Melt-in-Your-Mouth German Buns

  • Yield: 28 servings

"This is a 70-year-old recipe handed down from my mother-in-law. I've baked thousands of rolls for grateful recipients through the years and still bake weekly. I have lived in Westphalia all my life and celebrated my 100th birthday in February 2007."


1teaspoon salt
1cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/3cup vegetable shortening
2 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast
10 to 11cups all-purpose flour


  1. Combine 4 cups warm (110 to 115F) water and salt in a large bowl; mix well. Add 1 cup of the sugar, the shortening, and yeast and stir gently to dissolve the yeast.
  2. When the yeast starts to foam, add the flour, 2 cups at a time, until the dough is elastic. 3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and satiny, about 5 minutes.
  3. Place the dough in a large greased bowl. Set in a warm place and let rise, covered, until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Punch down the dough, cover with a cloth and let rise again until doubled, 1/2 to 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pinch off pieces of dough about the size of walnuts and roll into 56 balls. Place on two 17 x 11-inch cookie sheets and flatten slightly. Do not crowd buns. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Do not overbake.
  5. Combine the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar and 1/2 cup warm (110 to 115F) water in a small bowl; stir until the sugar dissolves. Brush the glaze on the hot rolls.

Recipe by Elizabeth Rau, Westphalia, Iowa