Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets

Make your own ham & cheese pockets from scratch using my simple pizza dough, ham, and your favorite cheese. They’re total comfort food and easier to make than you think! See my recipe notes for freezer-friendly instructions.

Freezer-friendly comfort food goodness! Homemade Hot Pockets on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Will you just look at these?! Homemade pizza dough + ham & cheese = handheld bliss!

You may have grown up eating microwaved hot pocket snacks. Though I really don’t buy them anymore, I’m not ashamed to say that I loved them. (And still do!) A few years ago, I actually started I making my own using homemade dough. You can freeze them, microwave them, eat them on the go, etc. And, the best part of all, you can definitely taste the homemade difference!

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets Video

Freezer-friendly comfort food goodness! Homemade Hot Pockets on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Homemade Dough Ingredients

Have you ever made my pizza dough before? I hope you have– it’s the only dough I’ll use for homemade pizza. It’s really simple to make and is actually the same dough we use for today’s ham & cheese pockets. You can also use it to make garlic knots, pepperoni pizza rolls, and cheesy breadsticks, too!

Here’s what you’ll need to make the dough:

  1. Yeast: I use Red Star Platinum yeast. I have the best results when I use this instant yeast. The Platinum yeast is fantastic because its careful formula strengthens your dough and makes making working with yeast simple. You’ll see and taste the difference. I’ve been a fangirl for years! You only need 1 standard packet of yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons).
  2. Water: I tested this dough recipe with different amounts of water. 1 and 1/3 cups is the perfect amount. Use warm water to cut down on rise time, about 100-110°F. Anything over 130ºF kills the yeast.
  3. Flour: Use unbleached all-purpose white flour in this recipe. Bleaching the flour strips away some of the protein, which will affect how much water the flour absorbs.
  4. Oil: A couple Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil adds wonderful flavor to the dough.
  5. Salt: Salt adds necessary flavor.
  6. Sugar: 1 Tablespoon of sugar increases the yeast’s activity and tenderizes the dough, especially when paired with a little olive oil.

Though the warm ham & melty cheese filling is fantastic, the crust is the best part. This bread tastes phenomenal!

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets | sallysbakingaddiction.com

Overview: How to Make Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets

Here’s a quick overview of the process. For full instructions, scroll down for my complete recipe.

  1. Make the dough.
  2. Divide the dough. Slice the dough in half, then cut each half into quarters. You’ll have 8 pieces of dough for 8 homemade pockets!
  3. Shape the dough. Flatten each piece of dough into a rectangle (about 4×6 inches). Place the shaped dough onto prepared baking pans.
  4. Add ham & cheese. Place the ham and cheese on one side, then fold the dough over to fully enclose it.
  5. Pinch the edges. Seal the pockets up as best as you can– use a fork to crimp the edges.
  6. Brush the sides & tops with egg wash. The egg wash helps brown the tops and gives each a beautiful sheen.
  7. Cut 2-3 slits into the tops.
  8. Bake.
  9. Enjoy! They are incredible right out of the oven because the bread is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s a miracle in hand-held form. Just be careful when taking that first bite because the center is very hot!

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets | sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make homemade ham & cheese pockets on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets | sallysbakingaddiction.com

Freezer-friendly comfort food goodness! Homemade Hot Pockets on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Two Other Filling Ideas

You can use this dough and recipe to make other flavors of homemade pockets. Here are two of my favorites.

  1. Chicken, Broccoli, & Cheese Filling: Mix 2 cups chopped cooked broccoli, 1 cup chopped cooked chicken (such as rotisserie chicken), 1 cup shredded cheese, 2 Tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt, plus a pinch of salt and pepper together. Spoon/spread onto the 1 side of your dough rectangles (as you do with the ham and cheese) before folding up/assembling.
  2. Pepperoni Pizza Filling: Spread 1 heaping Tablespoon of your favorite pizza sauce onto the 1 side of each dough rectangle (as you do with the ham and cheese). Divide 1 and 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese and 3/4 cup of mini pepperonis between each and layer on top of the sauce.

Freezer-friendly comfort food goodness! Homemade Hot Pockets on sallysbakingaddiction.com

More Surprisingly Simple Homemade Breads

Print

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 pockets
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Make freezer-friendly homemade ham & cheese pockets with this easy recipe!


Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Platinum yeast (1 standard packet)
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (320ml) warm water, about 110°F (43°C)
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (440g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for work surface
  • 1 Tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk

Filling

  • 8 slices cheese or 2 cups shredded (I use sharp cheddar)
  • 16 thin slices deli ham or 2 cups cubed ham

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, combine the yeast and warm water. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes until the mixture is foamy. If the yeast doesn’t dissolve or foam, your yeast is dead. Start again with active yeast. Add flour, sugar, olive oil, and salt. Mix by hand or with the dough hook on low speed for 1 minute. Once all of the ingredients are mixed, slowly knead for 7 minutes by hand or with your dough hook on low-medium speed. If your dough is too wet, add up to 1/4 cup more flour. After kneading, your dough should be smooth and elastic. Poke it with your finger – if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading.
  2. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large mixing bowl that has been greased lightly with olive oil. Turn it over to coat all sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm environment (about 75°F or 80°F/24°C or 27°C)* for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  4. Once risen, punch the dough down to release the air. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife, slice dough in half. Then slice each half into quarters. You’ll have 8 pieces of dough, as shown in the photo above. Flatten each piece with your fingers or use a rolling pin. You want each piece of flattened dough to be about 6 inches long and 4 inches wide. They don’t have to be perfect rectangles, as you can see in my photos! Transfer flattened dough to the baking sheets. Place the cheese (I fold the slice in half) and ham (2 slices for each) on top of the dough on one side, then fold the other side over top. Pinch the edges to seal as best you can. Use a fork to crimp the edges. Brush the tops and sides of each pocket with egg wash, then slice 2-3 slits in the tops for air vents (use a super sharp knife to do that).
  5. Bake the pockets for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Make sure to rotate the baking sheet once or twice during bake time. Remove pockets from the oven and allow to cool on the pan until ready to handle and serve.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The pockets can be made through step 4 then covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day. Then bake as directed. You can also freeze the baked pockets, which is what I do. After the pockets cool, wrap them individually in aluminum foil and freeze. Then microwave for 2-3 minutes on high or bake at 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes. No need to thaw. To make just the dough ahead of time, see freezing and thawing instructions in my pizza crust post.
  2. Warm Environment: For the warm environment, I heat up my oven to 200°F (93°C). Then, I turn the oven off and keep the door slightly opened. This will be a warm environment for your dough to rise. After about 30 minutes, I close the oven door to trap warmish air inside. If you are not using an instant yeast, your dough will take longer to double in size.
  3. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: ham & cheese pockets

Also freezer-friendly: homemade bagels! I take you through each step, so you fully understand what’s happening. They’re surprisingly simple to make, too!

Bagel varieties

Freezer-friendly comfort food goodness! Homemade Hot Pockets on sallysbakingaddiction.com

157 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, I love you ☺️ I made these pockets tonight, altered of course , got 6 with sausage, olives, mushrooms and cheese and 6 with corn kernels, olives, mushrooms and cheese…. My kids are in heaven THANK YOU!!!

      1. I was wondering if the scrambled eggs would make the bread soggy. Any suggestions? I saw some other recipes of yours, I would like to try. Thanks Polly

    1. I just did this today and it was so good! I made mine with 1.5 slices of mozzarella, 6 pieces of pepperoni and about 1.5 Tbsp pizza sauce in each. I’ll use more of all the fillings next time but they were really good! Be careful to seal them up super well so the sauce doesn’t leak out too much.

  2. These were amazing! I have never made dough before and your recipe was so easy to follow. I want to bake every day all day because of this recipe! And the familiar taste I was hoping for from those crazy ingredient loaded ones in the freezer aisle was there, but 100 times better. I’ll be making all of the pizza and the cheese bread, etc etc etc.

  3. I made these the other night. I used your pizza dough recipe. While they tasted delicious, the bottoms of mine were “tough.” Any ideas? I love working with yeast-risen dough, but don’t know what happened. Thank you!!

  4. Love love love this recipe! I had some left over sliced ham. I made this for my husband and myself. We have some left over and I will scramble eggs in the morning to scoop into heated up left overs.
    Thank you for the great recipe.

  5. I’m currently stuffing my face with these as I type. They are absolutely delightful! The dough was super easy and turned out fluffy on the inside but brown/crispy on the outside. My filling consisted of deli turkey, pepperjack & cheddar cheeses, fresh onion & mushroom & olive chopped small. Everything was small enough to cook inside the pocket while baking. I had no issues with leaking filling nor burnt bottoms; cooked all 8 pockets at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. They are equally tasty dipped in pizza sauce or mustard. Sadly, there will be no leftovers to test their freezing capabilities. Will definitely make again using a variety of fillings. Thanks Sally & team!!

  6. Twice a month we make your pizza dough for beginners. We ADORE it. I came across this idea while re-reading the blog post for the 25th time. Let me just say we will be adding this into our meal plan from now on!! The dough is so simple, and then I make a batch of these and freeze them, warm them in the microwave and crisp the crust up using my air fryer! Sooo good! My 3 and 6 year olds ask me for these (and our salami and cheese pockets) daily! Thanks Sally!

    We’ve done these variations so far-
    BBQ pulled pork pockets with onion
    Pizza pockets- salami, pepperoni and plain cheese.
    Mini caprese pockets (basil pesto, tomato and mozzarella)
    *i also sprinkle sea salt and herbs fitting the sandwich on every pocket!

  7. So frustrating. I’m in Australia. The laudatory remarks regarding the yeast are confusing. We don’t have this brand here. Because of the comments, it makes me wonder whether this brand has what we call bread improver in it, in addition to just being instant yeast. This puts the quantity into question.

  8. Love love love these! They are beyond addicting! I was wondering if this recipe could be easily doubled. I’d like to make a big batch; some for now, some for later.

  9. These are delicious! I could see my yeast trying to explode but didn’t do so until I sprinkled some sugar in with it then It foamed & I continued with the recipe. I followed the instructions to a “T”, that was my only issue. Did I do something wrong? Would it taste the same without the egg wash? Mine ran down the sides & baked underneath making the bottom slightly tough

  10. I made these and my whole family LOVED THEM!!! I’ve been making these ever since and we just die a little bit every time because they are sooooo good. Will be trying more of your recipes, Sally!

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