Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ham, Cheese and Broccoli Hot Pockets

I made pizza pockets awhile back and it has been at the back of my mind to make them again. But I never seen to have all of the ingredients on hand at the same time. So last night I thought I would try a little variation. Last night's supper was Hot Pockets with ham, cheese, broccoli and grilled onions. They were very good, but they still didn't quite satisfy my craving for pizza pockets. I'll have to pepperoni and pizza sauce to my shopping list! In the mean time, I'll tell you how I made my Hot Pockets.

First lets start with the crust.

3-1/2 Cups of Warm Water
1 Tablespoon on granulated Sugar (or Honey)
4-1/2 Teaspoons of active dry Yeast (or 2 packages)
4 Cups all purpose Flour
3 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

Dissolve the sugar in 1 cup of the water. Add yeast and stir. Let the mixture sit until it is foamy (about 10 minutes) Put the flours in a large bowl and form a well  in the center. When the yeast mixture is ready, pour it into the well in the flour. Add the additional 2-1/2 cups of water and stir. Stir until you have mixed all of the water in. There will probably be excess flour in the bowl still. Dump the mixture out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let the dough rise until it is doubled in bulk (about 35-45 minutes.)

While your dough is rising, start preparing your fillings. I used deli ham, mozzarella cheese, grilled onions with garlic and broccoli.

1 Large Onion
2 Teaspoons Garlic (or to taste)
8 Ounces of Mozzarella Cheese
1 Pound of Ham

Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a medium frying pan. Slice the onion and add it to the frying pan. Add the garlic. If you want to add any additional spices, this would be a good time to add them. Some good additions would be basil or oregano. Saute the onions until they are tender. Chop up the broccoli into small pieces and add it to the pan. Cover and cook for about 4 minutes. Cook just until your broccoli starts to soften.

Now it is time to prep your ham and cheese. I used thin, shaved deli ham so there was no need for prepping, but I you are using ham from a whole ham you will need to slice it or dice it into small enough pieces to fit into your hot pocket. For the cheese, I started with an 8 ounce block of Mozzarella cheese and cut it into thick slices. But you could definitely use shredded cheese or string cheese sticks cut in half.

When the dough is ready, you have a couple of different options for preparing it. You could roll the whole thing out and cut it into rectangles (cut to the size you want each hot pocket.) Or what I did was pull off a chunk of dough as I made each hot pocket, rolled it into a rectangle and added the fillings. When adding the fillings, put it all on one half of the dough and then fold the other side over the top and seal the edges together. I first added the ham, then cheese and then put a scoop of the onion/broccoli mixture on top. The proportions you use will depend on your personal taste, but I recommend about 1 ounce of ham, half an ounce of cheese and a good sized spoonful (real scientific, I know) of the onion/broccoli mixture. I don't measure anything, I just guess, so they all come out a little different. 

Bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.

My Tips

  • If you have any dough left over, you can use it to make breadsticks, or mini-pizzas, or freeze it for later use. Or bake it and top it with butter, cinnamon, sugar and a frosting made up of powdered sugar and water.
  • Substitute the fillings to suit your taste. Turkey or chicken make great substitutes.
  • These are great for freezing. To reheat them, but them in the oven frozen for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

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