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Ham-and-Cheese Buns

Food Network's Ham and Cheese Buns
Prep Time
4h 10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Yields
12 Buns

Savoury ham and cheese buns that taste just like Tarte flambee, perfect for a nice brunch or dinner.  Just as good the next day!

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ingredients

Dough

½
cup whole milk
2 ¼
tsp tsps active dry yeast (one 1/4-oz package)
2
tbsp sugar
4
tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the bowl and plastic wrap
1
large egg yolk
2 ¾
cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
1
tsp kosher salt

Filling

4
tbsp unsalted butter, plus 2 tbsp, at room temperature, for the pan
1
medium leek, white and light greens chopped (about 1 cup)
2
tbsp all-purpose flour
½
cup dry white wine
½
cup shredded Gruyere cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼
lb(s) sliced deli ham, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 4 slices)
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directions

Step 1

Warm the milk and ½ cup water in a medium saucepan over low heat until it is about 100°F (but no more than 110°). Remove the saucepan from the heat, and sprinkle the yeast over the liquid. Sprinkle a pinch of the granulated sugar over the top, and set aside without stirring until foamy, about 5 minutes. Then whisk in the butter and egg yolk.

Step 2

Whisk together the flour, remaining granulated sugar and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and stir in the yeast mixture with a wooden spoon until you’ve made a thick, slightly sticky dough. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface, and knead until soft and elastic, about 6 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball.

Step 3

Brush the inside of a large bowl with butter. Put the dough ball in the buttered bowl, turning to coat lightly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, trace a circle the size of the dough ball on the plastic and note the time. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Step 4

Turn the dough out of the bowl, and knead briefly to release excess air; re-form the dough into a ball, and return it to the bowl. Lightly butter a large piece of plastic wrap, and lay it on the dough. Cover the entire bowl tightly with the rest of the plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to let the dough proof.

Step 5

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and just beginning to caramelize about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the leeks with the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned and toasted for about 1 minute. Whisk in the wine and ¼ cup water, and let the mixture thicken, whisking constantly, about 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the Gruyere, ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Transfer the filling to a medium bowl, and let cool completely. (The filling will firm up a bit, but if it’s too warm, it will be difficult to form the rolls.)

Step 6

To fill and form the rolls: Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with 2 tablespoons of softened butter. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface, and press it flat. Roll it into a 10-by-18-inch rectangle, with 1 long edge facing you. Spread the cooled filling evenly over the dough, leaving about a 1-inch border on the side opposite you. Sprinkle the ham over the filling. Starting from the side facing you, roll the dough up into a tight roll. Lightly brush the 1-inch border with water, and continue rolling to seal the roll. Fold the ends in just a bit, and if any spots look thicker than others, even out the roll with your hands.

Step 7

Cut the roll every 1 ½ inches with a serrated knife, to make 12 buns. Place the buns cut-side-down (except for the end pieces) in the prepared pan, spacing them 1 inch apart. Cover the buns loosely with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise until the buns double in size, with no gaps in between, 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Step 8

Position the rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350°F. Bake the buns until they’re golden brown and the tops spring back when pressed lightly, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

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