Ham & Cheese Pockets

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During my baking marathon last Saturday, I was so excited to get a quick, grab-and-go lunch stocked in the freezer. Once school starts, it will just be my husband, our 3 year old and me eating lunch at home. Figuring out what to make for the three of us for lunch has been tricky for me.

If it were just my daughter and me, we’d eat a lot of salads with chick peas (her current favorite food). If it were just my husband and me, we’d punt and just grab whatever was on hand. But for some reason, the three of us eating lunch together makes me feel like I need to plan an actual meal of sorts. Maybe that will change after a few weeks though.

In addition to the three of us eating at home, lunches for school is also a concern. Most days, the 3 kids at school will be eating one of the school’s hot lunch options (or their third option of tossed salad with beans, yogurt  and whole wheat rolls – love that!) But if this year proves to be anything like last, there will still be many days when they opt to bring lunch from home. That is just fine with me. So having a few options in the freezer that can be tossed in lunch boxes to thaw by lunch time sounds like a great plan to me, especially given how worried I already am about the hectic mornings ahead after the baby is born.

Using the same dough I did to make the Chicken & Broccoli Rolls, I threw together 2 dozen easy lunch options. I actually made 1 dozen ham & cheese and 1 dozen just cheese, or “grilled cheese pockets” as I called them for the kids. We’ve since sampled them and decided that we definitely prefer the ham and cheese pockets because the ham adds just enough extra flavor and texture. Although personally, I could happily eat all of those grilled cheese pockets myself. I mean, it’s cheese and bread. What could possibly be wrong with those two together? (I’m also the only one in the house who could eat a straight-up cheddar cheese sandwich, so maybe that explains it a little.)

Ham & Cheese Pockets

For the dough:

  • 1 T. (or 1 packet) yeast
  • 1 c. warm water, divided
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 1/4 c. melted butter, cooled to room temperature
  • 2 1/2 – 3 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 t. salt

1. In a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 warm water. Stir in the sugar and let sit to proof for 5 minutes. Pour in the melted and cooled butter and the remaining warm water.

2. Add 2 c. flour and the salt. Mix for two minutes. Work in as much remaining flour as needed to make a dough that is smooth but not sticky. Knead on a floured surface or continue beating for about 10 minutes. Add a bit more flour if the dough starts to get sticky while kneading.

3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let rise for 1 hour. Punch down dough, cover and let rise for at least another 30 minutes.

For the filling:

  • 1/2 lb. sliced deli ham
  • 1/2 lb. cheddar cheese, sliced (we prefer sharp cheddar)

To assemble:

  • 3 T. butter or margarine, melted (optional)
  • 1 t. coarse salt (optional)

1. Divide dough into 12 evenly sized balls. Roll out into a circle about 6 inches in diameter. Place some ham and cheese on one half of the dough. Fold the remaining half over the top. Pinch closed and then seal with the tines of a fork. Repeat until done.

2. If desired, brush melted butter over each pocket and sprinkle lightly with coarse salt.

3. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-18 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

To freeze, cool completely and place as many as will fit into gallon-sized plastic freezer bags. To reheat, warm in the oven or microwave. Or, simply eat once thawed, as you would in a brown-bag lunch.

Definitely play around with these to your tastes. Omit the meat for just the grilled cheese pockets. Replace the ham with turkey or pepperoni. Use a different cheese. There are definitely tons of options!

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Comments

  1. My sons would love these! i featured you as my Friday Favorite :)

    http://adomesticnerd.blogspot.com/2010/08/friday-favorite_27.html

  2. Brenda says:

    These look really good! I bet the cheese ones would be excellent dipped in pizza sauce!

  3. Erin says:

    Hi Kate! These look SO amazing! Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Ashley says:

    I can’t wait to try these. I’m drooling over your ham and cheese but I also have some mozzarella cheese and pepperoni in my fridge. I might have to try making some pizza flavored ones. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  5. Poor Taste says:

    These look so tasty! Thanks for posting it. We included in a roundup of lunch ideas in Poor Taste magazine. http://www.poortastemag.com/

  6. i saw these from lifeasmom and i will definitely be making these soon! my husband loves hot pockets so these would be great for his lunches.

  7. Tina says:

    I am not a fan of baking (ie. using yeast :) but decided to try this. We really enjoyed it. I used 1/2 a piece of sliced cheese from the deli & deli turkey and decided it was too little cheese/too dry. We dipped those in pizza sauce and everyone was happy. I made some, ate a few and then made the rest of the dough, and added pizza sauce to the rest, those were more enjoyed. Next time, I will use block cheese and cut the slices thicker or use a whole slice of cheese in each pocket. Thanks for sharing and helping me get over my fear of yeast! :)

  8. Stacy says:

    Doubled this recipe to make 6 pizza pockets, 6 mozzarella cheese with salami (my daughter LOVES salami!), 6 grilled cheese pockets, and 6 ham and cheese pockets. They turned out great, except a lot of mine leaked cheese while cooking. Is there any way to prevent this?

  9. Jennifer Young says:

    I printed this recipe out long ago, and finally got around to making them today. I made 6 ham and cheddar, and 6 pepperoni and mozzerella–delicious!! So easy, I will probably make more tomorrow to freeze.

  10. Brittany says:

    Trying these with breakfast filling from the breakfast pies.

    I’m thinking they’re going to be delicious!

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