Grain-free, vegan bread that tastes like whole wheat, yet is made with whole lentils! This hearty loaf is simple to make with just 5 ingredients (plus water and salt).
Hi everyone, I hope that you are enjoying the first few days of spring!
Everything is in bloom here in Texas and the weather is blissful. All at once, I am craving lighter, fresher flavors and foods, such as salads, simple vegetable preparations, smoothies. Nevertheless, I am always in the mood to bake, so if it is still chilly where you are living, fear not, I have an option that works for any climate.
It’s my 5-Ingredient Lentil Loaf Bread. It looks a lot like whole wheat quick bread, and has a taste and texture to match. Yet it is:
It is an excellent slicing bread, too, ideal for sandwiches, toast, and toppings of all kinds.
To make this bread, you will need the following:
(1) uncooked lentils (I used the common brown variety, but you can use what you have on hand)
(2) tapioca starch (potato starch works fine, too)
(3) psyllium husk (I have options if you do not have psyllium)
(4) oil (only a tablespoon, and I have an option if you need to keep this oil-free), and
(5) baking powder (be sure to use a grain-free variety if you need this to be 100% grain-free). You will also need water and salt.
The bread is super-simple to make, but it does require some advance planning to soak the lentils.
Rinse the uncooked lentils under cold water and then place in a large bowl. Cover the lentils with water (enough so that there is about 1 inch/2.5 cm above the lentils) and let soak for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
Drain the plumped-up lentils and give them another rinse under cold water.
Place the lentils, 1/2 cup (120 mL) fresh water, and both the oil and salt, in a blender. Blend away, stopping several times (especially at the start) to scrape the sides of the blender. Keep blending until the result is a completely smooth batter.
You can add the remaining ingredients to the blender, but I prefer to scrape the lentil mixture into a bowl before adding the tapioca starch, psyllium husk, and baking powder.
Why dirty an extra bowl? Because the final batter is quite thick and sticky; I find it more manageable to add the final ingredients in a bowl. If you have a a traditional blender (as opposed to a high speed blender, like a Blentec or Vitamix), I strongly recommend transferring to a bowl before adding the final ingredients. You don’t want to blow out the motor, even for a great loaf of bread!
Scrape and spread the batter into a 9×5-inch (22.5 x 12.5 cm) loaf pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Can you bake without the parchment paper? Yes, but the sides will get darker than in a parchment-lined pan. It’s good either way!
Spread the batter evenly and give the pan a hard bang on the counter to remove any big bubbles. Slide the pan into the middle of a preheated 400F oven and bake. Pretty simple, right?
In roughly 50 minutes (it will sound hollow when you tap the top), you have a glorious, golden loaf of bread!
Remove the bread from the pan soon after it emerges from the oven. I’ve found that leaving it in the pan can result in a slightly soggy bottom. No one needs that!
Let the bread cool completley on a wire rack. Your only remaining tasks are slicing and eating! You can slice the bread very thin, or go thick and rustic. It’s very filling, so I prefer thin slices for sandwiches and medium slices for toast.
I’m loving this bread but I am excited to know what you think if you give it a try.
Happy baking, everyone!
- 1 and ½ cups (300 g) uncooked brown lentils
- water to cover lentils
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or oil of choice)
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup (60 g) tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon psyllium husk
- 2 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
- Rinse the lentils to remove any debris and then place in a large bowl. Fill the bowl with enough water to cover the lentils by at least 1 inch (2.5 cm). Soak for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain the lentils and transfer to a blender.
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Line a 9x5-inch (22.5 x 12.5 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper (leaving an overhang). Grease or spray exposed interior sides of pan.
- Add the ½ cup water, oil and salt to the blender with the lentils. Process, stopping several times to scrape sides and bottom of blender, until completley smooth.
- Scoop the lentil mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the tapioca starch, psyllium husk and baking powder until completely blended. Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top. Give the loaf pan a bang on countertop to release any large bubbles. Re-smooth the top, if needed.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 48 to 53 minutes until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped.
- Remove bread from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Slice and eat as desired!
Oil-free Option: The oil gives the bread tenderness, but if you do not eat oil, replace with an equal amount of water. You may want to consider replacing the ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon water with an equal amount of nondairy milk (one that has some fat in it) to make up for the missing oil. If you choose to use full-fat, canned coconut milk, I recommend replacing no more than 2 tablespoons of water.
Psyllium Substitutes: Psyllium husk works best in this recipe, giving much needed structure in the absence of grains, gluten and eggs. If you do not have it, use 4 teaspoons of flaxseed meal or ground chia seeds. The finished bread may dip--just a little bit--in the center with these substitutes.
Tapioca Starch Substitutes: An equal amount of potato starch can be used in place of the tapioca starch. I have not made this with arrowroot, but an equal amount of arrowroot powder should work, too.