Melt shortening or lard and set aside. In a large bowl put the sugar and salt and add warm water to dissolve.
Add melted shortening and yeast mixture and stir. Start adding flour 2 cups at a time until too stiff to stir by hand.
Use hands to work more flour in. Turn onto floured surface and knead until a soft, smooth dough is formed.
Put into greased and floured bowl to rise. Cover dough with wax paper and a clean tea towel in warm place, out of drafts.
When doubled in size or more, take enough dough to put into the pans you are using (muffin tins, small loaf pans, etc.). Place the dough in a separate bowl or on a piece of wax paper. Recover remaining dough.
Stretch a handful of dough from main ball, twisting it off of main ball with hands (it's an acquired technique my mom kinda perfected lol). Dough will fall slightly with air and handling. *I found a photo that sort of explains how this is done. I can tell you that Mum had her dough sitting in a roasting pan on the table and she didn't stretch it that much. She sort of attacked it from one end and kept going.
Put dough in pans to rise again (covering with tea towel).
When risen, bake 15 - 20 mins. in 350 - 400°F (depending on oven). Remove from pans and cool.
Cinnamon Rolls: Mum also made cinnamon rolls with this dough. She always made enough dough to make both these and buns.
Roll out dough in a large square. Brush dough with melted butter or margarine, sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.
Roll entire pastry loosly into a long tube. Herein lies the trick - mum never cut these into individual rolls with a knife because it buckled the dough. She would take a piece of butcher string and put it under the dough, bring up the ends, cross the string and pull, thus cutting the dough. She could cut a dozen rolls in super speed lol
Then lay them side by side in a pan large enough to hold them and bake as above. Mum always made 1 big cake pan full of these when she made buns. She never put icing on them. The brown sugar made a sticky and very tasty bun :)