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There are recipes everywhere for buns but these take the cake. Anyone can do it, takes a little elbow grease to knead but they are amazing. My Mom shared this recipe with me and it's been in high demand ever since. I use All Purpose flour because it's what's usually on hand but Whole Wheat flour can easily be substituted.
- 1. In a large metal bowl combine water (this water should be tap hot, NOT BOILED if it's too hot you'll kill the yeast, if it's too cool it won't activate), sugar, salt and Vegetable Shortening. Stir until shortening has almost completely dissolved or is in very small lumps.
- 2. Sprinkle four cups of flour across the top of the liquid mixture creating a "blanket" effect (this is important) sprinkle on yeast.
- 3. Working quickly whisk in the yeast and flour to mixture, then switch to a wooden spoon and stir in another 2 cups of flour.
- 4. From this point forward your flour amounts will vary. Due to weather, climate, altitude etc the dough will continue to accept any where from another 1 to 2 and half cups of flour.
- 5. Knead in as much flour as the dough will accept until it is no longer sticky and feels smooth on the exterior. This takes usually about 15 minutes of good kneading and you'll be surprised at how much flour the dough will take.
- 6. Wash out metal bowl with hot water and dry thoroughly (do this quickly as you want the bowl to stay warm), place dough in bowl and cover with a clean tea towl.
- 7. Let rise 1 hour.
- 8. Punch down dough and let rise another 30 minute.
- 9. Shape dough into balls (this can vary based on desired finish product bun size. eg golf ball dough will rise and bake to about a small dinner roll size. I usually make them about the size of a small clementine for larger lunch size buns) and place on a greased cookie sheet.
- 10. Pre Heat Oven to 400 degrees. Cover and let rise another 1 hour, they will have doubled in size by then.
- 11. Bake in 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. You'll know buns are done by their golden color.
- 12. If you'd like a super soft exterior to these buns rub with a small amount of butter or margarine immediately after removing from the oven. This isn't necessary and the buns are excellent without this step.