Dissolve yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in 1 cup warm water, stirring well. Let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly.
Sift together flour, remaining sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in lard until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir yeast mixture into flour mixture. Gradually stir in remaining warm water.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour and 20 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down; turn out onto a floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness; cut with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter. Place rolls on lightly greased baking sheets; cover and repeat rising procedure 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until golden brown.