I love Dave's Killer Bread for its good ingredients and how perfect it is for sandwiches, so I decided to see if I could make a Dave's Killer Bread recipe from scratch. It is surprisingly easy and tastes better than store-bought bread!
With my recipe, you can make two loaves of this multigrain seed bread for about half the price of store-bought bread, and if you're a bread-machine user, don't worry- I've just updated the recipe to include a single loaf which is the right size for a standard bread machine.
You can also use this as a whole-grain dinner roll recipe, which is perfect for a healthy side dish for soup night! Keep reading to see what easy artisan baking techniques I use to get the softest whole-wheat bread you've ever tasted.
If you haven’t heard of Dave's Killer Bread, then let me tell you why it's so great.
Dave’s bread is a nutrition powerhouse. It's full of whole grains, protein, and fiber, while still tasting delicious! The 21 Seed Bread has a chewy texture and great flavor.
The story behind Dave’s is interesting. He spent time in prison, got out and went to work for his family’s bakery business, and developed a recipe for whole grain, organic, and Non-GMO bread. He started selling his bread at a farmer's market and it was so popular that he eventually sold his company for millions! ( 275 million to be exact)
Why the copycat recipe?
You can buy the original product if you choose, but it's not available everywhere, and online the purchase price can be as high as $10 per loaf. If you’re interested in making high-quality, nutritious bread at home, this recipe is for you! To read more about the health benefits of Dave's Bread, check out this article. Recently my local grocery store was sold out of the organic whole grain seed bread that I like so I went to my kitchen and got to work developing a copycat recipe for Daves Killer Bread 21 Seed Bread.
With the assortment of whole grains, chewy seeds, fiber, and protein in my copycat Dave's Killer Seed Bread Recipe, you can feel good about eating bread again!
Dave's Killer Bread makes great dinner rolls too!
If you're in the mood for something healthy to serve with soup or salad, just shape these into balls, and roll in the seed topping. I like to bake them on a pie plate, but you can also place them in an oiled muffin pan or on a cookie sheet.
Overview of my copycat Dave's Killer Bread recipe
This isn't a hard recipe, but it does have many steps. Check out the overview of what this recipe involves so you can plan your baking day accordingly.
What to do the day before you want bread
The day before you just need to soak the wheat flour for about 12 hours. I usually do this in the evening and leave it soaking overnight.
You'll also need to cook the wheat berries. They cook like rice and take about 30 minutes. I like to do this the night before so they are cooled when it's time to mix the dough.
What to do on the day you are ready to bake bread
The entire process takes about 3 hours, although Your time may vary slightly depending on the temperature of your kitchen, and the time of year. I usually start in the morning and have fresh bread ready in the early afternoon. Here is how the time breaks down:
- Measure the ingredients- 20 minutes
- Mix - 20 minutes
- Proof- 30-45 minutes
- Shape- 15 minutes
- Proof -45 to 60 minutes
- Bake- 30-40 minutes
Supplies you’ll need to make your own Dave's Killer bread:
You will need to buy a few supplies to get started. Don't be put off by the initial investment. While it's true that it is a little pricy to get all the ingredients, they will last a long time. So if you plan on making this bread regularly, then the real savings comes over time.
Just so you know. This site displays affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and purchase something it may result in a small commission for me. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.
A great bread like this requires ingredients that are of the highest quality
Click on the links to see the products that create the most authentic version of Dave's Killer Bread.
100% Whole White Wheat Flour- I like this Wheat Montana brand. Look for organic, Non-GMO winter wheat. If you use stone-ground wheat it will not have the same texture as Dave's Killer Bread does. You need whole white wheat for this recipe.
Gerbs Raw Super 5 Seed Mix- This is a good price for a seed blend. When I was testing the recipe I bought each seed variety separately. That can get very expensive. While this variety doesn't have sesame seeds, it's a good alternative.
5 Grain Rolled Cereal- These look like rolled oats, but the blend has a good variety of grains. It is more cost-effective to buy the blend rather than each type individually.
Wheat Berries- Any brand of wheat berries will work. Look for organic, Non-GMO wheat berries.
Vital Wheat Gluten Powder- Bob's Red Mill has the best price that I have been able to find.
Vitamin C 500 mg capsule- Any variety will work here. Just be sure to crush it before adding it to the dough.
Bread Pans- This batch makes two loaves and they fit perfectly into 9x5 loaf pans.
Stand Mixer- I use the Kitchen Aid Professional series fitted with the dough hook attachment
Bread Machine- If you prefer a bread machine, the Breville has customizable loaf size options.
Making a genuine copycat recipe for Daves Killer Bread requires some advanced techniques
To get the most authentic taste and texture from this loaf I've incorporated several artisan bread baker techniques. I’ll explain each one and what it does for the bread dough.
Soaking the wheat flour with vinegar for 12 hours- Soaking the flour for at least 12 hours in an acidic medium activates phytase, which is a chemical present in wheat. The phytase releases vitamins present in whole wheat flour and makes them more accessible. It also helps make the wheat more digestible.
Improving the gluten strength with Vitamin C- Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. It works as a natural dough conditioner to strengthen the gluten. This creates more volume in the loaf, and a fine and even crumb.
The addition of Vital Wheat gluten- Since this dough has so many nuts and seeds they can weaken the gluten strands. The vital wheat gluten helps to strengthen the gluten even more.
Let's bake this copycat Dave's Killer Bread recipe!
Whole Grain Seeded Loaf [Dave's Killer Seed Bread Copycat Recipe]
Makes two loaves
- Stand Mixer with Dough Hook
- 20 oz White wheat flour (5 1/4 cups)
- 16 oz Water (2 cups)
- 0.70 oz Apple cider vinegar (2 1/2 Tbsp)
- 0.5 oz Active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp (2 packets))
- 4 oz Water (1/2 cup)
- 2 oz Agave (2 Tbsp + 2 tsp)
- 3 oz Cooked wheat berries (1/2 cup cooked)
- 1.5 oz Grain blend (1/3 cup ( save 2 Tbsp for topping))
- 5 oz Seed blend (3/4 cup ( save 1/4 cup for topping))
- 1.54 oz Canola oil (3 Tbsp)
- 0.5 oz Salt (2 1/2 tsp)
- 0.5 oz Vital wheat gluten (5 tsp)
- 1 capsule of Vitamin C (Crushed)
- The day before- soak 20 oz wheat flour, in 2 cups warm water and 2 ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar. (Add more water if necessary to absorb all the dry flour.)Mix it thoroughly, using your hands to combine all the ingredients well. Cover and leave at room temperature for at least 12 hours.
- Precook 1/4 cup wheat berries by placing them in a small saucepan with 2 cups of the cooking water. Bring to boil, then turn down the heat and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Drain wheat berries and allow them to cool.
- Mix the agave into ½ cup water. Add the yeast and stir. Let it sit for 5 minutes to activate.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer place the soaked wheat dough, yeast mixture, canola oil, salt, vital wheat gluten, and a crushed vitamin C capsule.
- Mix on low speed for 3-5 minutes. Increase to medium speed and mix for 4 minutes. The dough should be smooth and well-developed.
- Now add the cooked wheat berries, seed blend, and rolled grain blend. Mix on low speed for 4 minutes. ( Don't forget to reserve some grains and seeds for topping the bread)
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled container with a lid, or cover it with plastic wrap. Let rest until the dough has doubled. (This may take from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen)
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal-sized portions.
- Gently shape each dough portion into a rectangle and roll it up in a tight log. Pinch the seams together creating a loaf shape. Repeat for the other dough piece.
- To top each loaf with grain blend and seeds: Place the reserved seed blend onto a large plate. Dampen a clean kitchen towel. Pick up each loaf by the seam and roll it back and forth on the towel getting as much surface area damp as possible. Now put the loaf into the plate of seeds and roll back and forth to get the seeds to stick. Repeat with the other loaf.
- Place the seeded loaves into well-oiled pans.
- Preheat oven to 350 °
- Let the loaves proof for about 30-60 minutes. The actual time will depend on room temperature. When the loaf has crested above the loaf pan it's ready to bake.
- Bake for 40 minutes in the pan. If you have a baking stone, remove the bread from the pan and place it on the stone for the last 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and place it on a cooling rack to cool entirely.
- To freeze- allow to fully cool, then slice the loaf, wrap it in plastic wrap, and cover it completely in foil. Freeze for up to 1 month in a regular freezer or 6 months in a deep freezer
Small Batch Whole Grain Seeded Loaf [Dave's Killer Seed Bread Copycat Recipe]
Makes one loaf, Includes bread maker directions.
- Bread Machine
- 2 1/2 cups White wheat flour
- 1 cup Water (Add more if needed so that all the flour is absorbed)
- 2 1/4 tsp Apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup Cooked wheat berries (Boil 1/8 cup wheat berries in 1 cups water for 30 minutes. Drain and chill. )
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1 packet of Active dry yeast
- 4 tsp Agave
- 4 1/2 tsp Canola oil
- 1/3 cup Seed blend (Reserve 1 Tbsp for topping)
- 2 1/2 Tbsp Rolled grain blend (Reserve 1 Tbsp for topping)
- 1 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2 1/2 tsp Vital wheat gluten
- 1 capsule Vitamin C- 500 mg (crushed)
- To make this single loaf batch in a stand mixer, follow the directions for the original recipe using the smaller batch ingredient amounts.
- INSTRUCTIONS FOR BREAD MAKER: Follow the day before directions by soaking the wheat flour with vinegar and water, and pre-cooking the wheat berries. Put all ingredients from the recipe into the pan of the bread maker. Program for basic white bread setting or for whole wheat bread if your machine has that setting.
- Remove the bread from the machine when it is done and allow it to cool.
Enjoy this Dave's Killer Bread Copycat Recipe
Whether you make this as a double loaf batch, dinner rolls, a single loaf, or in your bread maker, you will love how soft this whole wheat bread is and the wonderful nutritious ingredients that will make you feel good about eating bread!
Please let me know in the comments how you like this recipe and your favorite way to eat this multigrain bread.
51 thoughts on “Dave’s Killer Bread Recipe: a Baker’s Guide to Making at Home”
I can’t wait to try this and have bookmarked it.I make often bread, and usually the only loaf I will purchase is Dave’s Killer Bread. I like Good Seed the best. I have looked all over the internet and yours is the only recipe that uses weight measurements, so I pick you! I do have a couple of questions.: Can I used white whole wheat? I have a new, unopened bag and would love to use what I have due to space constraints. What size loaf pans do you use? I have 8.1/2 x 41/2 , 9 x 5, and 9 x 4 (x4 deep). I know pan size can affect outcome, so would like to use the correct size for this recipe. Thanks!
Hi Kim, So glad you found my recipe and appreciate the weight measurements. I try to make my recipes accessible to everyone! You asked some great questions and I’ve updated the blog post to reflect the answers. The flour called for is actually a white wheat so the flour you have will be perfect. The loaf pans that I used for the recipe are 9×5 and the recipe makes two loaves. I’ll be updating soon for a single ( bread machine-friendly loaf) as well. Happy baking and please update us with your results!
Hi, thanks for this recipe! I love DKB but can’t always get it here (Canada). We just got a breadmaker so I’m new to this. We have a setting choice of 1, 1.5 or 2 lbs. I assume the difference would be rising and baking times … which setting would I use for your bread machine recipe? Thank you.
Hi Ann, you are correct! The different settings on your bread machine change the rising and baking times. I would recommend starting with the 1.5lb loaf size setting. If you find it too dense or underbaked you can go to the larger setting. Please let me know how it turns out!
My loaves did not double in size or rise to top of loaf pans. It’s 90° today and I let them proof in the 3 season porch. What might be the reason? Did I heat water too much when activating yeast? Idk. I’m a cook and a bread machine kinda gal, so idk! Ty for such great instructions. I enjoyed learning and working so hard on this. Gonna try bread machine recipe next. Ty!! Be blessed!
One more question. But first, ty for this amazing recipe and the well done instructions! We’re obsessed with this bread! My question is I would love to send this to a friend several states away. What is the shelf life and do you have any tips? Tyvm!!!!
I shop at a store that sells nuts seeds and grains in bulk(yes they were filling it up the other day when I was there-post covid-I was very glad to see). Anyways my question is what are the measurements for the individual nuts and grains so that I don’t have to purchase the pre-mixed blends. The bulk bins let me buy smaller quantities. Thanks. Can’t wait to try this.
Hi Rosanna, I’m glad to hear you’re able to buy the exact quantity that you need! Here’s a few measurements for you: SEED BLEND FOR 1 DOUBLE LOAF BATCH= 1 oz sesame seed, 1 oz poppy seed, 1 oz flax seed, 1 oz small(Pepitas) unsalted/raw pumpkin seeds, 1 oz unsalted/raw sunflower seeds. GRAIN BLEND FOR 1 DOUBLE LOAF BATCH= 0.5 oz rolled oats, 0.5 oz rolled rye, 0.5 oz rolled triticale, barley, or wheat ( use whatever you can find)
Hope you love this bread recipe as much as I do! Keep us posted on your results.
Made the single loaf recipe. Has a very strong fermented flavor. Doesn’t taste as “whole wheat” as the actual DKB. Any ideas what may have happened? Too much vinegar? Help. Thank you!
Hi Patricia, I’m not sure why you experienced an overly fermented taste. Perhaps the wheat flour you used was off? (whole grain flour can get a rancid flavor it not kept refrigerated) I make this bread every week to sell at the Farmer’s Markert and my customers always rave about it, so I don’t think it’s the vinegar. Perhaps try again with different wheat flour? Best of luck and keep us posted on your results!
I made this and only substituted honey for agave. It was perfect! The ingredients were dispersed perfectly. I love it toasted.
Can I use Coconut Oil instead of Canola Oil? Canola Oil is not good oil for people with arthritis (causes inflammation of the joints). I use Olive Oil, Peanut Oil, and Coconut Oil when I cook. Which do you suggest?
Can t get whole wheat white flour what can j use as a substitute
Hi Cheryl, You can use traditional whole wheat flour and still get really good results!
I have a few questions. The first one is about the apple cider vinegar. In the ingredients list it says 2.1/2 TB of the vinegar yet in the instructions it says to use 1 1/2 TB for the initial step with the flour. Next, my dough was very soft and sticky even after adding the seeds, berries and rolled oat mixture. I added about a cup more flour and it rose beautifully within one hour. I shaped the loaves and let them proof for over an hour in a 72 degree kitchen. They rose up to the top of the pans. I baked them and they actually shrunk. I am at 7300 feet altitude. What do I need to do differently?
Hi Wendy, Thanks for pointing out the vinegar measurement typo. I’ve corrected it to read 2 1/2 Tbsp in the written directions as well as the actual recipe. As for your question about the sticky dough: since flour varies in its ability to absorb water, it was a good call to add a bit more flour. This shouldn’t be a very sticky dough. As far as your issue with baking, I suspect your altitude had something to do with it. The bread actually rises faster at a high altitude so you may want to cut down on the proofing time. Best of luck to you and keep us posted how your next loaf turns out!
Love the recipe! Just wondering if you have the nutrition facts for it? Thank you!
The first time it rose double but after shaping dough in pans I couldn’t get it to rise above pans, even proofed it around 90 minutes and the I just baked it because we had to be somewhere shortly. Why wouldn’t it have risen second time?
How do I print this recipe??
This is my first bread baking attempt and I’m getting a dough that seems really wet after putting in all of the ingredients in the stand mixer. I added flour (quite a bit) for it to form a ball in the mixer. I did use whole wheat flour from Sprouts so I’m not sure if that’s why. Any thoughts? Thank you!
Hello Allyson, thanks so much for troubleshooting this recipe. My family loves Dave’s Killer Bread, and I would like to make my own version at home. If I wanted to use ascorbic acid powder instead of crushing a tablet, do you know how much I would add? Thank you! 🙂
Hi Mary, my jar of vitamin C says 500mg per tablet. When crushed, its about 1/4 tsp. Hope that helps!
The soaked wheat flour mixture should be pretty thick, so if it feels sticky something isn’t right. I’ve made this with different whole wheat flour brands, so that shouldn’t be the issue. Perhaps the water got mismeasured? Best of luck if you plan to attempt it again!
Are you possibly using a quick rise yeast? That could be the problem.
Hi Ruby, I don’t have the nutritional facts for this bread yet, but I will try to add that when I update the recipe soon!
All the information and the recipe looks wonderful. Is there a way I can print this whole page with the recipe ? I can not seem to find one. Thank you !
My husband strongly dislikes pumpkin and sunflower seeds in breads. Would you suggest increasing the amount of sesame, chia seeds, etc instead? If so, same amounts as larger seeds?
I’m trying to avoid oil, salt and sugar. Can I omit these from the recipe without changing the chemistry of the bread?
Can you use live yeast rather than active dry?
I have tried this recipe three times and it never fully rises and then sinks in the oven. The bread comes out very dense and wet. I cut back on the amount of water and that seems to help, but is still not rising and is still pretty wet. Still too much water?
Hi, this is such a delicious bread! Thank you so much for the recipe! I did run into an issue when soaking the flour. When weighing the ingredients for the flour and water soak the mixture was very wet and not at all like the picture in the instructions. I made the bread the following day but had to add about 1.5c of additional flour to get the correct texture of dough and even then it was on the sticky side. I did purchase your recommended flour for the recipe as well. It ended up turning out lovely with a very soft texture and great flavor but I was confused by the water:flour ratio being off so much.
Do you have any suggestions/ substitutions for baking at high altitude? And can I use instant yeast?
So happy that you have come up with this recipe! The shopping List is MUCH appreciated. Just took the first two loaves out of the oven and they are looking good!
One point of clarification. In the double loaf recipe, the amount of flour is indicated as “ 20 oz White wheat flour (5 1/4 cups).” 5.25 cups by volume seems to be much more than 20oz and 5.25 cups by weight is 42oz of flour.
I used 20oz by weight and the dough was way to wet. I added bread flour until the dough formed up nicely.
Once again, thank you for doing this work.
I am just heading to store for ingredients to make this (high altitude, bread machine) what is the purpose of the vit C please
Quote from above article:
“ Improving the gluten strength with Vitamin C- Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. It works as a natural dough conditioner to strengthen the gluten. This creates more volume in the loaf, and a fine and even crumb.”
I haven’t heard back from Allyson about my previous question about flour proportions. This week, I’m going to try 5.25 cups of flour by volume to start and add from there if still to wet.
Best of luck, Steve.
I have made this recipe 3 times in my bread machine according to directions and each time the dough seems sticky. I added a tbsp and a half of VWG and still to wet. I went with it anyway and it fell again. Any suggestions?
I have tried this recipe twice and both times the dough is so sticky I can’t pat it into a rectangle much less roll it up and seal it. Do I need to start with more flour? I have read that some people add a cup and a half of flour. It seems like the recipe is off if you have to add that much. If I need to add more, when should I add it? I don’t like ending up with this sticky mess on my floured board and trying to fix it at that point.
I’d like this recipe to work for me, but so far, it isn’t.
Hi Nancy, I’ve made this recipe hundreds of times with no problems, so I don’t think it’s the recipe, but rather the ingredients. Here are a few things I would check: What type of whole wheat flour are you using? It should be 100% whole wheat. Are you measuring it or weighing it? Flour is one ingredient that should always be weighed on a scale because of how much it settles. When you soak your wheat flour overnight it should be very stiff. It’s just wet enough to form a dough ball. Hope this helps!
Hello Allyson, the recipes state ‘white whole wheat’ but in your response to Nancy on 10/13 you state 100% whole wheat. Which do you prefer? I look forward to baking this, I ran out of my homemade bread while on vacation and found Dave’s on sale at the local Publix. Weight-wise it doesn’t matter, might be a difference in texture? I’m going to use sprouted wheat flour. Thanks!
This recipe is delicious but his White Bread Done Right is my favorite and can be very hard to find in my area.
Any chance you have a recipe for it??
I want to bake this but before that please give your valuable time to answer my queries:
Is it whole wheat flour whch you have used?
Can I use regular synthetic vinegar?
My kitchen temperature is 17*C , is it fine to keep dough overnight at room temperature?
No idea about Vitamin C. Is it to get from chemist shop?
Hope yo hear soon from you.
Sorry by mistake I wrote ‘Nancy’.
I am sorry Better Baker
Can I replace using dry yeast with my bread starter, if so what is the ratio? I have used 1 cup for other bread recipes. I’m looking forward to making this bread. Thank you!
Is it possible to make this without Agave or Canola oil?
I used my bread machine to make this bread, substituting only honey for agave. The bread is great. My only problem was placing the rather solid white whole wheat, water, & apple cider vinegar dough…plus all other ingredients…into the machine’s pan. Unfortunately the paddle soon detached, due to getting stuck in the hard dough. So the second time I made the bread, I tried mixing the dough with the remaining ingredients (with my hands) just a bit in a separate bowl BEFORE putting all in the bread machine pan. I did it in the ingredient order you suggested in the initial recipe. That worked very well (no paddle detachment) because the additional moisture softened the dough enough for the paddle to work properly. Know your particular bread machine foibles! Now my only problem is liking to eat this bread a little too much! You might consider the value of making the 1-loaf bread machine recipe as detailed as the original. I ended up jumping back & forth often. Many thanks for this recipe.🌺
Absolutely loved this bread. I did replace the agave with molasses syrup which i tend to like with whole wheat recipes. The dough was very sticky and I did need to add about an additonal cup of flour to firm it up more. That did the trick. I am excited to take a loaf in to work, my co-workers will enjoy!!! Thank you for sharing.
With the cost of Daves’s bread so high, I’ve decided to buy a bread machine. I also found your recipe and want to try it in a bread machine. Would you please provide me instuctions for that approach?
Thanks for all your efforts
Right now, waiting for the “dough” to double in volume, what I really have is gassy batter, not dough. What now? More flour? Throw it out and start over?
Hi! I know this is a long shot, but have you tried doing this with sourdough starter instead of dry yeast? 😬
So far I also found that the amount of flour in cups is more correct for the recipe. The consumer grade of white whole wheat flour available may be of a different quality than what this recipe calls for in weight. I was only able to find white whole wheat flour at Wegmans. I am in Canada so that was the only place I could find it in the USA. We do t have it available in Canada at any stores! When I weighed 5.25 cups I got over 27 oz. My dough was initially too weight and not smooth. Once I started adding more flour it formed up. Then I just finished kneading by hand so I could feel the dough. It’s proofing now. I hope it works. It sounds like amazing recipe. Will report back!
Nice recipe. Although I do wind up adding about 3/4 cup more whole wheat flour. I measure the ingredients by weight. Without the added flour, the dough is a batter.
It bakes up nicely and has a good shelf life. I usually slice it and freeze it. That way I can take out a couple of slices when I want to make a toasted sandwich.
My fave sandwich to make with it is from Katie Morford RD and appeared on The Oregonian’s web site.