Matt’s Dakota Bread I

We used to live in an apartment just a few doors down from a Great Harvest Bread Company, which was a blessing and a curse. The employees were always friendly, and the bread was fantastic, but we had to resist going too often for the sake of our budget. Our first sampling of Dakota bread was at that store, and we were instantly hooked.

As the name suggests, this loaf is not for the faint of heart. Loaded with seeds and nuts, it is hardy—ideal sliced, toasted and buttered for breakfast or served alongside soup or salad. While Matt’s version is lighter than the Great Harvest version of so many years ago, it is no less addictive. We’re going to use whole wheat flour in our next round of experiments, which should create a denser loaf. For now, however, this recipe has been perfected for the bread machine as well as the oven, so it’s ready for a public debut.

Vital wheat gluten helps this rise properly. If you don’t have any on hand, it should be available in the baking section of your grocery store.

Matt’s Dakota Bread I

Makes one 2-pound loaf or two 1-pound loaves

1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons butter, margarine or canola oil
1 teaspoon salt

3 cups bread flour
1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 teaspoons rapid or instant yeast


1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup crushed walnuts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons flaxseed
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Optional Topping

A handful of rolled oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds

Optional step for enhanced flavor: pan toast the first four add-ins for just a few minutes in a dry skillet over medium heat. Toss or stir frequently to prevent burning.


Dough to Oven Version

  1. If you are going to toast the add-ins, do that first. (See optional step above.)
  2. Add all ingredients except topping to bread machine in the manufacturer’s recommended order and run the dough cycle.
  3. When the dough is ready, cover a large baking sheet with cooking spray or a Silpat mat.  Alternatively, mist two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.
  4. Using lightly floured hands, divide dough into two equal pieces and form into loaves, placing on baking sheet or in prepared pans.
  5. If desired, sprinkle topping over both loaves.
  6. Cover and allow dough to rise for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.
  8. Once baked, cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Bread Machine Only

  1. Add all ingredients except add-ins and topping to bread machine in the manufacturer’s recommended order. Use the “fruit and nut” setting for a 2-pound loaf. Note: optional topping is only for the oven version.
  2. Once the bread machine starts, combine add-ins in a small bowl. Empty the bowl into the bread machine pan at the add-in beep.
  3. Once baked, cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

© Liesl K. Bohan  |

24 comments to Matt’s Dakota Bread I

  • I love the Dakota bread too and this looks just like it! I agree, Great Harvest is a double edged sword. I have to limit myself to only stopping in when I really need a loaf of bread. Well that and I don’t need a huge hunk of bread (sample) every time I go in!

  • rita

    So funny, I just tasted Great Harvest’s Dakota bread and vowed to find a recipe on the net and there you were – thanks so much. Off to get some wheat gluten to make my loaf!

  • Great to hear from you, Rita! Let me know how it goes.

  • This recipe is the closest to GH Dakota Bread that I have found. GH Bread doesn’t have flax seeds nor walnuts in the list of ingredients, millet is, and I am allergic to flax …so I changed the flax to steel cut oats and walnuts to millet. I also used 1/2 c honey, 1 T gluten, and ~3/4 t (yes teaspoon)yeast, and left the oil/butter out, to make a perfect Dakota bread for me.
    PS. Thanks for helping me feed my bread habit without missing my mortgage payment ;).

  • Thanks for the input, Chris! I’m going to try it your way the next time I/we make it, with the steel cut oats and millet.

  • Esther

    I really want to make this bread but I don’t have a bread machine.
    Is there any way I can make this without one? maybe by hand?

  • Thanks for your question, Esther!

    I have not yet tried to make this by hand, but here’s a link to instructions that might serve you well if you want to give it a whirl. (I may try it, too.)

    Let me know how it goes! – Liesl

  • Nancy

    I have made Matt’s Dakota bread and loved it! Everyone that I share a loaf with asks for the recipe. One small change I made was to blend the oats in the food processor. Otherwise I made is just like the recipe and am thrilled with the delicious flavor. Thanks for coming up the a copycat version of my favorite GH bread!

  • Thanks for the wonderful feedback for noting your adaptation, Nancy!

  • Kathy

    I want to make this, but I don’t have a bread machine. Don’t I have to let the bread rise two times?

  • Hello, Kathy, and thanks for your question. I need to test drive a machine-free version of this recipe someday, but in the meanwhile…

    All of the hand-formed bread recipes I’ve used call for at least two rise cycles — once after all ingredients are mixed and a second time after the dough is shaped into the desired form (loaves, rolls, buns, pizza, etc.). You may not have to wait an entire 45 minutes after forming the loaves before baking them, but the longer you wait (typically), the higher the loaf.

    Good luck and let me know how it goes! – Liesl

  • Amy

    Thank you for you time in making and posting this recipe, I really appreaciate it. I made my first loaf today with a few changes only 2 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp Honey, omitted the walnuts, replaced millet for the flaxseed, and a replaced 1/2 c bread flour with whole wheat flour. It was wonderful! Thank you again!

  • Thanks for sharing, Amy! I just tried millet instead of sesame seeds myself this weekend (because we didn’t have any of the latter), and we liked it too. We’ve been experimenting with whole wheat flour as well, and I hope to publish that variation after one more batch. Thanks again! Liesl

  • mra.chiu

    I will try this soon! Have you had Great Harvest’s lemon blueberry yeast bread? It is so good toasted!

  • Thanks for your comment, mra.chiu! I have tried Great Harvest’s Lemon Blueberry tea bread and agree that it’s fantastic, though it’s never lasted long enough to make it into the toaster at our house. 🙂

  • chris

    Thank you for this recipe. My husband and I are great fans of the “Great Harvest” version. To my surprise, My husband said this recipe “was even better!”. It is a keeper…~C

  • That’s wonderful, Chris! Thanks so much for letting us know. – Liesl

  • eve

    I handmade it exactly and it was gobbled up before it was cooled down! Looking forward to using this recipe in my new bread machine!

  • Glad to hear it, Eve – thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks a million. I should have said this a couple of years ago, but I didn’t . Love Dakota bread. Made a few adjustments, added 1/4 c molasses, no walnuts,
    I depend on this site for lots of recipes.

  • Thanks for the great feedback, Carol! I’m glad to hear that you like this recipe (and others) so much, and I appreciate hearing about the changes that have worked for you. – Liesl

  • […] snack:  iced coffee and some indeterminate cheese leftover from the party last weekend on top of my rendition (actually it’s Matt’s) of Great Harvest’s Dakota Bread.  I had to make it with […]

  • […] found a recipe for Dakota Bread (one of my favorites) on Savvy Baker. The only issue I had with the recipe, is that it requires a bread maker. It also states to […]

  • […]  It’s nice to have the wherewithal and drive to prepare my meals in advance and make homemade bread.  (I’m seriously hoping it’s good.  I didn’t have pumpkin seeds, but I […]


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