to sponge or not to sponge
I have been making these Filipino rolls, called Pandesals, for about 6 years. I can't remember how I came up with the recipe, other than by trial and error. My current process is to take half of the flour with about two thirds the milk and yeast. I mix it and let it rise for about an hour. Then I add the sugar, flour and the remaining milk and oil. After this is kneaded completely, I let it rise for about an hour to an hour and a half. Then I make up the rolls.
I'm not quite sure I need the first rise (sponge dough). I am thinking about experimenting by making a small batch and adding all of the flour and milk with the remaining ingredients and just let it rise until doubled in size.
I have heard from many that the initial sponge rise adds a bit of flavor to the dough/bread.
Any thoughts on this method?