Mix warm water with sugar to dissolve. Add yeast and let stand for 10 minutes. Mixture should get foamy or the yeast is dead. Mix in lard. In a food processor, add flour and yeast mixture. While blade is spinning, pour in water until a ball forms. If dough is too sticky, add more flour. If dough appears dry and doesn't form a ball, add more water. As soon as a ball forms, take dough out and knead by hand on a floured surface. For 10 minutes roll dough into one long log about 2 inches thick. Cut into 2-inch pieces.
Fried Wild Mushroom Mini-Buns: In a hot saute pan coated with canola oil caramelize the shallots. Season. Add the crimini mushrooms and cook for one minute. Add the remaining mushrooms and thyme. Check for seasoning. Deglaze with red wine. Let reduce by 75 percent, then add the demi-glace and reduce until dry. Cool mixture before stuffing the buns. Form small circles (1 1/2 inches in diameter) with the dough and place mushroom mixture in the middle. Encircle stuffing with the dough and seal with a little twist. Let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes. Fry at 350 degrees until golden brown.