Once a month, when possible, some of my friends and I get together to expand our culinary skills. During these cooking challenges, we’d pick a theme and everybody would be required to cook up one dish that somehow relates to the theme. Think of these challenges as a cross between the Iron Chef format and Masterchef. Previous themes have included Spanish (where I made razor clams and chorizo stew) and mangoes (where I made mango and white chocolate cigars).
The latest challenge was last night and our theme was “comebacks” – the return of something that used to be popular. It has to be edible of course.
The results were scrumptious!
There were:
Peking duck pancake wraps (the store-bought variety – sometimes you can’t beat a good old roast duck from the local Asian BBQ house)

Comeback theme cooking challenge - Peking duck

Homemade pop-tarts, filled with decadent strawberry jam

Comeback theme cooking challenge - strawberry jam pop tarts

Mexican shaker fries a la Maccas complete with individual sachets of spicy salt mix

Comeback theme cooking challenge - McDonalds style Mexican shaker fries

Chicken & corn rolls (I’m feeling very proud of Zen; this was the first time he’s ever cooked anything by himself!)

Comeback theme cooking challenge - chicken and corn rolls, sausage roll style

And more!
My contribution were these homemade Pizza Pockets.

Comeback theme cooking challenge - homemade pizza pockets

Growing up in the 90’s, I have really fond memories of these either from the school canteen or stocked in our freezer at home as an emergency after school snack. They could be baked from its frozen state but I just remember giving them a quick zap in the microwave and then breaking apart the bread to watch the filling and hot stringy cheese ooze everywhere.
This recipe is surprisingly easy, even if you’re like me and have never used yeast before!
Feel free to make your own variations. I made a Hawaiian version (ham and pineapple) because it used to be my favourite Pizza Pocket flavour. I also added a gourmet touch with fresh basil. But really, the options are endless!
Once baked, they can be wrapped in foil and packaged tightly for the freezer. It should keep for a few months. If you intend on storing some, I’d recommend doubling the quantities because these smell and taste so incredible, all of mine disappeared instantly.

Homemade Pizza Pockets

Adapted from The Gourmet Mama
Makes 20

Ingredients
Bread
1¼ cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup oil
3 – 4 cups plain flour (start with 3, add more if dough is too sticky)
2 tablespoons yeast
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Filling
½ cup chopped double smoked ham
½ cup pineapple pieces
1 cup grated cheese
½ cup pasta sauce of your choice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Method
Mix the yeast, sugar and warm water in a bowl. Let sit for five minutes.
In a larger bowl, mix the remaining bread ingredients. Add the yeast mixture and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Flour a board and knead the bread on it, adding more flour if necessary to get the right consistency.

Homemade pizza pockets - bread dough resting

Set aside, covered with a tea towel to rise, 10 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 180°C.

Homemade pizza pockets - mixing the filling

Meanwhile, mix the filling ingredients together. Everything should be just coated with the sauce, not dripping.
Divide the bread into four sections and roll one out as thin as possible. Cut into 3 inch circles (I used a bowl to cut mine out).

Homemade pizza pockets -rolling out the bread dough

In the middle, place a spoonful of the filling, moisten the edges of the dough with water and fold over. Use a fork to crimp the edges.

Homemade pizza pockets - crimp the edges

Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Homemade pizza pockets - before oven

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool and enjoy or freeze and reheat in the microwave as needed.

Homemade pizza pockets with Hawaiian (ham and pineapple) filling

  • yummmo!!! perfect picnic food?

  • Christina

    Yummy!
    My school sells pizza pockets, but not the McCains one 🙁
    The ham and pineapple was the best 🙂

  • I remember having these at school too! I always managed to burn my mouth on the filling though.
    Thanks so much for this recipe. I’m going to bake these on the weekend and make friendship bracelets (for reals).

  • heh blast from the past i had these in school too! looks great jen!

  • I love a good (cooking show inspired) challenge – last time a friend threw one my way I made Peking duck at home! This reminded me.
    Pizza pockets sound yum! I really should start experimemting with my own bread… Was there any desserts?

  • OMG – I used to love these as a schoolkid. And chicken & corn rolls. What a great idea to make them yourself!!!

  • oh yum the chicken and corn rolls look gr8!

  • this reminds me of primary school..
    oh those pizza pocks were delicious.. mccains i think … mmmh the cheese and the sauce yum!!

  • YUM! I do make something similar, but the bread part is much thinner… like a calzone. I’m totally trying yours though!

  • Alain

    Wouldn’t the garlic powder just kill the yeast? It should’nt even rise, or very little.
    My guess looking at the photos is that you might as well skip the yeast and just knit once. Don’t really want levened bread for a pizza pocket crust anyway.