Ham and Cheese Buns
- 1/2 c. whole milk
- 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (one 1/4 oz. package)
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- 1 medium leek, white and light greens, chopped (roughly 1 c.)
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. dry white wine
- 1/2 c. shredded Gruyere cheese
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 lb. Kentucky Legend Quarter Sliced Ham, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- Warm the milk and 1/2 c. water in a medium pot over low heat until 100 degrees F. Remove from heat, and sprinkle in the yeast. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar, and set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy. Whisk in the butter and egg yolk.
- Whisk flour, remaining sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and add in the yeast and milk mixture. Stir until a thick, slightly sticky dough is made. Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface about 6 times. Shape dough into a ball.
- Brush the inside of a large bowl with butter. Put the dough ball in the bowl, turning to coat with the butter. Cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise about 1 hour 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out of the bowl. Knead briefly and return to the bowl. Cover again with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
- Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, cooking until soft and beginning to caramelize, about 5 minutes stirring often. Sprinkle leeks with flour and stir constantly an additional 1 minute.
- Whisk in the wine and 1/4 c. of water, and whisk until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the cheese, 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper. Transfer from the skillet to a medium bowl, and let cool completely.
- Butter a 9×13 inch baking pan with 2 Tbsp. butter. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and press it flat. Roll it out with a rolling pin to a 10×18 inch rectangle, with the long edge facing you.
- Spread the cooled filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch margin on the side opposite you. Sprinkle the ham over the filling.
- Starting with the side nearest you, roll the dough up into a tight roll. Lightly brush the 1-inch margin with water. This will seal the roll. Fold the ends in a bit and even out the roll with your hands if any dough spots look thicker than others.
- Cut slices with a serrated knife, about 1 1/2 inch thick. Place the slices in the prepared 9×13 pan, spaced 1-inch apart. Cover loosely with plastic warm. Set aside until the slices double in size with no gaps, about 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. with the rack in the middle. Bake until golden brown and the tops spring back up when pushed, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.