How to Make Sourdough Discard Calzone

Two baked sourdough discard calzones cool on a light wood pizza peel. The pizza peel sits on a dark wooden table.
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Apparently “calzoni,” which translates to pant leg (although Google translate spits out “trousers”), originated in Naples. People on the go would walk around (in their pants) holding their portable calzoni—or calzone—and eat it without getting food all over their camicie (shirts).

This calzone recipe not only keeps your clothes clean but also helps reduce planet-heating wasted food. You won’t waste the delicious calzone itself, the dough calls for sourdough discard (that you might otherwise discard) and you can fill these pockets with food on hand, ensuring that food gets eaten.

Start with the calzone dough

I’ve made these with sourdough discard because it adds a nice tang and I always have a jar of it in the refrigerator. The dough recipe calls for active dry yeast because the unfed microbes in the discard don’t have enough life left in them to leaven the dough.

(Don’t have a sourdough starter? Go here for simple directions to start one.)

Choose the calzone fillings

I filled the calzone pictured in this post with homemade ricotta, sautéed mushrooms, sautéed collard greens and pesto. After these cooled a bit, my daughter MK drizzled her slices with a bit of balsamic vinegar.

Two baked sourdough discard calzones cool on a light wood pizza peel. The pizza peel sits on a dark wooden table.
Cool before eating

More filling ideas:

  • Tomato sauce, ricotta and spinach
  • Pesto, ricotta and arugula
  • Pesto, white beans and sautéed broccoli
  • This creamy hummus, olives, caramelized onions and parboiled potato slices
  • Roasted tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers and onions (aka ratatouille)
  • Honeynut squash, black beans and sautéed mushrooms
  • Sweet potatoes, sautéed kale and tahini sauce

Essentially, if you would put it on a pizza, fill a calzone with it.

I’ll stuff a handful of nasturtium leaves into the next batch
Two baked sourdough discard calzones cool on a light wood pizza peel. The pizza peel sits on a dark wooden table.
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5 from 1 vote

Sourdough Discard Calzone

Servings: 2 large servings


  • cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading and shaping
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup warm water 105° to 115°F
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 1 cup unfed sourdough discard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for greasing the proofing bowl, brushing the formed dough and greasing the pan, if needed
  • filling such as tomato sauce, pesto, hummus, cheese, sautéed vegetables


To make the calzone dough

  • Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Use a wire whisk or fork to combine.
  • In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the yeast, sugar and ¼ cup warm water. Set aside to proof, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the sourdough discard and ¼ cup hot water. (This will help warm up the cold discard.)
  • Once the yeast mixture has become bubbly and foamy, stir in the olive oil and watery discarded starter.
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Knead the dough in the bowl a few times to help incorporate most of the flour. Add more flour if the dough is extremely sticky.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 4 or 5 minutes.
  • Grease the bowl with olive oil, return the dough to it and cover with a towel. Let the dough proof for about 1½ hours, or until it has doubled in size.

To form, fill and bake the calzones

  • Heat the oven to 500°F.
  • Punch down the dough and divide it into two halves. If you want to bake only one calzone, put one ball in the refrigerator in a container and use it within 2 to 3 days. The dough also freezes well. Remove it from the freezer several hours before you make the pizza or thaw it out overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Roll the dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, flatten it out with your hands into a disk. Life the disk up from one edge and let gravity stretch it down. Rotate it several times, letting it stretch until you have a 10-inch flat round of dough. (Or roll the ball of dough out with a rolling pin.)
  • Spread your toppings across half of the dough. Fold the other half over the filled half, wet your fingers and pinch the edges to seal. Place the calzone on an oiled baking sheet or in a large cast iron pan.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until browned and hollow sounding when you tap the top of the calzone. Cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.


All of my sourdough recipes call for a 100 percent hydration sourdough starter, meaning the starter contains equal parts water and flour by weight (not volume).

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