Makes 2 loaves
2 cups warm water (105-110F degrees)
2/3 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup safflower oil
4 cups whole wheat flour, divided
2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/3 cup cracked wheat
1/3 cup millet
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon kosher salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the water, maple syrup, and the yeast until the yeast has dissolved. Allow the mixture to rest until the yeast is foamy, 10 minutes.
Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment, and mix in the oil on low speed. Add one cup of the whole wheat flour and the two cups of bread flour to the mixture. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and beat the mixture until smooth and shiny. Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes before continuing.
Add the oats, wheat bran, cracked wheat, millet, sunflower seeds, and salt to the bowl; mix until well blended.
Switch the mixer attachment to the dough hook. Add two more cups of the whole wheat flour to the bowl, and mix on medium speed until the flour is fully incorporated. Gradually add the remaining cup of whole wheat flour to the bowl, and mix until the dough is soft, but not sticky, about 5 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times with your hands. Shape the dough into a ball, and place it in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel, and place it in a warm location for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Spray two 9X5-inch baking pans with nonstick baking spray, and line them with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and punch it down to deflate. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, and shape each piece into a loaf. Place each loaf into one of the prepared pans. Cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until doubled, 45-60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and place the oven rack in the center position. Bake the loaves until they are browned and sound hollow when tapped, 35-45 minutes. The internal temperature should be about 200F degrees. Allow the loaves to rest in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.