Tuesday, March 12, 2013

{Recipe} Homemade Hot Pockets

homemade ham and cheese hot pockets recipe
I've learned that at this stage of my life, if I'm going to eat breakfast and lunch it needs to be quick and easy. Once my day starts rolling, I rarely have time to stop. Unfortunately, my fallback is a bag of chips propped open on the counter..and then I end up eating half of it. It's not healthy or filling, but it doesn't take any time, so it has become the easy way out. When it comes to meal prep, any energy I have is devoted to dinner prep instead. 

On the flip side, I'm very willing to put energy into making up big batches of items for the freezer. Pull them out, zap them in the microwave and *bam!* a hot, homemade breakfast or lunch that actually has some nutrients to them rather than being a big bag of processed junk. And since I'm doing the prep all at once for a bunch of meals, it's a big time saver as well!

One of our favorite quick lunches are Homemade Garlic Parmesan Hot Pockets. Sean used to take the name brand Hot Pockets for lunch, but then I figured out how to make my own. The taste is incomparable! They are SO much tastier and healthier. Plus, a little time in the kitchen translates to customized, pre-portioned lunches, that go from freezer to table in 60 seconds. It's hard to skip lunch now!

Dump all of your dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and knead well.
dough for homemade hot pockets

Divide each batch into 10 equal lumps. I have 20 lumps because I doubled the recipe. It takes about the same amount of time to make twice as many pockets as it does to do a single batch. My recommendation? Double it! You'll be glad you did!
homemade turkey and cheese hot pockets

Roll each lump out into a rectangle.
hot pockets recipe

We weigh out our meat to help with portion control. We use 1.5 ounces of meat and 1 ounce of cheese per pocket. The ham and swiss version has only 308 calories! If you aren't worried about that, feel free to just eye it.
how to weigh meat

Put the cheese down first and the meat on top of it. Once your pocket is folded and right side up, the cheese will actually be on top. When it's baked, the cheese will melt and fill in all the nooks and crannies for the perfect amount of cheese in every bite.
filling for hot pockets
Fold up one side...
homemade hot pockets recipe
...then the other...
how to make a meat and cheese hot pocket

...and both ends to seal the pocket.
homemade pocket

Place seam side down on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Now for the best part! Sprinkle the top of each pocket liberally with parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Embrace the sprinkle! I have yet to put too much on top!
scrambled egg and cheese hot pocket

This is what they will look like right before they go into the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
hot pocket topping
Serve warm, or wrap and place in the freezer. I wrap mine individually in wax paper and put them in a gallon freezer bag. Just make sure they are completely cool before freezing so that moisture doesn't get caught inside the wrapping.

These go straight from the freezer to the microwave to your plate in 60 seconds. That's super quick for a hot lunch!
hot pockets for lunch

These pockets can be customized all sorts of different ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started, but don't let this hold you back:

-Ham and Swiss
-Turkey and Pepper Jack
-Pepperoni, Mozzarella, and a little bit of Pizza Sauce
-Baked Chicken, Broccoli, and a little bit of Alfredo Sauce
-Scrambled Eggs and Bacon

Tip: When you microwave these, the cheese is gooey enough that condiments aren't necessary. If you do decide to add a sauce, go very light on it so that it doesn't leak out of your dough.

Everyone in our family loves these...even Abby, our super picky eater, has given these her stamp of approval! Enjoy!
ham and cheese hot pockets recipe

Don't forget to Pin this recipe for future reference!

Homemade Garlic Parmesan Hot Pockets
Adapted from Money Saving Mom's Ham and Cheese Pockets
Makes 10 Pockets

  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Dry Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Yeast
  • 1 Cup Warm Water (not hot!)
  • Diced Meat (from a Roast or Deli)
  • Cheese (Shredded or Sliced)
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Garlic Powder

1. Combine the Flour, Dry Milk, Sugar, Salt, Yeast, and Water in a stand mixer and knead well.
2. Divide dough into 10 equal portions.
3. Take each portion, roll it into a rectangle and top with cheese and meat.
4. Fold sides and ends up to create a pocket.
5. Place seam side down on a sprayed cookie sheet. Top liberally with Parmesan Cheese and Garlic Powder.
6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly brown.
7. Serve while warm, or cool completely, wrap individually in wax paper, and store in a freezer bag in the freezer.

Don't forget to Pin this recipe for future reference!

91 comments:

  1. I am making these puppies TOMORROW!!! Thanks for posting the recipe...BTW, I think of you often and LOVE keeping up with you on your blog and watching your beautiful family grow. God is good.....ALL OF THE TIME! love you, Connie in NM

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    1. I hope they turned out well! I bet your kids will devour them! :)

      Thanks for leaving a comment! I miss you! Maybe you can come up for a visit sometime??

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  2. Awesome idea! Do you have any suggestions on what to buy for the dough if I don't want to make it?
    --- Erin Donahoo

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    1. I have a few ideas. You might have to play around a bit to find what works best for you:

      -bread dough from the freezer section. I know HyVee has pre-portioned dough for dinner rolls. You could try thawing those and rolling them out.
      -crescent rolls from the refrigerated section.
      -pizza dough from the refrigerated section.

      You definitely have options! Let me know what you try and if it works!

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  3. This is amazing! I'm totally going to make these!

    -Beth

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  4. I just made two batches. The first batch was Swiss and Canadian bacon. My husband ate four of them. The second batch was cheddar and leftover chicken fried steak, and leftover sausage and egg casserole. We'll see how those turn out. Thanks for the great recipe, it was super easy to make and didn't take that long.

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    1. Glad you liked it! Your combinations sound awesome! Whoa...if your husband is eating four at a time, you may have to triple or quadruple the batch in the future. I'm so glad that they are winners at your house!

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  5. These look great! I love that they are homemade, so much cheaper and better for you than store bought :) I found you on bloggy moms and following you on GFC now. I look forward to your future posts, your family is beautiful! You can find me at

    http://www.foodieinwv.com

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  6. These sound great! Do you have a recommendation for the dough recipe? I've never made my own dough but I'd love to try these out.

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    1. I included a dough recipe above, but if you are wanting something easier, you might try crescent rolls, biscuits (rolled out), or pizza dough cut to size from the refrigerated section in the grocery store. Any of those should work! Best of luck!

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    2. Wow - totally wasn't paying attention when I read the recipe! Guess that's what happens when I try to read my blogs with a baby in my lap! Thanks for the reply and I can't wait to try these out :)

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    3. No worries, Tressa! I know exactly how crazy life can be with little kids! :)

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  7. Wow, these would be perfect for my fiance to take to work. He's an EMT so he can't always get food conveniently. This will be healthier and not so costly as his usual habit of eating fast food.

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  8. This recipe is great! I made a test batch of ham and swiss and they turned out so good, I went on to make 4 batches in 6 different flavors.

    The dough was the best part. For those asking about what they could use instead of making it, you really should try it out. It was the easiest bread recipe I've ever made, and I did it by hand. It wasn't sticky and was super easy to roll out. I did changed it a little. I used half wheat flour and half white. I didn't have powdered milk so I left it out and subbed half the water with regular milk. And I reduced the sugar and yeast to 1 heaping Tbsp each. (sounds like a lot of changes, but it's really not.)

    I found it was a lot quicker and easier to roll the dough into a big rectangle, cut it into 10 pieces with a pizza cutter, add the toppings and THEN roll them up. They came together much faster and were all the same size. And if you need any filling ideas, check out the hot pocket website :) For the ones I used sauce in, I used 2 tsp.

    Thank you so much for sharing! I've seen these on pinterst a lot lately so I'm surprised there are not more comments.

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    1. Whoa...that is the best idea about rolling it out into a big rectangle and then cutting it from there! I'm so doing that the next time I make these. Thanks for the awesome tip!

      And I know that I can check the Hot Pocket website for ideas, but I'd love to know what fillings you have had good luck with!

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    2. Sure! I was just worried that my comment would be to long. Lol.
      I tried ham and swiss first, then made:
      Pizza (turkey pepperoni, marinara sauce, mozz cheese)
      Southwest Chicken (cooked diced chicken breast, cooked diced orange peppers, Mexican blend shredded cheese, Kroger southwest ranch dressing)
      Chicken Parm (cooked diced chicken breast, parm cheese, marinara sauce) (These are my favorite)
      BBQ Chicken (cooked diced chicken breast, shredded carrots, bbq sauce)
      Turkey, Bacon and Cheese (turkey lunch meat, cooked crumbled turkey bacon, sharp cheddar)
      Spinach and Mushroom (cooked diced chicken breast, cooked chicken and mushrooms that I got as much liquid out as possible, small amount of swiss)
      I used the same portions for the meat and cheese you listed, the veggies I added were just a bonus.
      I kind of went crazy, but they are so delicious and make the easiest lunch ever.
      My husband has requested chicken and broccoli and I want to come up with another Mexican inspired flavor. Clearly I am obsessed haha.

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    3. Whoa, Alyssa...those combos sound amazing! Thank you for sharing! I may be borrowing a few of these ideas next time I make these. I just love having homemade options available that are quick and easy!

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  9. I'm back again...I just wanted to add that the the dough makes great grilled bread! Roll into the shape you need and just cook in a hot pan or on the grill on both sides till browned. Think naan, pizza and pita flatbreads.

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    1. Ooo, great idea! I have recipes for naan and pita, but the idea of just using this one versatile recipe is brilliant! I love things that streamline my life!

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    2. I would love your recipes for those. Are they posted on the blog?

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    3. They aren't on the blog, but you can find them here:

      Naan: http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2010/09/naan-127-recipe-016-serving.html

      Pita: http://tammysrecipes.com/homemade_pita_pocket_bread

      And if you are into all types of bread, you may want to try my Chocolate Chip Bagel recipe: http://www.abeautifulruckus.com/2012/07/homemade-chocolate-chip-bagels-with.html

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  10. I found this on Pinterest and I can't wait to try it. I just have one question: Is there any way (besides cutting and pasting into word) to print just the recipe? Thanks.

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    1. I wish! I'm switching blogging platforms at some point this summer, and the new platform will let me include a way to print it. Until then, I don't have that option.

      But, if you send me an email at theishumquads "at" gmail.com, I can send you the recipe in a word document!

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  11. What a brilliant idea! Thank You so much for linking up with the Friday follow along.

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  12. To print just the recipe above: In Internet Explorer, simply highlight the lines you want to print by holding down the mouse button and dragging over them. Right click somewhere in the hightlighted area. Select Print from the menu. In the print option screen, check Selecttion, then Print. This should print only the hightlighted lines.

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  13. Thanks for sharing at the Friday Follow Along. I pinned this and can't wait to try it out! hope to see you again this week at www.leahinspired.com

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  14. Just wondering, but how big did everyone's end up being? Portioning my dough into ten made it so that literally there was like a heaping tablespoon of filling in each...This made about 5 for me. Haha. Help.

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    1. They are just slightly small then my hand. About the size of regular hot pockets. It's true that they don't hold a huge about of filling, but you should be able to get at least 1/4 cup of filling in each one.

      But at the same time, there is no reason at all why you can't make bigger ones! :)

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  15. Hi, these look fabulous. My boys and I cook together all the time this is going on the to do list. thanks for a great recipe. I'm following through weekend blog hop. I'm lorraine at http://lorrainesresources.blogspot.com

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    1. I hope you enjoy making them with your boys! :)

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  16. Thank you so much for posting this!

    Very helpful.

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  17. I make my own adapted from a link from Money Saving Mom as well--but I never sprinkled the top with the parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Great idea--and I will quadruple it sometimes. I have 5 kids, so the more at one time, the merrier for me later!

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    1. I just made a quadruple batch over here. They never last as long as I hope they will!

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  18. These look so good! This will be the perfect thing to not only do with my kids, but to feed them for lunch. And a great freezer meal too! Thank you.

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    1. No prob! I hope you enjoy them! My kids love these! :)

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  19. Your recipe is simply amazing. I tried to make a batch referring to some of the comments here. The dough is really good. I'm not really good in baking but this made me a good one. I added some sugar coz I have a sweet tooth. Well, thanks for this recipe and Keep it up!

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    1. Thanks, Jill! And absolutely, recipes are meant to be adapted to taste. I'm glad you tweaked it to make it work for you!

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  21. I want to thank you for the awesome recipe :-)
    I bbq'ed steak last night for supper so I cooked an extra one then sauté d up onions and mushrooms and that's what I used to make my hot pockets...have a second batch in the oven now stuffed with left over spaghetti, next is chicken Alfredo :-)
    Thanks again
    Christine

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    1. What?!?! Steak, onions, and mushrooms! My hubby would LOVE that! Thank you so much for the idea! Maybe I'll surprise him with that one next time. Brilliant!

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  22. I made these and I really like the dough. I thought it might be too sweet but it's not. It's really yummy! I divided my dough in half and rolled each half out. When the second half was rolled out, I placed my ham and cheese about as far apart as I wanted with just a little space between. When I had it full, I took the "top" and laid that down. I then took a pizza cutter and cut my "pockets" out. I made mine more the size of a pop tart because I have big boys. They were a nice square pocket. Then I used a fork to seal the edges. They were fantastic! And the dough trimmings got rerolled and turned into another kind of hot pocket! :D

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    1. It is definitely easier and quicker to roll out more than one at a time. I don't think you can go wrong with bigger pockets. I often wish there was more when I finish mine, but I'm trying to watch my calories. :)

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  23. I have been trying to find out how to make homemade Hot Pockets for over a year! I absolutely love ham and cheese Hot Pockets, but the cost of them is INSANE. Thank you so much for posting this on here, I am definitely going to try these out.

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    1. Have you tried them yet? Did it work for you?

      And I agree, it can get pretty pricey buying them in the store (although we still do in a pinch!).

      Delete
  24. My oldest son would eat these for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He goes nuts-o when I tell him that we're having hot pockets for lunch. Before I made these, he wouldn't touch a commercial hot pocket with a 10 ft. pole. When people ask him what his favorite thing is that his mom makes, it's these suckers. I'm going to try all kinds of fillings this week for me and my husband and not just the kiddos. Thanks a million times!!

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    1. If you find any awesome fillings combinations, I hope you will come back and let me know! I've tried new versions of the pockets based on comments that all of you have left. Yummy!

      And I'm so glad that your son likes this quick lunch!

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  25. what type of yeast did you use? I have active dry and rapid rise

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    1. I've actually used both. I haven't seen a big difference between the two in this recipe, so I think you should be fine either way.

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    2. This was my exact same question. I just started to write the recipe down to try these out and panicked because I only have rapid rise yeast! Glad it is so adaptable. Thanks for this wonderful creation.

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  27. This recipe was perfect. Southern Louisiana and hot sauce, I made a batch of 20 crawfish hot pockets! Can't get that flavor in the freezer section. My hubbie loved them & so did his co-workers. I got requests to make them for their next lunch bake. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  28. How about halved meatballs with your favorite cheese? I buy Costco pre-made meatballs,they are wonderful! Any ideas what else to put with meatballs and cheese? I have my regular bread dough recipe going in the bread machine as I type so we can try these tonght, can't wait!

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    1. Meatballs and cheese were a big hit, very yummy!

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  29. Thank you for the recipe. Yummy! I doubled it and only used 4 tablespoons of yeast. Turned out just fine. After I pulled them out of the oven I was worried they would be too hard, but the dough was nice and soft.

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  30. Please forgive me for this question but I need to scramble the eggs first, right? I don't cook very often because I'm not good at it but this sounds delicious and easy.

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    1. Yes, you would need to scramble the eggs before wrapping them in the dough. Add some diced ham or bacon to that, and you will have a complete breakfast! :)

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  31. One thing I suggest for aesthetic - brush the outside of these babies with egg white. It'll make them golden brown and beautiful. Not that they need it with how good they taste. ;)

    I'm a stay at home wife, so I make lunches for my family often. :)

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  32. I am going to make breakfast ones and pizza ones. I am thinking highly of using pastry dough! It will be all flaky and such (:

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  33. Has anyone tried to bake these after freezing them as we don't use a microwave.

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    1. I haven't tried that yet. I'll try to remember to hold one back the next time I make a batch and freeze it raw. I'll let you know!

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  34. I have a similar question as above...can you freeze them prior to baking? Also does the dough get tough in the microwave? Just thinking some of these filings will take longer to heat up.

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    1. I'm not sure, as I've never tried it. It would be good to experiment with it though!

      And I've never had a problem with the dough getting tough. :)

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  35. Making these now- but a yeast dough that doesn't need a rise time? A little wary...anyone else have problems with flat dough?

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    1. Nope! It doesn't need any rise time! And the dough still puffs up nicely!

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  36. We love it!!!! Thank you a lot. This is perfect!!!

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  37. Hello! and good afternoon i just love homemade anything! this is something im going to tackle as we are speaking but i did have a question... it says to throw everything together and kneed? we dont want the yeast to sit in the water to activate. thanks lol im not trying to sound ignorant.

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    1. Not an ignorant question at all! I work with yeast often, and normally it needs to activate or rise. In this recipe, you can throw it all together without giving it time to do either.

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  38. Can i use mac and cheese as the filling?

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    1. I haven't tried it personally, but it might work! Let me know if you give it a whirl and how it works out!

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  39. Do you let the dough rise at all or just put it together?

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  40. My question also - do you let the dough rise at any point, or just assemble? Also, how does the dough fare in the microwave - does it get tough/do you need to reduce the power level?
    My whole family loved them - made them with chopped chicken, sautéed broccoli, a can of cream of mushroom warmed with ¼ cup milk…mixed all those together, placed on one half of the rolled out dough, topped with Mozzarella, then pulled the other half of dough over the pocket portions, cut out pockets with pizza cutter, and crimped edges with fork…YUM!!! Thank you for a great recipe!

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    Replies
    1. The dough doesn't need any rise time. Just throw it all together. I also haven't had an issue with tough dough, and I microwave it on our normal settings for about 2-ish minutes.

      Your filling sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing it!

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  41. I haven't tried it personally, but it might work! Let me know if you give it a whirl and how it works out!

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  42. These look awesome! As a college student, who is also an avid video gamer, I am going to make a batch of these today! Though I do have to wonder why so much yeast is used. When I bake bread, I never use more than 2 tsp per batch. I may try reducing that amount and seeing how it works.

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  43. Worked great but I used pizza dough and it turned out fantastic!!

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  44. Can I make these without yeast? I have all ingredients but yeast :(

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    1. I'm not sure, but I think it would definitely be worth a try! They might be a little on the flat side, but if you have everything else, I think it's worth experimenting! Would you come back and tell me how they turn out??

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    2. I used 2 tsp of baking powder instead of yeast. They come out great. Instead of fluffy they were more like pizza dough but my kids and hubby loved them ... I stuffed them with cheese and salami...

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  45. Could you sub regular milk for dry?

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    1. The recipe calls for Dry milk, but I am sure you can use 1 cup of regular milk as well

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  46. When you say knead, do you mean by hand? Or using the dough hook attachment for the stand mixer? (The one I've never used, lol)

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  47. Are there other toppings for the other combos like pizza or BBQ chicken or do you have to use the powder and Parmesan?

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