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.
How Can I Make High Protein Sandwich Bread?
With 4 frugal ingredients and very little effort 😊!
It sounds wacky, I know. But wacky can be wonderful.
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}
- Made with 4 ingredients
- Flourless (made from red lentils & sunflower seed kernels)
- Xanthan gum-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.
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.
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
The sunflower seeds have a three-fold function in this easy, minimalist bread:
- Structure. The protein and fiber in the seeds contribute to the bread’s shape and texture.
- Oil-Free Fat. The natural oils in the sunflower seeds allow this bread to to be free of oil, yet still tender.
- 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.
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.
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.
Transfer the pan to a cooling rack. Cool the bread in the pan for 15 minutes.
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 😊.
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:
It can also be sliced very thin, without falling apart or crumbling.
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!).
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:
- Baking in a a convection oven instead of conventional oven. See the section above explaining why this makes a huge difference.
- 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.
- 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.