Well, you’ve caught me having one of those days today. Yesterday, we reached a high of 84 degrees!! Today’s expected high? 49. OK, I KNOW that’s what the March weather is like in Iowa. I’ve lived through this many times. But for some reason today’s cloudy bluster has basically brought on despair. Despair that I’m back to being wrapped up in a blanket all day. Despair that everything is muddy and gross. And most of all, despair that all of our pets are back to wanting to be inside all day. Because now they are restless and shedding all over the place, and the fur + spring pollen is making me stuffed up and ugh… Why did I even get up today?
Luckily, dinner is already in the bag. A few weeks ago my brother-in-law had the completely brilliant idea of using no-knead bread dough to make homemade hot pockets! It’s so simple, with so many possible variations! You can make it with pretty much any kind of filling you can imagine: peperoni and mozzarella, ham and cheddar, pulled pork, steak and potatoes, creamy chicken and veggies… And the dough works as well for one big giant hot pocket as it does for a bunch of smaller ones. And I’m insanely jealous. Because, why didn’t I think of that?
So I’ve been making these things ever since. So then last week I decided to just go experiment crazy and make No-Time Bread. Which I posted last Friday. To recap for you, it turns out No-Time Bread is basically just OK as far as bread goes because it’s majorly dense. But it does taste pretty good, and so naturally I decided to use that dough to make hot pockets. Because for hot pockets you don’t really need the big bubbles that you get with the long fermentation of No-Knead Bread, right? And it worked great!
So basically the deal is that you just make the same dough for both recipes.
Start out by adding your flour, yeast, and honey to the bowl of your stand mixer. Then add very warm water, and mix. Let that rest for a few minutes, then add a little more flour, some salt, and a little bit of vinegar. Using the dough hook on your mixer, mix and knead the dough until it is tacky, smooth, and elastic, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and allow it to rise until doubled in size, 25-30 minutes.
Hopefully, that wasn’t too much information too fast. Of course, you could always go back and look at the previous post. But only if you want to. No pressure. Really.
While the dough is rising, go ahead and decide on your filling. Because these will only be baking for about 15 minutes, you’ll definitely want to cook anything that like meat and tough veggies in advance.
Divide your dough into pieces. I have been making six pockets from the dough each time, but you could definitely make more, like 8 maybe. I made my hot pockets basically huge because I didn’t want to have to deal with the dough tearing and so forth.
Anyway, once you divide up the dough, take one of the pieces and gently stretch and flatten it into a circle. It will be maybe ¼ of an inch thick once it’s all stretched out. Then load the filling ingredients onto one half of the circle.
Bake 12-15 minutes at 450 degrees. You can do that either on a pizza stone or on a baking sheet. Both work well. I actually just left mine on top of the parchment I had already used for shaping the pockets, then transferred the whole sheet onto a pizza stone.
Then chow down! I dipped my roasted veggie/provolone pockets in some marinara sauce, and it was fabulous! Also awesome: barbecue; extra sauce on the side. I’m feeling a ricotta-pesto kinda thing comin’ up next! Or maybe even a dessert of some kind…
- 3½ cups flour, divided
- 4½ teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1½ cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon apple cider, red wine, or balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Add 3 cups flour, yeast, and honey to bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Pour in warm water. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Switch to the mixer’s dough hook attachment. Add remaining ½ cup flour, salt, and vinegar to bowl. Mix and knead on low speed until dough is smooth and elastic. It will feel tacky and may stick to the bottom of the mixing bowl.
- Brush or spray a mixing bowl with oil and transfer dough into bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, 25-30 minutes.
- While dough is rising, prepare filling ingredients. Pre-cook all meats and tough vegetables.
- Transfer dough to floured surface or sheet of greased parchment. Divide into 6-8 pieces.
- Pick up one piece of dough and gently stretch and press the dough into a circle approximately ¼-inch thick.
- Place preferred toppings on one half of circle. Fold circle in half, and pinch the edges together to close.
- Place filled pockets on greased baking sheet or pizza stone. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Brush baked pockets with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Serve hot.