Basic white dough is used to make dozens of shaped bread. Although more time-consuming to make then kaisers and other breads that are shaped by machine, the traditional Portuguese papa-secos, shaped by hand, are a labor of love.
- In measuring cup, dissolve sugar in 1/2 cup lukewarm warm.
- Sprinkle in yeast and let stand for 10 minutes.
- In large bowl, blend flour and salt.
- Using fingers, rub in lard until well blended.
- Stir yeast mixture vigorously with fork and stir into flour mixture.
- Gradually mix in remaining 1 1/2 cups luke-warm water to make stiff dough.
- Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
- Gather into ball and place in lightly greased bowl, turning to grease all over.
- Cover and let rise in draft-free place for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.
- Punch down dough and divide in eighteen pieces.
- On well-floured board, using palm of hand, lightly flatten pieces into 3-inch rounds.
- place side of hand down center of dough; press firmly without seperating dough.
- Fold sides in to center and pinch ends to form slight points; arrange about 2 inches apart on well-grease baking sheets.
- Dust with flour.
- Cover and let rise in draft-free place for 45 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
- Bake on sheet at a time on top rack in 500F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until buns are well browned and sound hollow when tapped on bottom.
- Transfer to wire racks.