them in the oven or toaster oven, still frozen but not in foil, just on a pan, til crisped and brown. about 20 minutes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Hotoynoodle's sounds like the best solution. I've also done #2 (cook completely and freeze) with good results. I usually wrap in foil and then put in a large plastic freezer bag with the air (manually) pressed out, and then reheat in the oven without defrosting at 350 for about half an hour.

      1. re: hotoynoodle

        Thanks. If I bake them partly, at what temp? Do you bake for a specific time, or, just to when it "feels" right?

        I'll make them Friday. I made the ricotta yesterday, and it's hanging in cheesecloth over a bowl in the fridge right now. Will saute garlic and spinach, and I'm good to go. :-)

        Oh yeah, one more question. I had planned on putting tomato sauce inside the calzone. But now I'm thinking; maybe I should use some sliced sun-dried tomatoes and/or some tomato powder. I have a feeling that if I have too much liquid for the filling, it will either leak or get soggy (or both). Right??

      2. I've had my eye on this broccoli calzones recipe (with premade pie crust, alas) from Martha Stewart that has freezing directions. I have a whole lot of CSA broccoli right now. http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/b...

        ~TDQ

        6 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          TDQ,
          I followed your link, and the recipe didn't call for premade pie crust. I think it's just what I was looking for. It says to prepare, cut the slits in the top, wrap in plastic, and then freeze. (Once frozen, put wrapped calzone into Ziplock bags.

          To serve, warm in 400 oven (unthawed) for 35-40 minutes. Recipe says to use parchment paper. I'd likely just spray a sheet pan with Pam for a few seconds instead.

          Thanks again for the link. I'll let you guys know how it works out.

          1. re: santamonica811

            HA! That's what I get for posting before my coffee has kicked in. Please do let me know how it turns out! I'm needed to stock my freezer with a bunch of "pre-made" things, so, I'm definitely curious about this one.

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              UPDATE. I did my trials.
              1. Preparing and freezing (ie, w/o any baking before freezer) worked just fine. To cook, I removed from freezer, wrapped in foil, and baked (in toaster oven) at 350 for about 30 minutes. Then, removed the foil. It was cooked, but "soft". So, I brushed on EVOO, baked for another 7 minutes or so, till it was golden brown. I didn't sprinkle with parm cheese on top, but would do so next time.

              2. Preparing and baking for a few minutes (ie, to "set" the dough a bit) and then freezing also worked just fine. But since Method One worked so well, I would skip this baking step, since it's not necessary at all.
              ------------------------
              Note One: For freezing, I put the Calzone into small Ziplock bags, and froze. Once frozen, I put a bunch of them into a larger Ziplock bag. I presume that these will keep for months and months, and double-bagging will (I assume) help avoid freezer-burn.

              Note Two: I am not sure if it's the freezing process, but the Calzone needed more salt than usual. Batch one was made with the normal amount (I tend not to use a lot of salt, so I use 2 tsp for enough filling to make 8 Calzone.). All tasters agreed it was a bit more bland-tasting than the exact same ones baked fresh. Batch two, I used double the salt. We all agreed the "fresh" ones were a bit too salty-tasting. But the ones I froze and then baked later were perfect, and full of flavor. Obviously, experiment on your own, to find your own balance. And I did these tests w/o any sauces on top. Using a nice spicy or interesting sauce would likely allow for less spicy/salty fillings.

              1. re: santamonica811

                as an aside, traditionally, calzone does not have tomato sauce inside.

                if you bake these inside the foil, you are actually steaming them, which is why they were soft. you can freeze them raw, but they'd be best cooked unwrapped.

                saltiness isn't altered by freezing, so i'm not sure what you mean, actually, and to me 2 tsp in enough filling for 8 calzones eems like a scant amount of salt. depending on the filling and the dough. was it home-made dough? that needs salt too.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Yeah, there was no need to 'steam' them--you are correct. Just baking them unwrapped worked just fine. I'll definitely follow your advice in the future.

                  I used very little salt, b/c in addition to the ricotta cheese (which I made myself, with no salt) I used a tiny bit of parm and a generous handful of gorgonzola. Both rather salty cheeses. I thought it would be fine, but figuring out the right amounts of salt/pepper is something I'll clearly have to do (fun) experiments on in the future. I have no idea why the ones I froze and later cooked tasted markedly blander than the ones I made and immediately baked. Like you, I had assumed that saltiness would not be affected at all by the freezing process.

                  The dough was home-made. 2 Tbl salt to 4 c. flour. Double my usual pizza dough recipe. This made enough dough to make 15 calzone.

                  1. re: santamonica811

                    those are both salty cheeses so i'm not sure why the filling tasted bland. just taste it before you use it. same with the dough. i'm not assuming anything about the the effect of freezing on salt, lol. the sodium doesn't go anywhere.

                    2 tablespoons for 15 servings? small calzones, i guess, but again, to me, that's a very scant amount of salt. i usually sprinkle some kosher salt over the top before i bake them too.