Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pizza Variation: Pizza Pockets

Let's face it: after a while the plain, old pizza pie gets kind of boring. So, I try to come up with ways to make pizza new and exciting to eat. I got the inspiration for this idea from's Stuffed Pizza Rolls. I made the rolls and found them yummy, but very time-consuming, so I set out to figure out something faster and easier. This, my friends, is what I came up with.

 Pizza Pockets

If you do not have my pizza dough recipe and want it, it's over here.

Prep time: 1 hour 15 minutes (from beginning to mix the dough to putting the pockets in the oven)
Oven: 425 degrees F
Bake time: 8 minutes
Yield: approximately 4 dozen 2x3 pizza pockets

So...make a double recipe of pizza dough, whatever is your favorite dough, but I highly recommend my own, linked above. :) Let it rest and rise a bit and get your toppings prepared while you wait. Once it's rested about 10 minutes, pull it out and divide it in half (so you have two single-pizza crust dough lumps) and rolls one out on a well-floured surface.  And I mean well-floured because, well, you'll see...

A quick note on rolling dough out: I've found it easiest to press the dough out into the approximate shape I want it before rolling it thin. So with this dough, I pressed it into a small rectangle before going at it with my rolling pin. Obviously, the picture below does not show a rectangle--I didn't think of taking a picture of me pressing it out! This is just a lump of dough...
Roll it out and flour it on the top--we don't want this sticky at all!  This dough was rolled rather thinly, about between 1/4 and 1/8 of an inch. The sheet of dough was roughly 16x24 inches. I didn't measure it precisely--I'm not really into precision on these types of things--so just do whatever looks good to you (or whatever you have space for!).
Now, here's why you floured it so much: you need to be able to set aside the already rolled-out dough. If you have a nice kitchen with plenty of country space, you don't have to do this, but you do need to be able to move this piece of dough onto the top of the other piece of dough in the near future, and I've found it easiest to move large sheets of dough by rolling them up.
OK, so we set aside the first sheet of dough--on to the next one! Re-flour your surface and roll out your second lump of dough. You want to try to get it about the same dimensions as the first one. 
Now, take those toppings you got ready and place them on the dough in a kind of grid. I imagined that I would make my pizza pockets about 2.5x2.5 inches, so I tried to space my toppings accordingly.  You'll notice that I left the cheese out of a couple of the soon-to-be pockets--that's because my daughter and dairy don't exactly get along the greatest, but with the pizza pockets, it's easy to make some for just her.
I did just basic toppings: cheese and pepperoni. We aren't supreme pizza kind of people around here.
Now, take the sheet of dough that you rolled up and set aside and bring it back over to your work area.  Match up the edges of the dough sheets and unroll the top one.
Oops! I ran out of dough! No problem, I'll just use some of the scraps that I cut off later to finish the lonely pizza pockets.
Press down the dough in between all the toppings to seal them into their little square pockets.  Of course, the toppings are now inside their pockets, so I guess they're fillings, not toppings....oh well, let's not get hung up on technicalities. ;)
Ready for cutting!  I like to use my pizza wheel to cut my dough. I've found that it's much easier than using a knife. It doesn't pull through the dough like running a knife through it would and, since this is a non-stick pizza wheel, the dough doesn't stick!
Cut out all the pockets and trim off excess dough. Set aside the excess so that you can finish off the pockets that the top crust didn't quite reach.
Transfer the individual pockets onto a cookie sheet. I like to line my sheets with parchment paper, so I don't have to grease them. But if you use plain cookie sheets or foil-covered cookie sheets, you'll want to grease (and possibly flour or cornmeal) them so that everything comes off of the sheets easily (especially that melted cheese!).  Poke holes in the tops of the pockets to let steam escape.
Bake at 425 degrees F for about 8 minutes. Adjust the time for your oven so that you get nice golden brown pizza pockets.
Let them cool a little and pull them off the sheets onto a plate for serving. Mmmm! I'm hungry!
Dip them in pizza sauce or just eat them plain!

This recipe fed our small family of 3 for 2 full meals and another of just me and our daughter.  At each meal my husband and I each ate about 7 pockets and our 21 month old daughter ate about 4.  We reheated the pockets in a 350 degree F oven for 8-10 minutes and they reheated VERY well. This recipe definitely got 5 stars for our family.


Feel free to post a comment if you have any questions. The comments are moderated, so I should see any questions, no matter how long it has been since this post was published.

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