Ridiculously easy 100% millet pumpkin bread that is vegan, gluten-free, oil-free and so delicious. A hearty, fine-textured loaf, it is excellent plain or toasted.
Oil-Free Vegan Millet Pumpkin Bread
This pumpkin bread is 100% in multiple ways. It is:
- Made with 100% millet (no other grains or flour)
- 100% delicious
- 100% filling
- & 100% inspired by my 100% Millet Banana Bread
Like my millet banana bread, this oil-free, vegan millet pumpkin bread is made from whole millet grain (although you can make it with millet flour, too).
This is a sturdy, not squidgy, loaf. Think of it as the love-child of a hearty, firm, German-style whole grain bread and a pumpkin spice latte. It toasts like a dream and makes a great sandwich bread, too (for example, with nut or seed butters, jam, sliced bananas, or chocolate hazelnut spread).
What is Millet?
Millet is a naturally gluten-free grain that is high in fiber, protein and antioxidants. Millet has a mild flavor (i.e., it goes well with many flavors) and is faintly reminiscent of cornmeal. It is also inexpensive.
Most importantly, millet makes most excellent pumpkin bread!
- Vegan (egg-free & dairy-free}
- Xanthan gum-free
- Flourless (see my notes for using millet flour in place of whole millet)
- High in fiber
- Minimal ingredients
- Very fast & easy to prepare
Ingredients for Oil-Free Vegan 100% Millet Pumpkin Bread
The exact amounts of each ingredient are indicated in the recipe card at the end of the post.
The recipe ingredients are minimal (as a banana bread should be ?):
- unsweetened canned pumpkin puree
- whole millet (raw)
- whole psyllium husks
- coconut sugar (or the sweetener of your choice)
- vanilla extract
- cider vinegar (or any light-colored vinegar)
- pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon; options are in the recipe notes)
- baking powder, baking soda, and salt
The recipe also uses plain water (I use filtered tap water).
An equal amount of brown sugar, or the granulated sweetener of your choice, can be used in place of the coconut sugar.
An equal amount of liquid sweetener can also be used. If using a liquid sweetener, decrease the total amount of water in the recipe by 2 tablespoons (30 mL).
How to Make 100% Millet Pumpkin Bread
Step One: Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Pan
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). If your oven has a convection setting, I recommend that you do not use it for this bread. This bread needs to be 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.
Step Two: Blend Most (but not all) of the Ingredients
Place the millet, pumpkin, water, coconut sugar, vinegar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla in a blender (a high-speed or regular blender).
Blend on high speed, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the blender container, until the millet is completely broken down and the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into a large bowl.
Step Three: Whisk in the Remaining Ingredients
Stir the psyllium husks, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the batter until completely combined. Use a spatula or large spoon rather than a whisk (the batter thickens quickly and will clump on the whisk).
Why Transfer the Batter to a Separate Bowl?
When the psyllium husk is added, the batter becomes very thick and sticky. In seconds. This makes it (a) difficult to scrape the batter out of the blender and into the pan; and (2) a major task to clean out the blender.
Scraping the thickened batter out of a mixing bowl, by contrast, is quick and easy. The same holds true for the cleaning.
Step Four: Spread Batter into Pan
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon. The batter will be very thick.
Step Five: Bake the Bread
Bake the bread in the preheated 350F (180C) oven for 90 minutes until risen and the surface of the bread is a deep golden brown. A tester inserted near the middle of the bread should come out with only a few moist crumbs attached. The corners of the bread should be pulling away (slightly) from the pan.
Transfer the pan to a cooling rack. Cool the bread in the pan for 15 minutes.
Step Six: 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.
Slice it Thick or Thin
Because this is a true loaf of bread, not a loaf cake, it can be sliced thick or thin, without crumbling.
What is the texture & taste of the 100% millet pumpkin bread?
Texture: This is a very hearty, solid, fine-textured, heavy (in a very good way) bread. One slice is very filling and satisfying.
Taste: This is not an overly sweet bread, so the flavor of the pumpkin really comes through. The toasty, nutty flavor of the millet complements the pumpkin and spices.
You are welcome to add more or less sweetener, according to your preferences. I suggest taking a very small taste after blending the pumpkin and millet to assess the level of sweetness.
How should I store the 100% Millet Pumpkin 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 millet flour in place of whole millet?
Yes! Here is what you need to do to make the substitution:
(1) Use the same weight (not volume/cups) of millet flour in place of the whole millet grain. Specifically use 2 and 3/4 cups (440 grams) of millet flour to replace the 440 grams of whole millet.
For the most accurate results, I strongly advise weighing the millet flour for an exact weight replacement.
(2) Do not add the flour to the blender
Whisk the millet flour, psyllium, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the large bowl. Blend the pumpkin, water, vinegar and vanilla in the blender until smooth.
Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until blended.
Can I use a different grain in place of the millet?
I do not recommend it. The proportion of wet and dry ingredients, as well as the quantity of psyllium husk, is particular to this combination of grains. For the best results, stick with the ingredients and proportions listed.
What kind of millet do you use?
I bring this up for my international readers. In the U.S. and Canada, we pretty much have one millet available, labeled “millet.” It is small and pale yellow. It looks like bird seed because…millet is often used for bird seed (note: do not use seeds designated for birdseed in human recipes ?). The variety available for human consumption is hulled.
North American manufacturers do not specify the type of millet on packages (just “millet“), but various sources indicate that the only millet grown for human consumption in the United States is proso millet. If you have the choice of several millets in your country, opt for proso millet.
My oven has a convection setting. Should I use it for this bread?
I do not recommend it. Convection ovens are wonderful for many types of recipes, but not every recipe. 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 moderate, 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 inaccurate. 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 this recipe with psyllium powder. It can work as a substitute for the whole husks in some recipes, but for some reason, it does not always work for when readers try to use it as a replacement. If you decide to use psyllium powder, use an equal weight (in grams).
Wednesday 7th of December 2022
This is a lovely recipe. I didn't have the right size loaf pan, so I baked it in a square baker, like cornbread. Worked just fine. I like that it's not overly sweet. Perfect for all kinds of sweet and savory toppings!
Thursday 8th of December 2022
Hi Karen--how smart! I am guessing that cut back the baking time, too, which is great :) So happy you like the recipe (yay! I have eaten it with savory toppings, too! My husband though I was crazy when I spread some red pepper-olive tapenade on it, but it was delicious!)
Sunday 13th of November 2022
This was so good!! I’ll have to make extra next time
Tuesday 15th of November 2022
Thanks for trying it, Jessica, and so happy you like it!
Saturday 1st of October 2022
This bread is out of this world! Made it exactly as written except substituted Monk sugar for the coconut sugar. Will definitely be making this again!
Monday 3rd of October 2022
Oh wow, I am thrilled to hear that you like it so much, Catherine! :)