Many people might think that the calzone and the stromboli are the same, but the truth is, they’re not quite the same. These are primarily identified in size and shape, the types of fillings used, the method of sealing the dish, and origin. In this Calzone Vs Stromboli article i will make it clear for you about main differences between them.
Difference Between Calzone and Stromboli
The most noticeable difference between these two is the shape and size they are made into. Calzones are smaller, crescent-shaped dishes where the dough folds over itself to create a turnover. They’re originally designed to be portable meals, which is why the name translates to “pant legs” in Italian. They were taken on the go similar to how many people take sandwiches. It begins with round dough.
The stromboli is a long, log shape with all fillings rolled into it like a cinnamon roll. There are layers of ingredients rolled throughout the whole thing. This is usually the size of a whole rectangular pizza that is topped and rolled up., then cut to be shared among multiple people.
But if you ask an Italian who’s the Winner between Calzone Vs Stromboli, no doubt he will choose a Calzone!
Calzone Vs Stromboli – Filling Differences
When it comes to fillings, most are great additions to either. But, there are two things that they do not agree on: Sauce and cheese. Calzones leave the sauce on the side for dipping and use ricotta cheese. The stromboli has sauce baked in and does not use ricotta, instead favoring mozzarella and sometimes provolone.
Calzone Vs Stromboli – Sealing Differences
Calzones are sealed by folding the dough over and then pressing the edges together to crimp them shut. Strombolis use an egg wash to help hold it together, and they usually involve folding and pressing the ends of the dough together.
Calzone Vs Stromboli Origin
While calzones are Italian, originating in Naples as an easy portable dish, the stromboli is actually American. Its origins are believed to be in an Italian neighborhood of Philidelphia.
Making a delicious calzone requires you to have the skill and the quality ingredients necessary to enjoy it. When you make your own calzone, one of the best ways to elevate it to the next level is to get the best ingredients you can. Good cheese will make all the difference in your recipe. That’s why this recipe provides you with the instructions to make your crust and marinara sauce from scratch.
While it might seem daunting to make your own pizza crust from scratch, it’s actually pretty easy to do. You may want to consider using a stand mixer to knead your dough for you, but it really isn’t too hard to knead it by hand. You also have the choice to stretch the dough by hand to get a nice, even crust, or you could also roll it out using a rolling pin. Either of these will work well and you’ll want to use the method you prefer.
If you’re short on time or uninterested in making everything from scratch, you can skip the crust and marinara sauce by buying premade dough and jarred sauce from the store. It will still taste great! Then, you can fill with your cheese mixture and all toppings and continue on with the recipe.
For the crust
Active dry yeast (1 packet, or 2 1/4 tsp)
All-purpose flour (2 1/2 cups, divided)
Olive oil (1 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp)
Salt (1 tsp)
Sugar 1 (tsp)
Warm water (1 cup)
For the filling
Mozzarella cheese ( 2 cups, shredded)
Parmesan cheese (1/3 cup, freshly shredded)
Ricotta cheese (15-ounce container)
Any pizza toppings you wish to include
For The Marinara Neapolitan Sauce
Olive oil (2 Tbsp.)
Yellow onion (1/2 medium, chopped)
Garlic (3 cloves, freshly minced)
Crushed tomatoes (28 ounces, preferably San Marzano)
Dried oregano (1/2 tsp)
Sea salt (1/2 tsp)
Pepper (1/4 tsp)
Fresh basil and/or fresh parsley (chopped) (1 Tbsp.)
Pizza Dough Directions
- Using a mixing bowl, combine the yeast with your warm water, stirring to dissolve the yeast. Add your salt, sugar, 1 Tbsp. of oil, and 1 cup of your flour, then combine together until it becomes smooth. It will likely be very shaggy and sticky at this stage.
- Slowly incorporate the rest of your flour until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. When no longer tacky to the touch, it’s ready to knead.
- On a floured surface, knead your dough by hand or in a stand mixer with a dough hook on a medium setting for 5 minutes. You should be able to touch it without feeling anything stick to you.
- When elastic, take a large bowl and add the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil. Put your dough in the bowl and coat it with oil. Then, cover and allow it to proof in a warm location until it has nearly doubled, usually around 40 minutes.
Cheese Mixture Directions
- Take all three kinds of cheese and combine well in a bowl. Set in fridge until ready to use.
Marinara Neapolitan Sauce Directions
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbsp. olive oil. When up to temperature, add in 1/2 cup of chopped onions (roughly 1/2 a medium onion). Allow to saute until golden, roughly 5 minutes, then add in your garlic. Stir for an additional minute until fragrant.
- Mix in the crushed tomatoes and your seasonings. Wait for the mixture to come up to a light boil, then drop the temperature and let it simmer for 15 minutes, partially covered.
- When done, toss in the fresh basil and remove the sauce from the heat.
- Preheat your oven to 375F when your dough has finished proofing.
- Punch your dough down, then divide it into 4 evenly sized balls of dough.
- Roll out with a rolling pin or stretch the dough out by hand into thin, even circles.
- Fill with 1/2 cup of cheese mixture and any toppings you wish to include in your calzones in the center in a pile.
- Gently fold one half of the dough over the other halves to cover up the filling, lining up the edges. Using a fork, your fingers, or the blunt end of a pizza cutter, press the edges in to seal them. If you want to up the presentation, use a pizza cutter to trim up the edges and keep them even.
- If you prefer a shinier crust, brush the dough with an egg wash before putting it into the oven to bake.
- Put a small tear or cut into the top of the calzone to allow steam to vent while cooking, then place the calzone onto a cooking sheet to bake.
- Let bake for 30 minutes, then remove from oven. Brush the tops with olive oil (if desired) and serve with homemade marinara on the side for dipping.
Calzones are entirely dependent upon the fillings that are put into them. When you start planning out your calzone, you should consider the flavors that would work well together with the cheese and crust. The best part about calzones is that if you have different tastes than other people in your home, you’ll be able to each put your own personal favorites inside. Generally when comparing Calzone Vs Stromboli, Calzone has the most variety of fillings.
When it’s time to fill up your calzone, you’ve got nearly endless opportunities! Generally, the one rule is to leave the sauce out of the calzone so you can dip it into marinara that you keep separately. But, your calzone is your own. Traditional calzones are made from ricotta, mozzarella, garlic, and spinach, but if you want to start getting creative, you’re more than welcome to do so.
If you need some inspiration for your calzones, some of the most popular ingredients include:
- Green bell peppers
- Roasted peppers
These can be combined in any fashion. Whether you like your calzones to be salty, fresh, vegetarian, or loaded with meat, you’ve got so many options. Experiment and find the ones you like the most. You could even get more creative and start adding in other ingredients. You could use artichoke hearts, prosciutto, and goat cheese, or any other combinations you could put together.
How to Make Stromboli
Like calzones, stromboli requires a base of pizza dough that you can turn into the dish. Generally speaking, you need about one pound of pizza dough to create one dish. The recipe we’ll use here makes two pounds of dough instead of just one, but the recipe works best in the current ratios. If you want to make two strombolis at the same time, simply double all ingredients after cornmeal to accommodate a second.
If making your crust by hand seems like too much for you, you can also choose to purchase pizza dough at the store that has been premade. This shortcut can save you at least an hour and a half in crust prep and proof time, but it’s so hard to beat fresh, homemade pizza crust! With just a few ingredients and an hour and a half to let your dough rise, you’ll have a delicious base for your stromboli.
Classic strombolis are usually made by using pizza sauce or a garlic butter layer across the dough before adding your fillings. The traditional strombolis are made with mozzarella, ham, and salami, but you’re welcome to add any other ingredients that you’d usually add to a pizza. The list of fillings used in calzones would all work well in a stromboli as well. You can also get creative with adding other slices of cheese, such as slices of provolone, among the other ingredients for some extra deliciousness.
Warm water (1 1/3 cups)
Active dry yeast (1 packet, or 2 1/4 tsp.)
Sugar (1 Tbsp.)
Olive oil (2 Tbsp.)
Salt (3/4 tsp)
All-purpose flour (3 1/2 cups, plus more for dusting)
Cornmeal (dusting the pan)
Shredded mozzarella (8 ounces)
Pizza sauce (1 jar)
Meats of choice (up to 1/2 lb., deli-sliced)
Any other fillings you want to add
Parmesan cheese (2 Tbsp. topping, optional)
Italian dry herbs (1 Tbsp. topping, optional)
- Start preparing your dough. Mix together your yeast, warm water, and sugar into your stand mixer or a bowl, then allow it to activate for 5 minutes.
- Add in your salt, flour, and olive oil and, using a dough hook, allow your dough to knead for 2 minutes on low. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can do this yourself with a wooden spoon.
- Let your dough continue to knead in your stand mixer for another 3-4 minutes. If you don’t have a stand mixer, knead your dough by hand with floured hands and a floured surface. When it’s done, the dough should feel soft. It should slowly bounce back after you’ve poked it. If not, you need to knead it longer.
- Grease a large bowl with olive oil and put your dough inside, turning it so the entire surface coats in oil. Then, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow it to knead in a warm environment for 60-90 minutes.
- When your dough is done proofing, preheat your oven to 400F.
- After proofing your dough, punch it down and divide it in two. Store half for future use and use 1 pound of dough to create a stromboli. Begin by rolling it out into a 10×16 inch rectangle.
- Coat with a thin layer of pizza sauce, nearly edge to edge.
- Start filling your stromboli, layering ingredients as neatly as possible. You should have a 3-inch gap at the top 16″ side, with 1 inch remaining on the other three sides to allow you to roll it properly.
- Brush the sides and top with egg wash (leaving the bottom, where you’ll start rolling, bare).
- Roll tightly from the bottom up, tucking in the ends slowly and carefully. Take care to keep it tight.
- Cover the top with egg wash, then sprinkle on some Italian herbs and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese across the top. Then, cut in 4 slits to allow steam to vent out of the stromboli.
- Place your stromboli on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat
- Bake for 25 minutes, until the crust has turned golden brown. Then, remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving in slices. Serve with more sauce, if desired, for dipping.
Calzone vs. Stromboli: Which is Better?
Now, if you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering which is better between Calzone Vs Stromboli. And the truth is, you can’t go wrong with either of them. Both calzones and strombolis are fantastic options that can give you all of the deliciousness of pizza with the added oomph of something a bit different. However, they present slightly different benefits and perks.
If you’re trying to decide which one is better in the Calzone Vs Stromboli contest, you have to add a bit more context to the situation. The right choice will be the one that lets you do what you need and which caters to your taste better.
Calzone Vs Stromboli – Where Calzone Shine
Calzones are single-serve, so if you’ve got a large family to feed, filling and rolling up several calzones may not be your idea of a good time. But, if you have a large family of people that have dramatically different tastes, making the dough and leaving out all of the different toppings for people to fill their own calzones with to their own preferences will allow this dish to become more customizable.
For example, maybe you need to accommodate a vegetarian, a meat-eater who hates pepperoni, and someone who will only eat their pizzas or calzones with at least three types of meat (pepperoni included). With calzones, you can please them all and outsource some of the work by having them assemble their dinners with exactly what they want. Then, all you have to do is toss them in the oven.
Calzone Vs Stromboli – Where Stromboli Shine
If you need your sauce to be incorporated into your dish instead of using it as a dip, the stromboli is probably the right choice for you. As a more sandwich-like dish, this may have an appeal if everyone in your family likes the same kinds of dishes and if you don’t want to have to roll out several pieces of dough. While calzones are more personalizable, the stromboli allows for everything to be made in one go, saving you time with food prep.
Strombolis also tend to be more reminiscent of sandwiches than calzones are. These come together to have much more crust in each bite thanks to the fact that they’re rolled up. If you really enjoy your pizza crust (and who wouldn’t enjoy this homemade crust that tastes great?), then this could be a wonderful option. This is especially true if you enjoy topping the calzone with some herbs and cheeses to get an even tastier exterior.
The final verdict of Calzone Vs Stromboli is that both calzones and strombolis can be the right choice. Which one is better will be entirely based upon individual opinion, and the only way you can make that decision is by trying both of them out yourself. You won’t regret it– they both can be fantastic when filled with the right ingredients and made with fresh dough. And, both of them are so easy, you might find yourself adding them into your regular meal rotation when you’re sick of pizza. What About You… What you prefer between Calzone Vs Stromboli? Leave your choice in the comment box below!
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