Ham and Cheese Pretzel Hot Pockets: Ham and cheese are enveloped in a soft pretzel hot pocket–perfect for dipping! Ditch store-bought, and serve up these DIY gems to your family for a meal they will be begging for again and again!
My son revealed the food that his friends love that he has yet to try. You know Pop Tarts, Little Debbie Snack Cakes, Doritos, and those freezer pizza calzones. I realized he meant Hot Pockets with that last one.
While I am sure some of you think I am down right EVIL for depriving him of these things, let me explain. First of all, he was just stating what kids pack in their lunches and he said how it was crazy that most of the stuff he has never even had. So he wasn’t even upset, just stating facts–he loves to states facts! And he has in fact had some versions of Cheetos–just not the one with artificial ingredients. So check that one-off the list. And nope, no Pop Tarts–but I do totally plan on making my own DIY version of those soon (stay tuned). I am just not a pie crust lover, so they never appealed to me and hence dropped from my radar. And Little Debbie Snacks–yep, I need to make my version of that too. Or one of the fabulous ones I have seen on pinterest.
But back to the Hot Pockets. Ew. Gross. No appeal. But his description got me thinking to making calzones to stash in the freezer for future quick lunches. And as much as he did like my Spinach Artichoke Calzones, I doubted that would be what he would prefer at lunch. And traditional pepperoni? Well, I had Pizza Muffins already in the freezer that had that covered. Maybe ham and cheese? Tate loves ham and cheese sandwiches, not to mention so does Layla and my husband. I could cover all their lunches with a ham and cheese calzone. But why stop at a plain calzone? Making the dough a pretzel dough instead of a pizza dough to create a Pretzel Hot Pocket seemed like a genius flavor combo to me.
Imagine the salty outer crust that resembles a freshly baked soft pretzel stuffed with salty ham and sharp cheddar cheese–oh I am drooling. I mean that is one bite of salty perfection that is not only great for lunch boxes–but perfect for our family pizza nights.
These totally hit a home run here at our house. My family LOVED them and I am sure they created a few jealous glances in the lunch room. And they are versatile–perfectly tasty room temperature or fresh from the oven; served plain or dipped in mustard. Just YUM! Not to mention, made with real food!!
Let me be honest for a minute–making these hot pockets with a pretzel crust verses a regular crust does take about 5 more minutes effort. But the effort is so, so worth it! And you can skip the extra 5 minutes of prep and still have a delicious hand-held hot pocket. For visual step-by-step instructions check out my post on Cheesy Pretzel Dogs.
- 2½ cups whole wheat flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2½ teaspoons yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- Water for boiling (4 cups)
- ¼ cup baking soda
- kosher salt
- 8 ounces ham slices (or leftover ham, cubed)
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated or sliced
- Start with the pretzel dough. Combine the flour, salt and yeast with a dough hook on a kitchen stand mixer. Add the water in and allow the dough to come together, scraping the sides if necessary. Let the dough knead in the mixer on low for about 8 minutes, until smooth and shiny.
- Place dough in greased large mixing bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Once the dough had rose, preheat the oven to 450. Also bring 4 cups of water to a boil on the stove.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into about an 8 inch oval.
- Evenly divide ham and cheese between ovals, placing on center of bottom half of oval. Fold the dough over, creating a crescent shape and using your fingers or the prongs of a fork, tightly seal the edges of the "hot pocket."
- Once the water has come to a boil, turn the stove off and stir in ¼ cup baking soda into the water. Gently place each hot pocket into the water bath, one at a time, just until coated with the mixture.
- Place the hot pockets onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or that is well greased. 3 slits across the top of each hot pocket to allow steam to escape while baking.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until dough is nicely golden brown.
- Dip into mustard if desired!!
*To Freeze: Allow to cool completely and then freeze on cookie sheet until hardened. Place in closely sealed freezer safe bag or container. When ready to eat, either place one in lunchbox and allow to thaw in time for lunch (will be cold but still good) or reheat in 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until warmed through. You can also microwave, but will lose some crispiness.