Instructions

  1. Place the dry ingredients (except the yeast) into a large mixing bowl; the bowl of your stand mixer is perfect. Mix until thoroughly blended.

  2. Place the honey (if you're using it), warm water, olive oil, yeast, and about 1/2 cup of the dry mixture into a small bowl. Stir to combine; a few lumps are OK. Set aside for 30 minutes or so, until the mixture is bubbly and smells yeasty.

  3. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, and beat on medium-high speed for 4 minutes. The dough will be thick and sticky; if you've ever applied spackling compound to a wall, that's exactly what it'll look and feel like. Note: you must use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to make this dough; mixing by hand doesn't do a thorough enough job.

  4. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest for 30 minutes or so. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.

  5. Mix together all the filling ingredients and stir to thoroughly combine. Set aside.

  6. Cut four small pieces of parchment paper. Lay the first down on a flat surface, and coat with 2 teaspoons of olive or vegetable oil. Using your wet hands, take 1/4 of the dough and place it in the center of the piece of parchment.

  7. Using your wet fingers, start at the center of the dough and work outwards, flattening into an oval about 1/4" thick.

  8. Spoon 1/4 to 1/3 cup of filling onto one side of the oval, and spread it evenly over half the dough. Using the parchment paper to help, fold the other half of the dough over the filling. Repeat this process with the remaining dough and filling, making four calzones in all.

  9. Seal the edges of the calzones with the back of a fork, then roll the edges to further seal. Transfer the calzones (and their parchment paper) to a baking sheet, and prick each one a few times with a fork; this will let the air escape and help ensure they don't leak their filling. Let the calzones rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

  10. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush the calzones lightly with olive oil, if desired, for a more golden crust.

  11. Bake the calzones for 18 to 20 minutes, until they're golden brown and the crust feels crisp.

  12. Remove the calzones from the oven, and let them rest on the pan for 5 minutes. Slice them in half, and serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping, if desired.