Needless to say, we’re at home A LOT right now. With school being out for the forseeable future and classes taking place in our own home, I’m having a lot of flexibility with how we work our daily schedule. The kids generally work on their school work for a few hours in the morning, break for lunch and then complete their assigned work in the afternoon. While I’m doing OK with the whole distance learning thing, one of the hardest things for me is coming up with lunches every day that the kids will enjoy. They both generally eat lunch at school or just take a sandwich but they got tired of sandwiches within about the first two weeks of home schooling. Since I’m avoiding going to the grocery store and trying to use up all the food in my pantry before I venture out, it only made sense that I mixed things up a bit and taught my littlest how to make homemade hot pockets (some may call them calzones) and they turned out so amazing that I just had to share this simple recipe that’s perfect for making with the kids and eating for lunch.
These homemade hot pockets pair a crispy dough with delicious fillings (we used cheese and pepperoni but you can get as crative as you want) to create not only a perfect recipe to cook with kids but also a lunch that everyone will adore. Here’s how we made them!
- 3 and ½ cups of sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 and ¼ cups of warm water
- 1 packet of quick rise yeast
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- ½ cup of marinara sauce (plus more for dipping)
- 1 cup of shredded cheese
- 1 cup of sliced pepperoni
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon of water
- Powdered parmesan cheese
- Pour the yeast and sugar into the warm water and allow it to sit for 5-7 minutes (until frothy).
- Sift the flour into the base of a mixer and add in the salt and olive oil.
- While mixing, slowly pour in the yeast/sugar/water mixture and combine well.
- Using a bread hook, knead the dough mixture for at least five minutes until it's elastic and slightly sticky.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean cloth and allow it to rise for 2 hours.
- Once the dough has risen to at least double in size, beat it down and place it on a floured counter.
- Cup the dough into six equal parts.
- Roll each section of the dough into a 6-8 inch circle.
- Add two tablespoons of marinara, a sprinkling of cheese and pepperoni to each piece of dough.
- Fold the dough over and pinch around the half circle to seal it.
- Cut a few vent slices in the top of each hot pocket.
- Place the hot pockets on a lined baking sheet, at least an inch apart.
- Mix the egg and water until frothy and brush the egg wash onto each hot pocket.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 500 degrees for 15-18 minutes, until the tops of the hot pockets are golden brown.
- Allow to cool for five minutes and serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
While I know the idea of cooking from scratch can feel daunting, these homemade hot pockets are easy to make and a perfect activity to do with kids. In addition, they are crazy good (as in both my kids said they will never eat a store bought hot pocket again). To start making them, I added 1 and 1/4 cups of warm water to a measuring cup and poured in my quick rise yeast and sugar.
While my yeast was proofing (about 5-7 minutes or until frothy), I sifted my flour into the stand of my mixer. Sifting is not necessary but I find that it gives the crust of the homemade hot pockets a smoother finish.
After adding my salt and olive oil to my sifted flour, I poured in my proofed yeast mixture and combined all the ingredients well.
With my bread hook attachment to my mixer, I kneaded the dough for 5-7 minutes (if you don’t have a bread hook, simple knead the dough by hand) and then removed it from the bowl. Keep in mind the dough was smoother looking than traditional pizza dough is – almost like a hybrid between a biscuit dough and pizza dough – and that’s what makes is so amazing!
I placed my dough into a greased bowl, covered it with a clean kitchen cloth and allowed the dough to rise for two hours or until it had doubled in size. Once my dough had risen I punched it down, added it to a floured counter and separated the dough into six equal parts. Once my dough was divided, I rolled each of the six sections out into 6-8 inch circles.
Now all that I needed to do was add the filling for my homemade hot pockets. The great thing is that you can add any filling you want and even customize each of the homemade hot pockets so that everyone gets exactly what they want. We chose to use cheese and pepperoni – a classic combination – so I added two tablespoons of marinara sauce (spaghetti sauce works perfectly if you don’t have pizza sauce on hand) to each of the rolled out pieces of dough.
Next, we sprinkled on shredded cheese and added our pepperoni.
Finally, to seal our homemade hot pockets, we simply folded them in half, pushing all the filling inside and then crimped the edges by pinching them with our fingertips to seal everything in.
Once our homemade hot pockets were sealed, we cut a few small vent slices into the top of each and transferred them to a lined baking sheet. Then I whisked together my egg and water and we brushed the egg wash over the top of each hot pocket.
After sprinkling some powered parmesan cheese over the egg wash (don’t skip this step because it makes the crust so delicious!) we were ready to put our homemade hot pockets into the oven.
We baked our homemade hot pockets at 500 degrees for 15-18 minutes. I watched them closely and we knew they were done when the tops turned golden brown and the edges became crispy. Then we removed them from the oven, allowed them to cool for five minutes and then served them up with some more of the marinara sauce for dipping.
Y’all, I’m not kidding when I say that these homemade hot pockets are the best even! Seriously, my kids couldn’t get enough of them and I loved seeing how much they enjoyed this simple lunch.
While seeing my kids enjoy these homemade hot pockets would be enough to convince me to make them again, this recipe is double the fun because it’s a perfect way to spend time with the family while making them. In the end, we had spent time in the kitchen, made a memory and made a delicious lunch that’s perfect for enjoying immediately or can even be frozen and heated up to enjoy in the days to come.
Want to try this recipe with your kids? Pin it here so you can easily find it later!
Now it’s your turn! Add this recipe for homemade hot pockets to you weekly meal plan or make it today with the kids for a lunch that they’ll beg for time and time again!