Healthy lentil bread with 100 % whole food, whole grain ingredients, and no oil, eggs, wheat flour, or yeast, resulting in a vegan, gluten-free high protein bread that contains a whopping 12 g protein per slice!
Healthy High Protein Bread
I love bread, even while avoiding gluten (which is where this traditional gluten-free loaf and gluten-free baguette come in). For the past 10 years, I have also been regularly making this high-protein bread with lentils, which my partner, in particular, adores. This recipe eliminates almost all ’empty calories’ (I’m looking at you AP flour). I believe, this is the healthiest bread that I created so far (while still being delicious) and therefore, I want to share the recipe with you.
With a combination of lentils, ground oats, chickpea flour, and seeds, this healthy bread is packed with wholesome ingredients that will truly nourish your body while still providing a delicious loaf for sandwiches, toasting, and dipping. Honestly, it’s so good, I should sell it!
Best of all, since this bread recipe is both gluten and yeast-free, it is super low effort. Instead of kneading, proofing, rising, shaping, etc., all you need is to combine the ingredients into a batter and pour it into the pan – easy!
What Makes This Lentil Bread Healthy?
Looking at the protein bread recipe as a whole, I made it my mission to eliminate ‘empty calorie’ ingredients for whole food, whole grain, nourishing ingredients, including:
Lentils: This modest pulse is rich in dietary fiber, protein, polyphenols (which are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory), and several vitamins and minerals. These include iron, magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins, which are beneficial for blood pressure, cholesterol, and overall heart health.
Ground oats/ oat flour (GF, if needed): Similar to lentils, oats are packed with dietary fiber, polyphenols, and protein along with carbs, to keep you satiated for longer. They’re also loaded with numerous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These include several B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate, etc. The combination is beneficial for cholesterol, blood sugar levels, digestive health, etc.
Chickpea flour: This unrefined flour is mild and nutty, and fiber, protein, and nutrient-packed. It contains high folate levels (100% per cup) and manganese, copper, phosphorus, iron, and thiamine (all above 25% RDI). More so, like the above, chickpea flour is packed with polyphenols to rid your body of harmful free radicals and keep various diseases at bay. It’s also far more satiating than regular wheat flour.
More so, this bread is oil-free, egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, yeast-free, and contains several amino acids – yet it is also absolutely packed with flavor!
The Ingredients & Substitutes
- Dried Lentils: I usually use green or brown lentils. A reader reported that the bread also turns out great with red lentils. Please soak the lentils for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Water: You can use filtered or tap water (the latter depends on where you’re based).
- Oat flour: You can easily make your own by grinding rolled oats (regular or gluten-free) in a blender or electric coffee/spice grinder into a floury consistency for this high fiber bread.
- Chickpea flour: Alternatively, rice flour works well. You may also use quinoa flour, buckwheat flour, or sorghum flour, though I haven’t tried.
- Psyllium husk powder: This ingredient mimics gluten in gluten-free baked goods and plays a major role in helping the gluten-free protein bread rise.
- Seeds: I used a combination of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. However, you can use any seeds (including hemp seeds) or chopped nuts (like walnuts) of your choice. Add an extra two tablespoons to top the fitness bread if preferred. You could also mix chia and flax seeds into the dough.
- Baking soda: This simple protein bread recipe is a type of soda bread, using baking soda in place of yeast to provide lift and texture.
- An Acid: Use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
- Salt: To enhance the overall flavor of the lentil bread.
I’ve kept the ingredients for this high protein bread recipe basic, as I would for standard sandwich bread. However, feel free to play around with add-ins, including:
- Herbs: Fresh or dried herbs are a simple way to boost flavor in any bread. Use individual herbs (like rosemary, thyme, sage, etc.) or blends like Italian seasoning.
- Spices: Onion powder, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes are all ways to add subtle depth of flavor to make the best whole grain bread ever. Nutritional yeast will help add a slightly nutty, cheesy, umami-rich flavor.
- ‘Sun-dries’: Like sun-dried tomatoes, olives, roasted onion, roasted garlic, finely chopped jalapeños/chilis, etc.
- Sweetener: A spoonful or so of maple syrup can help to balance all the savory, earthy flavors in this high fiber bread.
For the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information, read the recipe card below.
How to Make Lentil Protein Bread?
There are only a few steps to preparing this yeast-free bread, including:
- First, add the lentils to a large bowl with plenty of water (covered by 2 inches). Then soak for at least 2 hours (or overnight). Then drain the water.
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F/205 °C and line a large loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Then, blend the lentils with 320 ml fresh water until puréed.
It can help to use a tamper, if you have one, to ensure they’re evenly puréed. Otherwise, pause the machine and give it a mix as needed.
- Then, transfer the puréed lentils to the same large bowl as before with all the remaining ingredients and mix well with a spatula.
- Pour the healthy bread batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to smooth the top if necessary.
I also sprinkled two additional tablespoons of pumpkin seeds over the batter before baking.
- Bake the bread on the center rack in the oven for 45 minutes. Then, allow it to cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing. Enjoy!
How to Store?
Make ahead: You can soak the lentils overnight, ready to purée and mix with the remaining ingredients the following morning.
Store: Allow the lentil bread to fully cool and then store it, tightly covered, at room temperature for 2-3 days. Alternatively, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 7-10 days.
Freeze: You can freeze this fitness bread either whole or sliced. The latter is easier for thawing a slice or two at a time, as needed. However, it will also dry out the bread sooner, so the choice is up to you. If it’s sliced, place pieces of parchment paper between each slice to avoid sticking. Then wrap the loaf in plastic wrap before placing it in a Ziplock bag and freezing for 3-4 months.
Allow the entire loaf to thaw at room temperature for several hours, or thaw/reheat individual slices in a microwave or toaster oven.
While this high protein high fiber bread is earthier and more savory than traditional sandwich bread, it still works very well as a versatile savory vegan bread for:
- Sandwiches: Experiment with all your favorite fillings, e.g. vegan cheese, tomatoes, etc.
- Toast: I love to make avocado toast to combine all the protein with healthy fats. It also pairs well with sautéed mushrooms and tofu scramble.
- For dipping/mopping: With soups and stews like this easy veggie stew or pumpkin soup. You could also use it for dipping in dips like this creamy hummus or spinach artichoke dip.
In the comments below, let me know your favorite ways to enjoy this oat, chickpea, and lentil bread.
Recipe Notes, Tips, and FAQs
- Is there protein in bread? In traditional wheat bread (white), there is around 3.5 g protein per medium slice (40 g) and 4 g for a wholemeal slice. In comparison, this high protein bread contains 10-12 grams of protein per slice. The exact amount will vary based on how thickly you slice the bread.
- Is lentil bread very dense? While it’s denser than traditional wheat bread, this healthy gluten-free bread is not overly dense.
- Can I leave the lentils to ferment? I haven’t tried, so I can’t guarantee results. However, if you do, let me know the results, as I’ve heard it can increase the rise in the bread.
- What does it taste like? This lentil bread tastes slightly savory and earthy without tasting overwhelmingly ‘healthy’. I urge you to try it and find out for yourself!
Other Gluten-free ‘Bread’ Recipes
- Gluten-free bread loaf (yeast-free)
- Vegan cheesy garlic breadsticks
- Potato flatbread
- Gluten-free bread rolls
- French baguette
- Gluten-free pita bread
- Vegan naan bread
If you try this protein bread recipe, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan—I love seeing them.
Protein Bread Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups (300 g) dried lentils (see notes), soak for at least 2 hrs or overnight
- 1 1/3 cups (320 ml) water
- 1 cup (100 g) chickpea flour (see notes)
- 1 cup (90 g) oat flour (gluten-free if needed)
- 3 tbsp (26 g) psyllium husk powder
- 6 tbsp (60 g) seeds of choice + more for the top (see notes)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- You can watch the short video for visual instructions.Soak lentils in a large bowl with plenty of water for at least 2 hours (or overnight), then drain the water.
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F (205 °C) and line a large loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Blend the soaked lentils with 320 ml of fresh water in a blender until they are puréed (about 1 minute), using a tamper to help with the process, if needed.
- Add the puréed lentils and all remaining ingredients to a large bowl and mix well with a spatula.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan, sprinkle some additional pumpkin seeds on top, and bake the bread for 45 minutes. Let it cool, then slice and enjoy!
- Lentils: I usually use green or brown lentils. A reader reported that the bread also turns out great with red lentils.
- Chickpea flour: I made the bread once with rice flour and the result was fine too. You can most likely also use quinoa flour, buckwheat flour, or sorghum flour.
- Seeds: I used a combination of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. You can also use hemp seeds or nuts of your choice. I topped the bread with about 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds in addition. Feel free to add chia seeds or flax seeds in addition.
- The total time doesn't include soaking time.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically