What are we going to pick? Hot Pockets! I know y’all remember that jingle from a couple of decades ago when these things first came out. Since then, my kids and grandkids have probably kept them in business, if I am being honest.
I will tell you one thing, though, when I make these bread pockets on cast iron over a fire you will never want to microwave those suckers again, because this is pretty easy, and you can fill these with anything.
Bread pockets filled with meat are found in so many different varieties and all over the world. Kolaches in Texas, Empanadas in South America, Pierogis in Poland, Meat pies across the pond in the UK and even Natchitoches meat pies over in Louisiana – they are made boiled, fried, baked – they’re loved everywhere in the world because they’re delicious, and probably because you can hold them in one hand.
Start with the Pocket
Tip: When you’re whisking the warm water and the yeast, if the mixture is not bubbling up, toss it out and try again.
When you are making the dough for the hot pocket, make sure you are using water that is warm, not hot. If it burns your finger, it will burn the yeast. Always buy the good yeast and check the expiration date. Before you add flour, the yeast should cause the water and oil mixture to bubble up just a bit. This is called “proofing.”
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Add flour about half at a time, and when the dough is slightly wetter than you want it to be, flour your surface and hands and start to knead. You are going to fold the dough in on itself over and over, continually adding more flour, until you have a nice sturdy little ball of dough. Knead for a good five minutes. This is better than one of those fancy stress balls. Cover in a greased bowl for a couple of hours.
Tip: Add about three teaspoons of coarse ground pepper to the dough to add some extra flavor.
Two Hours Later…..
The dough should have doubled in size by now. Lay it out on a freshly floured surface and pat it flat – no need for a rolling pin. The dough will cut into about eight different pieces – it does not have to be exact.
Take a piece of the dough and spread it out on your floured surface, about six inches wide. Cover the rest of the dough until you need it – this keeps dust and pets out of it. Paint with some garlic butter – I use Kerrygold, and it is delicious – and then add whatever pizza toppings or flavors you want in there.
Tip: Use this as pizza dough in a pinch!
In my case, I want some of the Green Chile Chipotle Relish that will just kick this up with perfect Cowboy flavor and add some Canadian bacon and pepper jack cheese.
Shannon’s hot pocket is full of pepperoni and cheese, and you can have your kids or guests put whatever they want in these. Everyone is happy and fed and that is why we do what we do here.
Tip: Slowly roll the pocket and pinch the seams underneath the pocket. Cooking this side first will seal the pocket up and cook evenly.
We Put the Hot in the Hot Pocket
Now, I’ve baked this in the oven, but I’ve found lightly frying them in good cast iron brings out a much better flavor.
Heat the cast iron pan and drizzle some oil in there. I like to use Avocado oil because it’s good for you, but you can use what you want. The hot pocket is going to cook one side at a time. Set the hot pockets seam side down first, and then slowly turn a quarter turn at a time until all four sides are completely cooked and golden brown on the outside.
Now, take some of that delicious garlic butter from before and paint it over the top of that hot pocket like you are Michaelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel. Cover with some parmesan and get to eating!
These hot pockets are so delicious and easy to make. The original Hot Pockets are pretty darn good, but my recipe will put a little dance in your step as soon as you take a bite.
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Homemade Hot Pockets - Cowboy Kent Rollins
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 ¼ oz packet dry yeast
- 1 ½ tablespoons avocado or olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
- 1 ¾ - 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons butter melted (divided)
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- Toppings: Ranch dressing, salsa, marinara sauce, Canadian bacon, Pepperoni, ground beef, shredded cheesePepper jack cheese slices
- grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
- Whisk together the water and yeast in a small bowl. Let rest about 5 minutes to proof or until the mixture bubbles up.
- Mix in the oil, salt and pepper.
- Slowly begin stirring in the flour until a soft ball forms that isn’t too sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rest in a warm place for about 2 hours or until it doubles in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and cut into 8 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece out to a 6 x 4-inch rectangle.
- Mix the garlic and the melted butter in a small bowl. Spread a light layer on the top of each dough piece.
- Assembly: These fellers can be put together with any mixture of ingredients you’d like. I like to start with 1 to 2 tablespoons of sauce (marinara, ranch, etc.). Then add a generous layer of meat (hamburger, deli slices, pepperoni, etc.). Top with about 1/4 cup of shredded or sliced cheese.
- Roll each dough piece up and fold the edges under.
- Add a very thin layer of avocado or olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Place the hot pockets, seam side down, in the skillet. Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes on all sides until lightly crispy and golden brown. Remove from the skillet and place on a wire rack, brush with butter/garlic mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve warm.
Our Green Chile Chipotle Relish makes a great sauce! KentRollins.com