These little bites of ham and cheese heaven are the perfect dinner to serve to your hungry family! It all starts with a homemade dough that bakes up beautifully (and comes together rather easily for a yeasted dough!) and makes the perfect vessel to store all that cheesy goodness.
It makes enough to feed a crowd or give leftover to enjoy the next day. I love to make these on a Sunday afternoon and then serve them for supper the next couple of nights. Not to mention my family just gobbles them up every time I make them. You’ve got to try them for yourself!
For the bread dough:
1 1/2 c milk
3/4 c sugar + 1 tbsp sugar
1/2 c butter
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp yeast
2 c warm water
10-13 c flour
For the filling:
2 lb ham, cut into pieces
3 c shredded cheese
4 tbsp melted butter for brushing tops of pockets
Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine milk and 3/4 cup sugar in saucepan. Add 1/2 c butter, cut into tablespoon slices. Heat til butter begins to melt and milk is about 105F. Pour hot milk mixture into bowl of stand mixer; add egg and salt. Mix well with paddle attachment. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well; add 2 more cups of flour and mix. Let sit.
In separate bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon of sugar into warm water. Measure temperature of water, it should be between 100-110F. Add yeast and stir. Let proof til it is nice and foamy, about 2-5 minutes.
Add 1/2 of yeast~water mixture to milk~flour mixture in bowl of stand mixer. Combine well. Add 1 cup of flour and stir well; add remainder of yeast mixture and another cup of flour. Mix well. Continue to add flour, one cup at a time, stirring with paddle attachment after each addition, until dough begins to thicken. Add remainder of dough, until it is pulling from sides of bowl, using hands or wooden spoon.
Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead til smooth and lightly sticky. Allow to rise in greased large bowl covered with plastic wrap in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
Divide dough into four balls trying to get the same size. Roll each ball into a large square, roughly 18″x18″. Use a pizza cutter to divide dough into six equal pieces. Top each piece with a small handful of ham and a handful of shredded cheese. Fold ends over, then fold sides, then flip, tuck and shape. Place on well buttered cookie sheet. Continue, filling two cookie sheets, each with 12 pockets. Let sit and rise while oven is preheating, about 10 minutes.
Bake pockets for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter. Let cool at least five minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely and wrap in wax paper, then place in plastic freezer bag to store for lunches. Reheat in microwave for one minute and thirty seconds. Alternately, keep in refrigerator up to three days and enjoy cold or room temperature as well.
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Quick tip: To freeze wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil after baking. Rewarm in 350 oven for 5-10 minutes.
Photo attribution and recipe courtesy of: Alice and the Mock Turtle.