Ham and Cheese Pockets

My children and I like hot pockets–but I do not like the price!  When I saw this recipe for homemade hot pockets, I decided to give it a whirl.  It was a hit with my kids!  And it is an easy pull-out-of-the freezer meal saver or quick lunch for school for the girls.101_6766

I found this recipe on The Finer Things in Life, and I made it just the way she did it the first time.  However, it seemed a little bland to me (she just had ham and cheese that went inside the bread dough.)  So I add more goopy stuff to the ham and cheese, and I just do it the meat and cheese mixture to my taste.  I included what I did this past time, but again it is a learning process even for me to know what to include in the meat and cheese mixture.  (Before, I just poured a little of this and a little of that until I got the taste right–I tried to include approximate measurements to share what I did for those who like to measure everything. ;) )   As long as you have meat and cheese, and you do not make the mixture runny (add too much mayonnaise, dressing, etc.), you really cannot go wrong if you like the taste of the mixture.

The other thing I did this time was I did 1 ½ of the recipe.  I figure if I’m going to go to all of the work of making dough, I may as well make a lot–plus with five children, food goes fast around  here!  But if you have a smaller family, you may want to stick with the original recipe.  So below is the original recipe.

Homemade Ham and Cheese Pockets

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup very warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • ½ cup melted butter
  •  2 eggs
  •  2 teaspoons salt
  •  ¼ cup honey
  • 1 ½ cups warm milk
  •  5 ½-6 cups flour (I used half white flour/half whole wheat flour, but before I have used all white flour.)
  • 3 cups chopped ham
  •  3 cups shredded cheese (The recipe says they use medium or sharp cheddar cheese; all I had was mild cheddar cheese, so that is what I used.)
Yeast mixture

Yeast mixture

Directions:

  • In a small bowl or 1 cup measuring cup, mix warm water, sugar, and yeast until dissolved. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix melted butter, eggs, salt, honey and milk. Add the yeast mixture. Blend well. Add flour, 1-2 cups at a time, until dough becomes firm enough to knead.
  • Dough is kneaded!

    Dough is kneaded!

    Lay dough out on a well-floured surface, kneading until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes), adding flour as needed if it gets too sticky.  (I kneaded it in my stand mixer at speed 2 for 2 minutes.)   Set dough in a lightly greased bowl in a warm place to rise until double (about an hour).

  • Punch dough down. Divide into 20 balls. This is easiest if you divide the dough in half, then in half again, to have four large balls of dough. Divide each of those into 5 balls.
  • Roll each ball into a 5-6 inch circle. Fill with about ¼ cup of the ham and cheese mixture.
  • Fold the dough over and seal well. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 16-20 minutes.

  • Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Stack in a gallon-sized freezer bag or plastic container and place in the freezer.

    Fresh out of the oven!

    Fresh out of the oven!

    To reheat frozen pockets: Microwave for 2 minutes, or place in an oven or toaster oven set at 350° for about 20 minutes. If they start to get too dark, place a piece of foil over the top.

My variations:

I did the recipe 1 1/2 times (so 9 cups of flour, etc.)  I did some ham hot pockets, and some chicken hot pockets as I ran out of ham.  One recipe of the bread dough would have been good for the amount of ham I had.

Here was my ham mixture:

  • 3 1/2 c. ham
  • 3 1/2 c. mild cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • almost 1/2 c. ranch dressing
  • 1/4 c. zesty Italian dressing
  • 2 T. honey Dijon mustard

This mixture was enough for 19 hot pockets.  My husband and I liked these.  My husband thought the onion added some extra flavor.  My oldest daughter who normally likes the hot pockets did not like these as much.  She likes more plain food; but my second daughter really liked them.

chicken mixture

chicken mixture

Here was my chicken mixture:

  • 2 C.  chicken
  • 1 c. mozzarella cheese
  • 1 c.  cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 c. Caesar
  • 3 T. salad dressing  (Miracle Whip)

It made 14 hot pockets.  I personally thought the Caesar taste was too strong, but my husband said he liked it.

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