Doug's Favourite. Apparently, after all these years, I still have the best buns in town!
1/2 cup very warm water
1 package (or 1 Tbsp) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup very warm water
1/4 cup lard (or vegetable oil shortening)
1 teaspoon salt
3- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons oil
1. Pour first amount of water in a medium bowl. Sprinkle yeast over the water, and then sugar over the yeast. Let stand 5 minutes or so, until yeast has bubbled to the surface of the water and is beginning to grow.
2. Meanwhile, in large mixing bowl, combine second amount of water, lard and salt. Using a wire whisk, or electric beaters, stir until the lard has melted into the water. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and beat well, until mixture has a gluey consistency.
3. Add water and yeast mixture. Beat well. Using a wooden spoon, add another 1 1/2 cups of flour to make a soft dough that does not stick to your hands. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 8 - 10 minutes, adding a dusting of flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to the board or your hands. Knead dough into a round lump.
4. Pour oil into large mixing bowl. Drop the dough into the bowl, turning to coat it in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise.
5. Let dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. Shape into buns and let rise a second time, about 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in bulk.
6. Bake in preheated oven, at 350* F. for 15- 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Yield: 12 large or 18 medium sized buns
KITCHEN AID INSTRUCTIONS:
Proof yeast in a medium sized bowl. (step 1. above)
In Large Kitchen Aid mixing bowl, measure second amount of water, lard, salt and 1 1/2 cups of flour. Mix, using dough hook, on low speed (speed 1) until lard and flour are incorporated into the water. (step 2 above) Add the yeast and second amount of flour, (as per step 3. above) Continue to mix on speed 1, until dough pulls away from sides of bowl and is not sticky to the touch. After the second addition of flour, continue to add it in 1/4 or 1/8 cup increments until a soft, supple dough is achieved. I have found 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups of flour to be sufficient.
Continue with steps 4- 6 as directed above.