Ham & Cheese Homemade Hot Pockets
My Parisian Lifestyle Makeover: Cook With Love
As part of my Parisian Lifestyle, which is about living a life of style, I am taking care in what I feed my family. It's not about a chore but about finding joy in serving my family food that is good and ensuring the quality of the food I give them is the best. You have to relax and be present or it will be a chore so pour a glass of wine and put on some music. Don't stress about it being perfect, if it isn't just roll with it because you can't succeed without failing. Just try to have fun. Learning to be present in the moment is a form of meditation which can help you manage stress so only think about what you are doing in that moment, clear your mind and don't think about the stress of yesterday or worry about how tomorrow will be just be in the moment of cooking.
My kids love those horrible Hot Pockets beyond the fact that I think they are gross they are also quite expensive and with teenagers appetites it can become extremely expensive. When you think about it they are just small calzones and pizza dough is extremely easy to make. Honestly, even if you think you can't make bread, which trust me you can, pizza dough is easy and quick. It only needs to rise once so from beginning to end it only takes an hour to an hour and half and the majority of that time is waiting for the dough to rise. I have 2 ingredient swaps if you decide to use your own recipe. Use honey instead of sugar and olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
Pizza Dough Recipe:
5 to 6 cups of unbleached flour
2 packages of quick rise dry yeast (4 2/4 teaspoons) you can use regular yeast just takes longer to rise
1 tsp salt
1 TBL raw honey
6 TBL olive oil
2 cups of very warm water (120 to 130)
Substitution: If you want to make whole wheat pizza dough swap 1 cup of unbleached flour with 1 cup of whole wheat flour. You will most likely need less unbleached flour but we will get to that.
Add water, olive oil and honey put heat in microwave to temp 120 to 130. Too hot it will kill the yeast, too cold and it won't activate the yeast either way the dough won't rise
Put yeast and water into mixer and mix together with the dough hook. I have a Kitchenaid which makes this easy but you can do it by hand or in your food processor.
Add 1 cup of the flour and salt and mix
Add 3 more cups one cup at a time
Add 1/4 cup at a time of the flour. If you are using a mixer you have added enough flour when the walls of the bowl are clean, if you are using the food processor when the dough forms into 2 balls and if you are doing it by hand the dough will be sticking but it won't stick to the walls of the bowl.
Put a little olive oil in a bowl and add the dough rolling it in the olive oil so the entire ball has oil on it.
Being that it is a little chilly to help the rising process wet a towel with hot water and microwave it for 30 seconds before using it to cover the bowl. Set aside in a draft free area
Once it has doubled in size and when you poke the dough and the finger indintation stays, about 20 to 30 minutes you are ready to start making the ham and cheese calzones.
Thinly sliced ham
Cheddar cheese slices
Preheat oven to 375
Pull off some dough about the size of your palm and on a lightly floured surface use the palm of your hand to press into the a thin circle. The dough will rise again when you bake it
Put 2 slices of ham in just the center of the circle leaving 1/4 inch of dough at the top and the bottom
Cut cheese slice in half and lay slices on top of the ham
Fold the top part of the dough over the filling then fold over the sides. Pinch the dough to seal it
Place on pan seam side down
If you want to be a little 'fancy' you can brush the top with an egg wash and sprinkle a little kosher salt on top. I didn't do that this time but it will give the calzone a nice golden color.
Bake for 20 minutes or until it sounds hallow when you tap it.
Yield 12 to 14 calzones
I store them in the freezer and they can either reheat them in the oven to maintain a crunchier crust or they can microwave them. I'm not sure why I freeze them because they go pretty fast with all of our kids and their bottomless pits they call stomaches.
The kids like the homemade version more then the store bought, they are a fraction of the cost to make and most important I can control the quality of the ingredients. You can add any ingredients you want, I like to do more sophisticated calzones for me so be creative and just have fun with it. You could even let the kids create their own calzone, if you do that just step back and let them do what they want even if you know it won't work they will learn more if you let them fail and it should just be about fun.
I use to do a lot more of this but with RSD it is not as easy to do and can cause a lot of pain but luckily I had my suis chef to help me. It's not a bad thing, I get to spend more time with her and she is learning how to cook which she will need to be able to do when she goes off to college next year. I'm trying to find ways to be able to do the things I love which has been an issue but I am finding what I need to do is stop comparing what I could do to what I can do now.