We’ve had a lot of super busy Saturdays lately, where the games are timed so that we can only run in & run back out of the house for lunch. These homemade Hot Pockets are self-contained mounds of deliciousness, and they freeze well & reheat well for families on the go 🙂
I love the sausage & cabbage in particular because the kids barely even notice the boatload of veg they’re eating (cabbage is PACKED with vitamins & antioxidants and a good source of calcium).
There’s no direct comparison to a specific Hot Pocket variety in terms of nutritional info, but traditional Hot Pockets, like most microwavable foods, contain a lot of fat, sodium and preservatives, not to mention excess packaging. (In addition, there are those among us who think the flavor and texture just sucks overall.) The ingredient list is long, as you can see in this lovely illustration:
We’re going to make another batch that will be pepperoni, mozzarella & sauce; you could also do ham & cheese or meatball/mozz/sauce. Chicken, green apple & gruyère, perhaps? YUM. The pockety possibilities are endless.
“Yay, you’re making THAT?!”
Barbecue Sausage & Cabbage Homemade Hot Pockets
adapted from this recipe from The Kitchn
Since you need to make the rolls, you’ll want to start this recipe about 2.5 hrs before desired serve time. HOWEVER, there is only about 30 minutes of active work involved.
For the rolls:
1 1/4 cups whole milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted &cooled
1 large egg
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the counter
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
another 2 tablespoons butter
coarse/sea salt (optional)
For the filling:
1 pound sausage (our supah tasty sausage comes from Maiale, a local salumeria)
1/2 head green cabbage
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 small white onion
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 pound provolone cheese
1. Start your roll dough.
- Put your milk on the stove to heat on low in a small saucepan, and melt your butter (I just use the microwave for that.)
- Mix your whole wheat flour and 3 cups of the all-purpose flour with the yeast, sugar and salt in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook.
- Whisk the egg and butter together, then add your heated milk (when it is just starting to steam).
- Turn the mixer on to low and slowly pour the milk-egg-butter mixture down the side of the bowl. Let mix on low until it all incorporates, about a minute or two.
- Turn speed up to medium-high and let the mixer knead for about 8 minutes. At this point, the sides of the bowl should be clear but the bottom of the dough should be sticking to the bottom of the bowl, for a cyclone-like effect. If it’s still sticking add some of that extra 1/4 cup of flour, a tablespoon at a time.
- Flour your kneading surface (I use a cutting board) and dump the dough out. Knead the dough until it’s pretty firm and elastic and wants to form a ball. This should only take a minute.
- Lightly grease a large bowl and put your ball of dough in, rolling the ball around so it’s completely greased. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic crap (best results) or with a large damp towel. Let rise in a warm spot for about an hour.
That seems like a lot of steps but I swear, do it twice and it becomes a no-brainer, foolproof and taking nearly no time at all.
2. After the hour is up, dump the risen dough out onto your floured surface. Stretch the dough out into a large rectangle (again, my surface is a cutting board, so I stretch to cutting board size. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, divide into 16 squarish-rectangles. Take of those and gently shape into a ball (fold each of the corners under). Put the balls of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment; space evenly. Cover with some lightly-greased plastic wrap and put into warm place to rise until nearly doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, sauté crumbled sausage until cooked through. Slice your cabbage while the sausage is cooking. Drain the fat, then add cabbage, onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add the barbecue sauce and stir until hot. Take off the heat and add the provolone, stir until uniform. Prepare to bat away children drawn to the irresistible aroma.
4. Pre-heat oven to 45o°. Take each ball of dough and stretch into a ball or rectangle, like a pizza crust, taking care not to stretch too thin (but if you do, a small patch made of dough generally works). Spoon some sausage/cabbage onto the rectangle of stretched dough. Fold over and pinch the ends firmly together, a lá a ravioli or a wonton wrapper. Flip so the pinched ends are on on the bottom and roll with cupped hand into a ball shape. Return to parchment-lined cookie sheet.
5. Brush tops with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool (be careful when biting in, these stay HOT in the middle for a long time).
Allow any leftovers to cool all the way before refrigerating or freezing.
Note: this is a GREAT recipe for kid helpers. Jake and I move like clockwork, a culinary ballet. It’s also a very forgiving recipe, so don’t be intimidated!
Ideas and success stories welcome!