[RECIPE] Ham ‘n Cheese Pockets

I love potlucks… but when you have two potlucks in one day, no matter how many recipes you have on your To Do List, sometimes, there just isn’t time… or the ideas are never enough. This past weekend, I was brainstorming trying to figure out what to make. The people? Totaled around 20 and split down the middle when it came to the number of adults and the number of kids. They were mostly Asian, but of the more open-minded sort. The kids tended to like American foods. Then – I remembered these pockets and I thought they looked amazing. The cool thing: I recently bought a big pack of vegetarian bacon ham (I kid you not – they’re called bacon ham).

It all fell into place…

Ham N Cheese 5

Plus, I really wanted some nice salty (humane) protein with some nice, melty cheese. How does that not win anyone over?? The fact that the dough is homemade cinched it. I ended up doubling the recipe and cutting out a total of 32 pieces (there were 8 “breadsticks” per recipe that I halved).

HAM AND CHEESE POCKETS
(serves 8 people)

INGREDIENTS
Dough
3 cups of All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup of Unsalted Butter, melted
1 TBSP of Sugar
1 scant tsp of Salt
2 Eggs, lighted whisked
1 tsp of Active Dry Yeast
2/3 cup of Water, lukewarm (around body temperature)

Pockets
2 cups of Cheddar Cheese, shredded
5 to 8 slices of “Ham”
1 Egg (for egg wash)
1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 TBSP of Dried Parsley
Water

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water together and let the yeast rest for around 10 minutes, until dissolved and foaming.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, add the flour, salt, butter, eggs, and yeast mixture and combine for around 5 minutes. The dough should be soft and elastic, but not sticky, and should pull away from the bowl/dough mixing attachment. If sticky, add more flour. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled in size in a warm place; it should take around an hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
  4. Roll out the dough to around 14 inches by 18 inches and is about 1/4 inch thick. Over half of the dough (the long length), add the cheese. Layer the “ham” slices over the cheese, lightly brush some water on the edges and fold the dough over the filling, pressing down lightly to seal it in. Cut the dough into 8 pieces and place on the baking sheet. Note that they will expand further while baking so leave a little bit of space in between.
  5. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with parmesan and parsley. Let the pockets rest and rise for an additional half hour.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for around 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot.

NOTES

  • The dough is really simple to whip up, other than the waiting period. It made a nice, soft bread. You can totally use pizza dough as well for the bread if you’re short on time.
  • I used mild cheddar but on my next try, I would probably use sharp cheddar. I also ended up using a total of around 3 cups of the cheddar for the filling and 1 packet of yeast when doubling the recipe.
  • A delicious and wonderfully hand-held meal!
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