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Easy High Protein Sandwich Bread (4 ingredients, V, GF, Oil-Free)

Easy high protein vegan sandwich bread made with 4 ingredients! Made with red lentils and sunflower seeds, it is oil-free, grain-free, gluten-free, flourless, sugar-free, yeast-free and (modesty aside) amazing! It boasts 7 grams protein per slice.

esy red lentil sandwich bread on a metal cooling rack

How Can I Make High Protein Sandwich Bread?

With 4 frugal ingredients and very little effort 😊!

You don’t need flour, yeast, grains, fancy equipment, or bread-baking experience. Just some red lentils and sunflower seeds.

It sounds wacky, I know. But wacky can be wonderful.

a sliced loaf of red lentil sandwich bread on a wire cooling rack

Recipe Benefits

This easy high protein sandwich bread is all of the following, and so much more:

  • High in protein (7 grams per slice)
  • High in fiber (6 grams per slice)
  • Vegan (egg-free & dairy-free}
  • Oil-free
  • Made with 4 ingredients
  • Grain-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Flourless (made from red lentils & sunflower seed kernels)
  • Yeast-free
  • Xanthan gum-free
  • Sugar-free
  • Nut-free
  • Minimal ingredients
  • Easy to prepare

Cue the happy dance!

Ingredients for Easy Red Lentil Sandwich Bread

The exact amounts of each ingredient are indicated in the recipe card at the end of the post.

clear glass bowls on a marble counter, all filled with ingredients for red lentil bread

The ingredients for the bread are basic and frugal:

You will also need some water (I use filtered tap water, but use what you prefer) and (optional) salt.

What are Whole Psyllium Husks?

Psyllium is a plant product derived from the husks of the seeds from the Plantago ovata plant. When combined with liquid, the husks swell, creating a gelatin. The gel can be used in ways similar to eggs, and also stands in for gluten (creating structure) in gluten-free and grain-free breads.

close up of a glass bowl filled with whole psyllium husks

I order whole psyllium husks online. You can search for them on any search engine and find multiple purveyors. You may also be able to find them in a well-stocked natural foods grocery store.

Store the psyllium husks in an airtight container and it will last for years, making it a frugal buy. Plus once you have it, you can make all kinds of amazing gluten-free vegan breads, such as my 100% Millet Sandwich Bread, Easy Multigrain Sandwich Bread, Coconut Flour Sandwich Bread, 100% Millet Banana Bread, Buckwheat Sandwich Bread, Oat Sandwich Bread, 4-Ingredient Power Bread, and more!

Sunflower Seed Kernel Options

I use raw sunflower seed kernels for the recipe, but you can also use roasted sunflower seed kernels. If you choose roasted and salted sunflower seeds, reduce the added salt by 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon.

two glass bowls on a marble counter, each filled with sunflower seeds (raw and roasted)

The sunflower seeds have a three-fold function in this easy, minimalist bread:

  1. Structure. The protein and fiber in the seeds contribute to the bread’s shape and texture.
  2. Oil-Free Fat. The natural oils in the sunflower seeds allow this bread to to be free of oil, yet still tender.
  3. Flavor. Sunflower seeds have a faintly nutty, yet neutral flavor, which is enhanced by the long slow bake. Use roasted seeds for richer flavor, or stick with raw seeds for an especially mild flavor.

How to Make Easy High Protein Sandwich Bread

Note that the complete directions are also in the recipe card below.

Step One: Rinse the Lentils

Place the lentils in a colander or mesh sieve and rinse under cold water. This removes any dust or debris from the dried lentils. No one wants dusty bread.

Step Two: Quick-Soak the Lentils and Sunflower Seeds

Combine the lentils, sunflower seeds and boiling water in the container of a blender (regular or high-speed). Let stand for 20 minutes until the lentils are plump (the seeds will also plump, slightly) and the water has cooled. Do not drain.

If you prefer, you can soak the lentils and sunflower seeds in the same amount of cool water for 12 to 24 hours.

Step Three: Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Pan

Preheat the oven to 325F (160C). If your oven has a convection setting, do not use it for this bread. This bread is best when baked using the regular (convection) heat. More about this in the FAQS at the end of the post.

Spray a 9×5-inch (22.5 x12.5 cm) loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Alternatively, lightly oil or grease the pan. If you want to avoid any and all oil I suggest using a high quality non-stick loaf pan.

Step Four: Blend the Batter

Blend the plumped lentils, sunflower seeds and cooled water on high speed, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the blender container, until smooth.

Add the whole psyllium husks, baking powder, and optional salt to the blender. Blend for 10 to 15 seconds until blended.

blended lentil and sunflower seed batter in a blender container

Step Five: Pour Batter into Pan

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth out the top of the batter. The batter will have a texture similar to that of thick pancake batter.

lentil sunflower bread batter in a metal baking pan

Step Six: Bake the Bread

Bake the bread in the preheated 325F (160C) oven for 90 minutes until risen and the surface of the bread appears dark golden brown, dry, and crusty. The bread will also sound hollow when tapped.

baked loaf of lentil sandwich bread on a cooling rack

Transfer the pan to a cooling rack. Cool the bread in the pan for 15 minutes.

baked loaf of sunflower seed lentil bread in a metal pan

Step Seven: Remove from Pan & Cool

Remove the loaf of bread from the pan (slide a butter knife around sides, as needed, to assist the release). Place the loaf on the cooling rack and cool completely.

You have never seen lentils and sunflower seeds quite like this 😊.

a loaf of grain-free vegan bread cooling on a wire cooling rack

Slice it Thick or Thin

This is a sturdy bread with minimal crumbs when sliced (do make sure it is completely cool before slicing). The loaf can be sliced into thick, hearty pieces:

overhead shot of thickly sliced lentil sunflower bread

It can also be sliced very thin, without falling apart or crumbling.

thinly sliced piece of red lentil sandwich bread

What is the texture & taste of the bread?

First, texture: The bread is very much like a fine-textured whole grain bread. It is hearty, but soft with a pleasing crumb. The high protein and high fiber of a single slice means that is also very filling.

Taste: The flavor of the bread is very much like a full flavor multigrain bread. It is excellent straight up, or toast it to enhance the already nutty flavor of the bread.

The bread is wonderful for toast, sandwiches, and accompanying meals of all kinds. Both sweet and savory fillings are delicious in combination with the whole grain-like flavor of this bread. Here it is with my easy cashew cream cheese and some sliced strawberries (so yum!).

a slice of red lentil sandwich bread spread with vegan cream cheese and topped with strawberries

FAQ

How should I store the Easy High Protein Sandwich Bread ?

Store the cooled bread in an airtight container at cool room temperature for 2 days, the refrigerator for 1 week, and the freezer for up to 6 months.

Can I use other varieties of lentils in place of red lentils?

Most likely, yes. However, I recommend sticking with red lentils (Note that I have only tested the bread with red lentils). In general, red lentils produce a lighter flavor and texture in baked goods than darker lentils.

If you choose to use another variety of lentils, use the same weight as the red lentils. If the easy high protein sandwich bread is made with brown, black or green lentils will likely be slightly denser and darker than loaves made with red lentils.

My oven has a convection setting. Should I use it for this bread?

I do not recommend it. Convection ovens excel at quick, crisp cooking. They are not the right choice for long slow baking, and that is definitely the case for this bread.

Convection ovens (or the convection oven setting) can force the outer layer of this bread to rise and separate from the inside of the bread. This will lead to several results: (1) a big bubble under the surface of the loaf; (2) a gooey middle and bottom; and (3) a hard outer crust.

This bread needs the low, slow radiant heat of a conventional oven.

My bread came out gooey in the middle. Why?

The bread should not be gooey at all. But if it happens, possible reasons are as follows:

  1. Baking in a a convection oven instead of conventional oven. See the section above explaining why this makes a huge difference.
  2. Inaccurate measurements. Even if you have been baking since forever, it is possible that you mis-measured. It is easy to get distracted for a split second–it happens to everybody! If you measured using cups, I urge using a scale next time around. You will love using the scale to measure once you start.
  3. Oven temperature is off. I regularly check my oven temperature setting using an inexpensive oven thermometer. Check to make sure the oven is accurate before baking. If the oven is too hot, it can force a faster rise to the bread, leading to a bubble under the top of the loaf.

Can I Use Something Other than Whole Psyllium Husks?

No, for this recipe it must be whole psyllium husks. Other gelling agents, such as flaxseed meal or chia seeds, will not work as direct substitutes (they might work, but it would involve some experimenting to determine their efficacy).

I have not tested the recipe with psyllium powder. It can work as a substitute for the whole husks in some recipes. If you try the bread with psyllium powder, you will need to use an equivalent weight (15 grams), which is significantly less volume than the whole husks. Check the label of your brand of psyllium husk powder, or use a kitchen scale.

Happy baking! I hope that you love this bread s much as I do.

Yield: 1 large loaf (16 slices)

Easy High Protein Sandwich Bread (V, GF, oil-free)

4-ingredient lentil sunflower seed sandwich bread on a metal cooling rack

Easy 4-Ingredient lentil sunflower seed sandwich bread that tastes like it is made from whole grains! This hearty loaf is vegan, oil-free, grain-free, gluten-free, flourless, sugar-free, yeast-free and (modesty aside) amazing!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/4 cups (235 g) red lentils (uncooked)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (150 g) sunflower seed kernels
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (591 mL) water
  • 3 tablespoons (15 g) whole psyllium husks
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) baking powder
  • Optional: 3/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

    1. Place the lentils in a colander or mesh sieve and rinse under cold water. This removes any dust or debris from the dried lentils.
    2. Combine the lentils, sunflower seeds and boiling water in the container of a blender (regular or high-speed). Let stand for 20 minutes until the lentils are plump (the seeds will also plump, slightly) and the water has cooled. Do not drain.
    3. Preheat the oven to 325F (160C). Spray a 9x5-inch (22.5 x12.5 cm) loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Alternatively, lightly oil or grease the pan.
    4. Blend the plumped lentils, sunflower seeds and cooled water on high speed, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the blender container, until smooth.
    5. Add the whole psyllium husks, baking powder, and optional salt to the blender. Blend for 10 to 15 seconds until blended.
    6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth out the top of the batter.
    7. Bake the bread in the preheated 325F (160C) oven for 90 minutes until risen and the surface of the bread appears dark golden brown, dry, and crusty. The bread will also sound hollow when tapped.
    8. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack. Cool the bread in the pan for 15 minutes.
    9. Remove the loaf of bread from the pan (slide a butter knife around sides, as needed, to assist the release). Place the loaf on the cooling rack and cool completely.
    10. Slice the cooled bread thick, thin, or anywhere in between! It is wonderful for toast, sandwiches, and accompanying meals of all kinds.

Notes

Storage: Store the cooled bread in an airtight container at cool room temperature for 2 days, the refrigerator for 1 week, and the freezer for up to 6 months.

Psyllium: Be sure to use whole psyllium husk, not psyllium powder.

Cold Soak Option: If you prefer, you can soak the lentils and sunflower seeds in the same amount of cool water for 12 hours.

Sunflower Seed Kernel Options: I used raw sunfloower seed kernels, bt you can also use roasted sunflower seed kernels. If the seed kernels are salted, reduce any added salt, as desired.

Nutrition Information

Yield

16

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 119Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 0mgSodium 247mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 6gSugar 1gProtein 7g

The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although powerhungry.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands and optional ingredients can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @powerhungrycamilla on Instagram and hashtag it #powerhungrycamilla

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Lidia

Wednesday 31st of August 2022

This is such a wonderful bread! I love the taste, the texture and how easy it is to make. Mine looked just like yours, but I have also made this with green lentils (success!) and it is darker brown and still wonderful. Thank you for this unique delicious and inexpensive recipe!!!

Camilla

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

I am so happy this bread works for you, Lidia! And thanks for the update abut the green lentils, that is great to know that green lentils worked well in the recipe :)

Annie T.

Tuesday 30th of August 2022

Kicking myself for not weighing out the lentils and the sunflower seeds as someone else mentioned in the comments here, tsk tsk! I was too excited to get this bread in the oven. Needless to say, the bread is superb! It was a wee bit stodgy in the middle and collapsed, hoping weighing out the dry ingredients will help with that. Still tasty as can be with a delightful crust. Will be making this again.

Love love loving your recipes, Camilla!

Camilla

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

I am so glad you liked the bread, Annie!

Cheryl

Sunday 28th of August 2022

Loved this bread. I’ve made it twice. Instead of a loaf pan, I use dollops on a sheet pan with parchment to make individual little flat breads for sandwiches for a shorter cooking time of about 20 min. However today, my batter turned green after sitting between batches, and the batch came out dark like a pumpernickel bread— then while sitting on cooling rack, within a couple hours, turned super dark green! Smells and tastes normal, but soo odd! Should I even eat it?? Any ideas?

Cheryl

Monday 29th of August 2022

@Camilla, OMGosh-Thank you for answering that! Too funny 😂

Love your blog, btw!! 🥰 It’s a place a turn to very often. 👍🏼👍🏼

Camilla

Sunday 28th of August 2022

Hi Cheryl! So happy you like the bread!

Ah yes, green bread! I know, it is bizarre, but the color is completely harmless. It is caused by a chemical reaction from the chlorogenic acid (a healthy polyphenol) in sunflower seeds. When sunflower seeds are crushed (flour, seed butter), they react with themselves. But the reaction turns wild when enhanced by the alkalinity of baking soda. I write about this in my Sunflower Seed Bread Post (green bread photos included in the post! 😊)

Acid in the batter will prevent the green, so using baking powder instead of soda typically keep things a neutral brown--baking powder has cram of tartar, an acid). I am wondering if your baking powder may have had a lower amount of cream of tartar? But that does not sound likely. If you were using the same baking powder as before, you can still prevent the green by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to the batter 😊

Note that the green-sit blue bread is a most excellent offering for Halloween & April Fool's day 😂

Karina

Sunday 21st of August 2022

I made this today in a solar oven at 7,000 feet. Used 2 t. baking powder instead of 3 t. as a high altitude adaptation.

I really liked the bread.

Thanks for all the creative recipes!

Camilla

Thursday 25th of August 2022

You are so welcome, Karina! And wow, so neat re: the solar oven!

Carol

Sunday 31st of July 2022

Can you use a glass loaf pan 8.5”x5.5”x2.5” (1.6qt) to make this bread?

Camilla

Sunday 31st of July 2022

Hi Carol, Yes, absolutely! Glass, metal or ceramic, all will work :)

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