I made these last night, and they are fantastic! They're kind of like little hard rolls - crisp outside, light inside. If you've shied away from making bread from scratch because it seems like too much work, and you happen to have a food processor, DEFINITELY give these a try. The food processor makes them almost as simple as using a bread machine!
PORTUGUESE CRUSTY BUNS
1 teaspoon white sugar 1/2 cup water (115F) 1 tablespoon yeast 3/4 tablespoon salt 1 1/2 cups water 5 cups all purpose flour.
1. Put the first 1/2 cup of warm water and the sugar and the yeast into the bowl of the food processor. Let stand until yeast bubbles.
2. Add the salt and flour, and start to process. Slowly add the remaining water, with the processor running, until dough forms and rolls up into a ball.
3. Turn out onto a floured board and shape into a ball. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise about 1 1/2 hours.
4. Punch down, cut in half. Cut each half into eight even pieces. Form into balls and let rest 10 minutes.
5. Flatten balls of dough with your hand to form an oblong shape. Fold in the middle (note: I couldn't figure out what "fold in the middle" meant, so I folded it in half lengthwise... as they rose, they came unfolded) and put on cookie sheet to rise until double (40-45 min)
6. Bake on top rack of oven in 500F oven for 12 minutes--WATCHING VERY CAREFULLY THE LAST TWO MINUTES (they go black very quickly!) The buns should be a light golden color.