- Weigh out and combine all ingredients in a bowl.
- Mix together until flour is hydrated then cover and let sit at room temperature for 12-16 hours.
- In a large bowl, weigh out and combine whole wheat flour, salt, instant yeast and unsalted butter.
- In a separate bowl, weigh out the eggs and vanilla.
- Weigh out water and combine with sponge in the mixing bowl to break up the sponge.
- Pour in the dry ingredients, except for the sugar and mix at speed 1 for 3 minutes.
- While the mixer is running pour in the eggs and vanilla mixture. Continue mixing until the three minutes are up. Check the dough for hydration. The dough should feel slightly wet.
- If more water is needed, add in 1% increments and mix on speed 1 until water is incorporated. When the dough feels right, switch to speed 2 and mix for 5 minutes or so to moderately develop the gluten.
- After the 5 minutes, add in the sugar in 3 increments, making sure that it becomes incorporated before adding the next increment.
- Continue mixing until the dough comes together and pulls away from the bowl. About 2-3 minutes. The dough will show the beginnings of a window pane but not be fully developed.
- When the dough is developed sufficiently, remove the dough from the bowl and lightly shape into a ball and place it in a greased container and cover. Let rise for 1 hour and 25 minutes or until it doubles in size. The time will depend on the room temperature.
- After the initial rise, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 65 gram portions.
- Once divided, lightly shape the dough into balls and cover on the counter to rest for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, de-gas the balls by turning them upside down and pressing them with your fingers. Then, pull the corners to the center and flip them around so that the seam is on the bottom, and roll into a tight round ball. Place these balls on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Using either a rolling pin or a tortilla press, flatten the sugar topping into a thin circle. Then place the sugar topping over the dough ball, covering it entirely. To prevent the topping from sticking to the counter, roll or press in between two pieces of plastic wrap.
- Once all the dough balls have the topping, cover and let them proof for 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes, depending on room temperature.
- When they are proofed, make cuts on the topping then bake them at 350 degrees F for 18 minutes.
Prepare Sugar Topping (while dough rises)
- Using the paddle attachment, cream the room temperature unsalted butter and powdered sugar until pale white and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Before adding the flour, add any colorant and mix. Once the color has been fully incorporated, add half of the flour and mix. Scrape down the sides and add the remaining flour and continue mixing until the flour has all been incorporated.
- Divide into 20 gram portions then store in an airtight container or cover in plastic until ready to use.