1 cup oat bran (94g)
½ cup rolled oats (45g)
2 cups whole milk (480ml)
¼ cup maple syrup (60ml)
¼ cup warm water (105°–115°F (40.5°C-46°C)
1 package yeast (7g)
5 ½ cups unbleached bread flour (688g)
1 tablespoon salt (12g)
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted (57g)
1 large egg, room temperature
½ cup dried currants or raisins – optional (150g)
½ cup chopped walnuts – optional (115g)
2 tbsp. milk (30ml)
Olive oil for coating bowl
Rolled oats for garnish
Add the oat bran and rolled oats to a large mixing bowl. Heat the milk and pour over the oat mixture. Stir in the maple syrup mixing until you have a sponge. Allow to cool to 120°F (49°C.)
In a separate bowl, combine the yeast and warm water, stirring well. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Stir the dissolved yeast into the sponge mixture. Add 2 ½ (312g) cups of the bread flour and stir briskly for one minute. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm area for 30 minutes.
Remove the towel, stir in the salt, melted butter and egg, beating until smooth. Add the remaining flour ½ cup (64g) at a time. Once all of the flour is incorporated, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes by hand or place in the bowl of an electric mixer with kneading attachments and knead for 3 minutes. Add the currants and walnuts during the kneading portion of this recipe.
Place the kneaded dough in a clean mixing bowl that has been oiled with about 1 tsp. of olive oil (5ml). Turn the dough in the bowl so that it is coated with olive oil. Cover the bowl with the clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm area until doubled in bulk, about 60 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down the dough and knead briefly. Shape into 1 large round loaf or form into 2 smaller round loaves and place on paper lined baking sheet. Allow to rise again in a warm area for 60 minutes until doubled in bulk. After 45 minutes of rise time, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
Prepare an egg wash by beating together the egg and milk. Brush the tops of the loaves twice with the egg wash and sprinkle with rolled oats. Slash the bread top with a sharp knife to make a grid pattern (3 slashes horizontally and 3 slashes vertically) Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is well browned. Allow to cool completely before slicing.