Sunday, January 31, 2010

Homemade Hot Pockets

My boys LOVE Hot Pockets and I usually get them for .50 a box with coupons. That's a really good deal but let's face it, even though they're quite convenient, they're not healthy! I told my boys that after we ran out of the breakfast variety we had in the freezer, we would try and make them ourselves. Not only would they be much, much healthier, they'd probably be cheaper as well (which I LOVE!).

I'm lucky enough to have a KitchenAid Professional 600 series mixer with a dough hook (cue the Hallelujahs) so I make yeast doughs very frequently. I love to make homemade soup and a nice loaf of homemade bread on cold winter nights for dinner. Max loves it so much that he asked me to make a loaf to take into school so he could share with his classmates. I made him a loaf and sliced it that morning and sent him in with a little tub of butter, plastic knives, napkins and his bread. He was proud to be able to share with his friends. You don't need a fancy mixer to make this dough but if you don't you'll be kneading by hand....think of it as therapy. Here's the recipe for the dough....

10 Cups (possibly more and I'll explain after) All Purpose or Bread Flour

4 Eggs, beaten

1/2 cup sugar

4 1/2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast (I buy the big double pack of Fleishmanns from Sams Club)

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups water

1 tsp. salt

2 sticks of butter or margarine, melted

Instructions are for my mixer. If you're kneading by hand, you'll want to search the internet to look for instructions for that. Heat your water and milk until it feels hot to your touch. Not scalding, but past luke warm. Pour into your mixer and add yeast. Mix well and allow yeast to bloom (just let it sit for 5 minutes or so). Once your 5 minutes is up, you can add eggs, sugar, salt and melted butter. Next comes the flour. I usually add all of what it calls for and begin mixing. I ended up adding much more than 10 cups of flour. If you're not experienced in bread making this is what you want to look want to add flour slowly until the sides of your mixer are clean and your dough has all come together. Then I let it knead for a good 5-7 minutes. Next, oil your dough and make sure the whole thing is coated. Cover your bowl and allow to double in size. Once it's doubled, you're ready to make the hot pockets. You can cook your fillings while your dough is rising. I didn't really use a recipe for that. I do, however, have some useful tips for you for fillings. I made scrambled eggs. I always make fluffy scrambled eggs (I've seen them dry and crumbly before and so unappetizing). I add about a teaspoon per egg of water and then salt and pepper and whip them up. The trick is to let the eggs sit and set in your pan before you start scrambling them. Once you see a nice layer of cooked egg on the bottom, gently fold and continue that until they're cooked through. I also grated my own cheddar cheese because I had a block from a previous sale and I think it tastes better than the stuff already shredded. For meat, I used breakfast sausages and bacon. I removed the sausage from the casings and chopped it up before frying. The bacon you should also chop before frying, that way it's all ready to go into the dough and you don't have to be bothered crumbling it after it's cooked. I have ham pictured above because I intended on making some with that as well. Upon opening the package and touching it, I found little hard crystal like bits embedded in the slices. It was really quite strange and I've never seen it before. I'll be bringing it back to the store.

Next is filling the pockets. I have a food scale (for my business) and so I measured out 4 ounce pieces of dough, just so I knew they were uniform and would bake more evenly. That's not necessary though. I also realized after baking them that 4 ounces is really too large unless you're feeding really hungry children (or husbands). So I rolled out the pieces of dough into rectangles and layered the fillings. First meat, then a little cheese, egg and cheese again. Pull the sides of dough up together and seal ends and place onto your baking sheet (I used a Pampered Chef baking stone. HIGHLY recommended!) and allow to rise while you heat your oven to 350. I'm sorry that I never time anything. You'll have to just watch them and bake til golden brown. I'm guessing around 20 minutes or so. You can eat them straight out of the oven or allow them to cool completely and wrap and freeze. They can be reheated in the microwave or oven, though I haven't actually tried this yet because I just made them today.

This is what I figure it cost me to make them. I got the eggs for .59 per dozen and used 17 for a total of .84 cents. Bacon, on sale/coupon for .67 per pound. I used 1/2 for a total of 33 1/2 cents. My sausage was on sale/coupon for $1.40 for 12 ounces. I used around 8 ounces for a total of .93 cents. My cheese was .77 for an 8 ounce brick and I used the whole thing. Sugar may have been .25 worth? Flour $1.25, butter $1.25, milk .25, yeast .02 and I'm not even counting the salt. My total estimated cost is $5.89. I made 12 hot pockets probably double the size of those in the store and I have at least half the dough left over in my refrigerator to try pizza hot pockets tomorrow. Considering the cheapest I've gotten them in the store with my coupons makes them .25 cents per hot pocket, I'd say my homemade ones that are double the food and double the nutrition are a real bargain at .36 cents each. This is how I got my figure....I added all the ingredients for the dough and halved it because I only used half, then added the fillings and divided by 12.

Let me know if you try them and if you like them or not. I'm super impressed so far and can't wait to try all kinds of fillings (like veggies and low fat cheese for Mommy!).

1 comment:

  1. I have the same exact mixer! I LOVE it, but would like more recipes. I like this one. If you have more please post them. I am a bread person, and this is just what I am looking for.