Thursday, December 13, 2012

Freezer-Friendly Ham & Cheese Pockets

A couple of months ago I found myself in a rut when it came to my daughter's lunches. It was usually a grilled cheese, quesadilla or yogurt and crackers with fruit and veggies. I set out to find a few other options to add into the rotation, and found this recipe on Pinterest. They're little Ham and Cheese Pockets, and I loved that you can make a larger batch, freeze them and pop them in the microwave when you want them. One of my favorite parts of the recipe, is that it gives you bread machine instructions to make the dough! Fret not if you don't have a bread machine, there's directions to make the dough by hand. It's not complicated doing it by hand, I just love letting my bread machine do the work for me. These came together very quickly after the dough was done rising. You cut the dough into 10-14 balls (I made 12), then roll the balls out, add your ham and cheese, seal and bake.

I did change up the recipe to make these half whole wheat flour, and you'll see my changes in the recipe. If you would prefer using all AP flour, go ahead and use a total of three cups. So how did they taste? Oh, they were AMAZING! I had to try one for quality control, obviously. I used uncured black forest ham (without nitrates and nitrites) from Trader Joes, and Monterey Jack cheese, and let me just tell you... These weren't your run of the mill sandwiches. They tasted sophisticated and delicious, so do not try to compare these to a Hot Pocket, they're in a completely different league. My daughter loved these too, so we have a hit all the way around! These are great for anyone, not just the kiddos. You could play up the fillings a million different ways too, so experiment and try these out!

Freezer-Friendly Ham & Cheese Pockets adapted from Money Saving Mom

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (I also added 2t Vital Wheat Gluten to help keep the dough lite)
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
4 Tablespoons dry milk
3 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons yeast
1 cup warm water

Sliced ham
Shredded or sliced cheese

To make dough in bread machine: Add ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed and run on the dough cycle. Check about halfway through to see if you need to add a little extra water or flour to make a soft dough.

To make dough by hand: Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in salt, sugar, and dry milk. Add flour and stir until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Dump dough onto a floured surface and knead for around 5 minutes, until a soft dough forms. Add a little more flour, if needed.

To make Ham & Cheese Pockets: Divide dough into 10-14 balls. Roll each ball into a rectangle. Put ham and cheese on half of the rectangle. Fold dough over and pinch sides to seal tightly.

Bake Pockets on a greased cookie sheet at 350-degrees for 15-18 minutes, until lightly browned.

To freeze: Let cool completely. Freeze in airtight ziptop freezer bags for up to 2-3 months.

To serve: Remove desired number of pizza pockets from the freezer and warm them individually in the microwave for about two minutes or until heated through. Or, warm on a cookie sheet in a 350-degrees oven for 20 minutes, or until heated through.

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