This bread is hearty, with a nice sweetness from the maple, which helps to counteract some of the bitterness that some people detect in whole wheat products.
This bread takes quite a lot of kneading to get it to the shiny and elastic stage, but it does get there. It’s also a bit slow rising; don’t rush it. This loaf is worth waiting for.
Maple Oatmeal White Wheat Bread
1 cup lukewarm water
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup instant oats
1 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups white wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, yeast, maple syrup and oats. Let sit for 10 minutes until the oats hydrate the liquid starts bubbling, indicating that the yeast is alive.
Add salt and 3 cups white wheat flour and mix with stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until the dough comes together. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add more flour 1/4 cup at a time, slowing or stopping the mixer while adding flour. Continue kneading at medium speed until the dough starts getting stretchy and is tacky but not sticky. You may not need all of the flour. Add olive oil and continue kneading until the dough becomes shiny and elastic.
Turn dough out of the bowl and form into a ball. Place the ball in a clean, large bowl, Drizzle with a little olive oil to coat the dough ball all over, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet.
Remove the dough from the bowl and shape into desired shape. I tend to like oval loaves, but it’s up to you.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
Remove plastic wrap, slash top of loaf, and bake at 325 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until the bread is a rich brown.
Take out of the oven, put on a rack, and cool completely before cutting.