You can make your own super healthy, nutrition packed bread from scratch with this Copycat Dave's Killer Bread recipe for the home bread baker!
Here's a reboot from the archives, friends! I originally made this recipe almost 3 years ago when I was pregnant with M. I made it quite a few times, but then a lot of you told me you were having difficulties with the recipe. So, I went back to it and played with it and adjusted it and made (and ate) a lot of loaves until I got it right.
Now is it an exact copy of Dave's? No. But is it a pretty delicious, nutritious close enough to make the at home Copycat Dave's Killer Bread to make the home bread maker happy? Yup, I'm pretty sure it is.
My deep love for all things gluten is pretty evident by all of the bread we make (and eat) in this house. From our Vietnamese Baguette, Dan's Como Bread, No Knead Rosemary Garlic Bread, No Knead NY Deli Rye, and the latest, Whole Wheat Honey Oat Bread, suffice to say we love homemade bread in this house. But we also want to ensure that we're still getting all the same nutrition that I was obsessed with while preggo with both the girls. I'm still nursing our littlest babe and I am a firm believer that what I eat 100% matters to as by way of my milk, I'm setting down fundamental building blocks to good nutrition to this tiny human. Therefore, I want all the nutritional bang for the buck I can get in my food.There's no denying how nutritious Dave's Killer Bread is. The 21 Whole Grains and Seeds is one of my (and M's) favorites. So naturally, I wanted to figure out how to make it from scratch!From scratch, but still packing as much of nutritional punch as possible.
Enter: Oats. Pumpkin Seeds. Ground flax seed. Black sesame seeds. White sesame seeds. Sunflower seeds. Quinoa. Wheat germ. Chia seeds.
Whole wheat flour. Kamut flour. Amaranth flour. And finally, spelt flour. Ok ok, if you're keeping track, that's only 14 whole grains and seeds. But it gets to a point where if the ingredient list becomes so insane you're going to be spending way more $ on the copycat than the the original.
Now I'm a pretty self proclaimed lazy baker. Hence all of my no knead breads. This bread though, this bread takes some work. Once you've activated your yeast, added your flours and then all of the seeds, you're going to have a super sticky dough. Which is good. It's what you want. It's what you need. Because of the seeds that will suck out a lot of moisture from the dough, in order to get a nice soft crumb (center) of your loaf, you need two things: good hydration and a well kneaded dough.
Knead it until it passes the "windowpane" test. This is when you know the gluten in the dough is well developed enough. Essentially, take a small ball of dough and then slowly spread your fingers apart while holding it, stretching it out until it's like a windowpane that you can see light through, but that it doesn't rip. If it rips, that means that the gluten hasn't been worked enough and you have more kneading to do.
Now with this bread, because it's mostly made up of whole wheat flour, which has less gluten than a standard white bread flour, you will need to work it longer to activate it. Again, your arms will be tired. You'll want to just call it good. But don't! You'll end up with a super dense loaf!
Instead, if you put in the work, you'll get a loaf that has a lovely, soft, chewy center. Not quite as airy as Dave's, but again, a pretty darn good Copycat Dave's Killer Bread.
Then, thanks to Calorie Count I can see exactly how nutritional my copycat is! Sliced nice and thin (I got about 15 thin slices from a loaf), and no, it's not as nutritious Dave's 21 Whole Grains and Seeds, but for a homemade bread, this Copycat Dave's Killer Bread is pretty darn nutritious and delicious.
Enjoy, friends! I hope you all have much more luck with this Copycat Dave's Killer Bread recipe - as always, let me know! I love hearing from you!
Copycat Dave's Killer Bread
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 cups warm water
- 3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup amaranth flour
- 1/4 cup spelt flour
- 1/4 cup kamut flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 2 teaspoons dry unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon quinoa
- 1 tablespoon wheat germ
- 2 teaspoons dry unsalted sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons old fashioned rolled oats
- Add yeast to the stand mixer bowl and add warm water. Let sit for 3-5 minutes until yeast is activated and foamy.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix your flours and salt together. In a separate bowl, mix together all of the seeds, quinoa, wheat germ, and oats.
- Add honey and molasses and mix. Let sit another minute.
- Slowly add the flours and salt and using the dough hook, mix on medium until a very sticky dough forms. Add seeds and mix again until all are incorporated.
- Remove dough from mixer and on a lightly floured surface (preferably not a wood one, best case granite or marble), begin kneading. The dough will be VERY sticky - that's good! Resist the urge to add a lot more flour and knead for at least 15 minutes until dough begins to soften and come together.
- To know when the dough has been kneaded enough and gluten has been activated, conduct "windowpane" test. Take a small ball of dough and hold with your forefingers and thumbs. Hold it up to a light and slowly stretch the dough - if it immediately rips, it needs to be kneaded more. You want it to stretch nice and thin so that you can see through it like a windowpane but it doesn't rip. This will take at least 15 minutes of solid kneading. Don't give up!
- Once it passes the windowpane test, add to a lightly oiled large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until it doubles in size - approximately an hour.
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees and lightly grease a 9 X 5 loaf pan.
- When proofed, punch down and remove from bowl. Flatten to a large rectangle and fold in sides then roll into a log. Place in loaf pan, seam side down.
- Cover with plastic to let rise again. For best results, use a plastic bag to allow room for the dough to rise over the top of the pan. Put pan in bag and tie top then move the tied ends under the loaf pan.
- Let rise until almost doubled - about 30-45 minutes.
- Bake in center rack of oven for 35 - 45 minutes, until top is golden brown and when bottom of loaf it tapped, it sounds hollow.
- Let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing and enjoy!
Thanks so much for this awesome recipe! I was not confident about my abilities but worked the recipe for six months now. I wanted bread that would be somewhat light enough for sandwiches, like the original Dave's, but found that this recipe turned out too heavy for that. It might also be my technique, I'm just not sure. Reluctantly, I subbed one cup of white bread flour for one cup of the whole wheat flour, added two tablespoons of gluten flour, and added a second rise. I use my Kitchenaid for the entire thing EXCEPT shaping the loaf for the pan, which does require a bit of a touch and some experience and confidence to make it nearly perfect. The result is very, very nice--in fact, I love this bread! And even though I had to sub in some white bread flour, the rest of the flours and seeds make this a killer recipe!
Oh this is all great to hear, Kittee! Thanks so much for your great notes and feedback!
Where did you find amaranth and kamut flour? I've been to Ralphs, Whole Foods, Sprouts, and several other stores and have not been able to find it. What do you recommend as a substitute for these flours?
Hello, this was delicious. Just one question though, I like how Dave’s is a little on the sweeter side. This came out more salty. I had to use maple syrup instead of honey because a baby under 1yr old was going to be eating it too, so maybe that’s my problem. Can I reduce the salt and add more than the 2 tablespoons of maple syrup without messing up anything important? Thank you!
Hi Bee! Great question. It's my understanding that the risk of botulism for babies under 1 and honey, is if it's raw. When it's baked (which honey is added to a ton of bread) that risk is gone. Although certainly ask your Pediatrician, too. You could also try agave as adding more maple will definitely add a maple flavor, but that could be good, too! Enjoy!
I asked a pediatrician and they noted that baking is not high enough heat to destroy the botulism bacteria - they even recommend avoiding honey in processed food like graham crackers! https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/infantandtoddlernutrition/foods-and-drinks/foods-and-drinks-to-limit.html
Thank you for this information and the article. Yes, it seems as if that is now the advise, although when my youngest was one, her Pediatrician told us honey nut Cheerios were ok! But glad to see the updated research. So sounds like this recipe for anyone under 1 should swap out the honey for maple syrup 🙂
Thank you. I love Dave's rye bread and I've been thinking of trying to make it myself so this is a good start. one very distinguishable taste on Dave's bread is caraway seeds. It's not on your list of ingredients so I will be adding it. Some rye-caraway bread recipes I've seen call for 2 Tbsp plus some to sprinkle on top before baking.
I wanted to share my experience trying this in the bread maker since several people in the comments have asked!
The first time I tried to make this in the bread machine it was a disaster... however, I think there was a problem with the yeast because it just didn't rise. Since I've done several loafs and here's what I can share:
If your bread machine is like mine and prefers wet ingredients before dry, I actually found a better loaf with putting the molasses/honey/salt in first, then all the flours/wheat germ/flax seed. On top of that I put the 2 cups of warm water and yeast. I put my bread machine on the whole wheat setting, 2lb loaf, light crust. My machine has the option to add mix ins, so when that alarm goes off is when I add in all the seeds. I've found that adding an addition 2 or 3 tablespoons of flour helps a lot, and that before the 2nd rise I need to go in and scrape all the dough off the sides because, as the recipe states, it is a VERY sticky dough.
Finally, after rising and when it is about to bake (for my machine it is when the alarm sounds to remove the paddle), I take the bread out and knead it by hand for an additional 10ish minutes. I just found that even though I don't get the window pane effect that OP has, it helps with the texture.
This bread is by far the healthiest and most delicious bread I've made in my machine. My boyfriend actually prefers it over Dave's Killer Bread so that's a big win!!
Also, if there are any fellow finance nerds in here like me, I wanted to justify the cost of all these ancient grains to my boyfriend. In doing so I made a spreadsheet that calculated the cost per ounce of all the ingredients to see how much one loaf costs. For my local store, I save $1 a loaf compared to Dave's Killer Bread so that's great!
I hope this help <3
Bonny!!! You are AMAZING! This is truly incredible thank you for sharing! AND for sharing your calculations - I LOVE IT. By the way, what kind of bread machine do you have?
Of course, anything for some fellow carb lovers haha. Thank YOU for the amazing recipe!
I have the Cuisinart Convection Breadmaker.
Suggestion for using the standing mixer... I tried a few times, including following the online recommendation of 10 minutes at a 2 speed. Then I watched the bakers on the British Baking Show do it! Followed their lead and voila.
A few minutes into mixing at a 2 with the bread hook, add the seeds. Once incorporated and distributed, crank it up to a 10 for 10 minutes.
Baked it for 37 minutes and perfection!
Hi Jennifer- After using the stand mixer for 10 minutes you didn't have to knead the dough?
Great suggestion! Works every time. Thank you.
Can’t wait to try this but need to gather all the flours and seeds first.
Call me Lynette
Super excited my husbsnd buys this bread all the time. Have you ever made in the a bread machine? I love your story. I grew up following recipes and Call me to do or trying to mimic what she did but she never had the amount of anything so I had to guess but eventually kind of figured it out but this was late in life
Did you try it in a bread maker?
I don’t have a stand mixer. Can we make it in a cusinart 14 cup food processor with dough blade ? I don’t want to mix it with hands for long time. Thankyou.
Hi! Hmm I haven't tried this yet, but I think that could work! Let me know if you try it!
I've never rated a recipe or left a comment on a blog before, but I had to comment on this! I made this bread last night and it is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!
Rhonda!! Thank you SO much for leaving the comment!! I'm so happy you enjoyed it!!
This makes a fabulous bread. Just made my first batch (two loaves, why not?) and here are some comments. You may not want to try this unless you've got a good stand mixer. As someone else commented, the Kitchen Aid with a dough hook did the kneading for me and it came out fine. Don't panic when the top crust begins looking slightly burnt 20 minutes into baking time. I pulled the two loaves out and checked their internal temperature; they hadn't gotten anywhere near the 200 degrees I look for with yeast breads, so I put them back in for the full 30 minutes. The top crust is indeed crusty but the inside is softly chewy, just the way you want a hearty bread to taste. Not sure why but the dough, even after kneading and the first rising, was more like batter. There was no patting/shaping/folding. I just spooned it into the pans and went for the second rise. With the number of ingredients here, I found it helpful to measure out everything in advance, especially if you're doubling the recipe: yeast in one bowl, honey and molasses in a second, flours and salt in a third, seeds in a fourth bowl. It would be easy to get confused without some upfront prep work.
I wrapped the second loaf up tight in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and I'm hoping it freezes well.
My husband has declared this "The best bread I've had in years" so I guess I'm committed now.
Wow Mandy GREAT tips - thanks so much for the feedback!! SO glad you and your husband enjoyed it! 😀
I just made this today for the first time, though I did modify some things, mainly adding a bit of olive oil and a few other seeds/grains that I had on hand while omitting a couple I didn't have. Mine was also more of a batter than a dough. The crumb and guts came out so nice but since it was a heavier batter, it came out flat across the top, didn't poof at all, so it's a very geometric slice. I'm not sure how to get it dough-ier. I'll try a bit less water next time, but I worry the whole wheat flour and grains/seeds need all of it. I feel validated, though, that someone else's was more of a batter vs. dough but was still yummy.
Copycat Dave's Killer Bread is AWESOME! It tastes just like the real thing. The methods were well explained, and I would have never guessed the dough would be workable without adding extra flour. But, I resisted the urge, and the result was fabulous! I am a fan. Thanks so much for developing this amazing recipe.
By the way, I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer with dough hook to do all the kneading. I double-checked the manual, which said to let it work for 10 or more minutes on a speed of 2. No hand kneading, just hand shaped the loaf. Success!
Wow thank you SO much for the feedback, Bonnie!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!!