2 ¼ teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
2 scant tablespoons sugar
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup melted butter, separated
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 to 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 strong teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried wild oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
Dissolve yeast in warm water, add sugar and set aside to proof. In the bowl of a stand mixer, pour the dissolved yeast. Add 1/4 cup melted butter (cooled slightly so as not to kill the yeast), 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour, salt and herbs; mix with a dough hook, at medium speed, for about 2 minutes. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until the dough clings to the hook and cleans the mixing bowl (2–5 minutes). Knead for another 2–5 minutes (or more), until dough is soft and elastic, and a small portion can, pinched between thumbs and forefingers, be stretched until transparent.
Stretch sides and form into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease all sides, putting the seam side down. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk—about an hour. (Hint: Heat a cup of water in the microwave, leaving the cup inside and to the side, then place the dough inside the microwave to rise in a moist, enclosed space.)
Punch the dough down. Form dough into 12 balls, pulling edges together at the bottom. Toss with remaining 1/4 cup melted butter. Place balls, seam side down, into muffin tins. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 35–45 minutes.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15–18 minutes, until golden and crispy.