2¼ tsp Instant Yeast
1¹/3 cups Warm Water
3½ cups All Purpose Flour, sifted, plus more for the work surface
1 Tbls Sugar
2 Tbls Olive Oil
¾ tsp Salt
Egg Wash: large Egg beaten with 1 Tbls Milk
8 slices or 2 cups grated Cheddar Cheese
16 slices Colcom Picnic Ham
Sprinkle of Salt and Ground pepper
- In a large mixing bowl combine the yeast and warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes for the mixture to foam. Add flour, sugar, olive oil and lastly salt. Mix by hand and once all the ingredients are incorporated knead for approximately 7 minutes. If your dough is too wet add up to a ¼ cup more flour. After kneading your dough it should be smooth and elastic.. Poke it with your finger – if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large mixing bowl that has been lightly greased with olive oil. Turn to coat on all sides. Cover tightly with clingfilm and then a dish towel and allow to rise in a warm environment for up to an hour or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 204°C. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
- Once risen, punch the dough down to release the air. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough in half. Then slice each half into quarters. You’ll have 8 pieces of dough. Flatten each piece with your fingers or use a rolling pin to be about 15cm long and 10cm wide. They don’t have to be perfect rectangles, but try your best for a good end product. On each rectangle place the grated cheddar and two slices of ham for each, lightly season with salt and pepper on one side of the dough then fold over the dough to create a pocket and pinch the edges to seal as best you can. Use a fork to crimp the edges. Transfer to the baking sheets. Then brush the tops and sides of each pocket with egg wash, then slice 2-3 slits in the tops for air vents.
- Bake the pockets for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Make sure to rotate the baking sheets once or twice during the baking time. Remove pockets from oven and allow to cool on the pan until ready to handle and serve.
- The pockets can be made up to the filling and folding over stage then covered and refrigerated for up to a day. Then bake as above. Or you can freeze the baked pockets individually, after cooling, in aluminium foil. Then microwave for 2-3 minutes on high or bake at 177°C for 20 minutes. No need to thaw.