01In a saucepan over medium-low heat, scald the milk. Stir continuously, do not boil, and look for steam and small bubbles around edges of the pan. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Add in mashed potato, 1/2 cup sugar, and shortening and mix well.
02In a separate bowl, mix water, yeast and 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Allow both bowls to stand for 15 minutes.
03Add yeast mixture into milk mixture. Add 1 cup wheat flour and 1 cup white flour and mix. Let stand approximately 20 minutes until spongy.
04Add salt, egg, 1 cup wheat flour, and 1 cup white flour and mix. Cover loosely and let rise overnight in the refrigerator.
05Cover counter top or surface with flour. The dough should be very sticky. Split the dough into four pieces and roll each one out on the flouredsurface. Roll dough into a rectangle, spread softened butter onto rectangle and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll and cut into 3/4 to 1-inch slices. Place slices on greased or parchment paper lined baking sheets with a 1/2-inch space between each. Cover loosely and let rise for 45 minutes.
06In a saucepan, heat brown sugar, butter, and water over medium heat. Simmer, mixing thoroughly, approximately 5 minutes.
07Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover buns with brown sugar sauce and pecans, if using. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.