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A ham and cheese filled pastry crust cut in half with a knife.
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5 from 5 votes

Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets

Homemade ham and cheese sauce filled wheat pastry pockets.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Dough Resting Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 55 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ham and cheese hot pocket, healthy hot pocket
Servings: 12 pockets
Calories: 131kcal
Author: Erin
Cost: $2

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoon shortening
  • ½ teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water

For the Ham and Cheese Filling

  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese off the block
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • ¼ cup milk or water
  • teaspoon paprika NOT SMOKED PAPRIKA
  • teaspoon garlic powder optional, for zestier flavor
  • teaspoon onion powder optional, for zestier flavor
  • ½ lb tavern smoked ham sliced thick from deli (then sliced into 1 inch long strips)

Optional

  • 1 beaten egg for brushing (optional)

Instructions

Prepare the Dough

  • In a stand mixer using dough hook or paddle, or by hand with bowl and long spoon, or in food processor mix together all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast. Add shortening and mix until lightly crumbly.
  • Add water and vinegar and knead to form a ball. Cover, and let rest in a warm area for 60 minutes, or up to an hour while you make the cheese sauce.

Start the Cheese Sauce

  • While the dough is rising, make the ham and cheese filling in a small sauce pan. Add butter on medium high heat and whisk in flour until smooth.
  • Reduce heat to medium low, add shredded cheese, milk or water, cream cheese, paprika (onion and garlic powders optional) and water and stir until combined.
  • Allow to melt for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally until completely smooth; remove from heat.
  • Stir in the sliced ham pieces. Set aside.

Assemble the Pockets

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to ⅛ inch thickness. Cut into 2x5 inch rectangles.
  • Begin filling each pocket with the ham and cheese filling, being careful not to get it on edges. It will spread out during baking.
  • Dip index finger in water and run it around the edges; this will create a glue to help seal the pockets.
  • Lay the larger, corresponding rectangles evenly over the tops of the cheese and ham filling.
  • Use the tines of a fork to seal the edges by pressing all the way around. They don't have to fit perfectly together on the edges, because they'll get trimmed up.
  • For a golden, shiny crust, brush with a beaten egg. Pierce multiple times with a fork or slash each pocket 3 times to allow steam to escape.
  • Using a spatula, transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Check periodically that the steam holes are properly allowing steam to escape so that pockets don't burst and leak all of the cheese sauce out.
  • Let cool before eating, and be careful because the filling will be very hot. Breaking in half helps the inside too cool faster.

Notes

Batch Size Tips and Tricks:
  • Recipe makes 12 regular sized pockets. Rectangles can be cut larger for larger pockets, or smaller for more pockets of a smaller size.
Dough Tips and Tricks:
  • Dough can be made using all white flour, or different combination of wheat/white flours as long as it adds up to the 2 ½ cups total flour. 
  • When the dough goes through it's rise, or resting period, it needs to do so in a warm, non drafty area. 
  • If you prefer to make the dough in advance, store it in the fridge right after kneading. It can be stored in the fridge, covered overnight. Remove it from the fridge 30 minutes before forming the crusts. 
Cheese Sauce Tips and Tricks:
  • Don't use pre-shredded cheese, it won't melt smoothly. I has added ingredients to prevent it from caking. 
  • Don't heat the cheese sauce on too high of heat, because the high heat will cause cheese to separate and become a clumpy, greasy mess. It won't melt back together after that. Instead, have patience and melt low and slow until smooth. That's the key to smooth cheese sauce!
Baking Tips and Tricks:
  • The steam needs to be able to escape. Poke holes (many, see photo) or slit with a sharp knife a few times. Check periodically that the pockets are not starting to burst at a seam; if they are it just means the holes are not open because they either didn't go all the way through, or they plugged back up, so just re-poke the holes to allow steam out. The photo below shows an example of holes that were not properly poked, or got plugged up:
A red no sign overlaying burst cheese and ham pockets.
  • Keep extra, leftover Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 
Storage Tips and Tricks:
  • Pockets can be individually wrapped in freezer, wax, or parchment paper and kept sealed in a freezer zipper bag or plastic container for up to 6 months. Cook first before freezing. To heat, bake in oven at 300 F degrees for 20 minutes, or until heated through. Or, microwave on 50% power for 3 minutes. 
  • Don't try to freeze them completely raw.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 277mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 127IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1mg