Whenever I serve ham, I can't wait for the leftovers so I can make these ham buns. I like to serve them with homemade bean or split pea soup. My husband warms them up for breakfast, too. —Chris Sendelbach, Henry, Illinois
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1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
3/4 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
1/2 cup shortening
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
4-1/2 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 tablespoons butter, divided
4 cups cubed fully cooked ham, coarsely ground
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled, optional
1/4 to 1/3 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed olives, optional
1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, optional
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, shortening, eggs, sugar, salt and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute onion in 2 tablespoons butter until tender. Add ham and mix well; set aside.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Roll each portion into a 16-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Cut each rectangle into eight squares. Place a tablespoonful of ham mixture in the center of each square. Add bacon, olives and/or cheese if desired. Fold up corners to center of dough; seal edges.
Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Melt remaining butter; brush over dough. Bake at 350° for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown and filling is heated through. Refrigerate leftovers.