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100% Chia Firm Sandwich Bread (vegan, gluten-free, oil-free)

My 100% Chia Firm Sandwich Bread (vegan, gluten-free, oil-free) is a full-bodied loaf for all of your favorite toppings and fillings (it makes stellar toast, too). Made with three ingredients (plus water and optional salt), it is an easy, hearty anytime bread that is vegan, keto, paleo, oil-free, grain-free, nut-free and sugar free (zero grams).

overhead shot of sliced 100% chia sandwich bread

Several readers asked if I could create a larger, sandwich style loaf that was still as simple as my 2-Ingredient Chia Bread Recipe. I was less than sure, but after some contemplation, and many rounds of testing, I have a winner of a recipe to offer all of you.

I am naming it exactly what it is: 100% Chia Firm Sandwich Bread. 

Made with chia flour (simply chia seeds that you grind extra fine), whole psyllium husks, baking powder (plus some tap water and optional salt), then baked in a hot oven, this bread is excellent sliced and spread with jams, marmalades, and vegan cheese spreads (hint: like my Vegan Boursin Cheese Spread).

And if you have never made homemade bread before now, you will be delighted to know that this particular recipe is a breeze to follow. Really.

a slice of chia bread with a bite taken out

Recipe Benefits

  • Vegan (egg-free, dairy-free)
  • Gluten-free
  • Grain-free
  • Yeast-free (no active yeast or instant yeast required)
  • Oil-free
  • High fiber content (8 grams per slice)
  • 4 grams protein per slice
  • Sugar-free
  • Paleo-friendly
  • Keto-friendly
  • Easy to make
  • 3 ingredients (plus water and optional salt)

Ingredients for this Great Bread

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

You will also need some regular tap water. I like to add some salt, but it is optional/adjustable according to your needs (i.e., omitting the salt will not affect the success of the bread).

​No added fat is needed for the bread. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are equally great for your health and making soft, tender bread.

What are Whole Psyllium Husks?

a pile of whole psyllium husks on a white background

I use psyllium husk in this bread to give it a more sturdy, sandwich-style texture. It also allows for the creation of a larger loaf (unlike my 2-ingredient chia bread recipe, where the loaves must be made smaller to “work”).

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 BreadEasy Multigrain Sandwich BreadCoconut Flour Sandwich Bread100% Millet Banana BreadBuckwheat Sandwich BreadOat Sandwich Bread4-Ingredient Power Bread, and much more!

Tip for Ready-to-Use Chia Flour

a lightly packed silver measuring cup filled with chia seed flour.

My recipe calls for grinding chia seeds into a fine flour. This is simple to do in a blender (high speed or regular) or a small coffee mill.

If you prefer, you can skip the grinding and use ready-made chia flour. You will need to use an equal weight of chia flour to replace the chia seeds

Second, be sure that it is finely ground chia (flour consistency) as opposed to chia meal (coarsely ground chia seeds). In order for this recipe to work, the seeds must be finely ground into a flour. 

If you have a package of chia meal, not flour, place it in a blender and pulse until it is a fine flour.

How to Make 100% Chia Firm Sandwich Bread

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

Step One: Preheat the Oven and Prepare Baking Pan

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190C) degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step Two: Grind the Chia Seeds into a Fine Flour

This is a very important step. Using a blender or a clean coffee mill, grind the chia seeds into a fine flour. A fine consistency is critical for the texture and rise of the bread.

three photo collage showing chia seeds being ground into a fine flour.

Step Three: Combine the Dry Ingredients in a Bowl

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the finely ground chia seeds (chia flour), whole psyllium husksbaking powder, and the (optional) salt. 

Step Four: Add the Water

Next, stir in the warm water with a silicone or rubber spatula, scraping the sides of the bowl, until the ingredients are combined into a rough-looking dough. The dough will be very thick and sticky.

2 photo collage showing the water added to dry ingredients in chia bread recipe

Step Five: Shape the Loaf

Use a some water to wet your hands (I place of small bowl of water in my work area for this purpose). Use your damp hands to gather and squeeze the dough into a cohesive ball.

chia bread sough, shaped into a ball

Transfer the ball to the lined baking sheet and shape (again, with wet hands) into an 8×4-inch (20×10 cm) loaf. 

Re-wet your hands again. Smooth the top and round off the ends of the dough into an even loaf, about 8-inches (20 cm) long.

chia sandwich bread sough, shaped into a loaf on a baking sheet

Step Six: Bake

Bake the loaf in the preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until risen and the surface of the loaf appears dry. The loaf will be dark golden brown in color, and crust of the bread should be firm.

bake loaf of 100% chia firm sandwich bread on a baking sheet

Step Seven: Cool the Bread

Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.

loaf of bread

A nutritious, delicious loaf–done!

FAQ

How Should I Store the Bread?

Store the cooled bread in an airtight container at (cool) room temperature for 1 day, the refrigerator for 2 weeks, or the freezer for up to 6 months.

The chia bread should be stored in the refrigerator of freezer after one day because of the high fat content of the chia seeds. Together with the moisture in the bread, the bread can go bad more quickly than a traditional loaf of bread.

uncut loaf of chia sandwich bread on a cutting board

What is the Taste and Texture of the Bread?

The chia bread has a pleasant dark golden brown crust and firm texture. The nutty flavor reminds me of a 100% whole wheat bread recipe my mother used to make (and which I loved). The bread is also very filling: one small slice or piece provides a lot of satisfaction. 

It is not an especially crusty bread (instead, it has a consistent texture throughout).

sliced chia sandwich bread

How Do I use this Healthy Bread for Sandwiches?

Since this is such a firm loaf, you can cut slices thick or thin for your desired sandwich filling or topping. I recommend cutting the loaf into thinner slices for closed sandwiches and thicker slices for open-face sandwiches.

sliced chia sandwich bread

My Bread is Gooey Inside. Why?

This gluten-free bread should not be gooey inside, at all. If your bread comes out gooey in the middle, it is most likely due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • Oven temperature is not accurate. Use an oven thermometer (they are very inexpensive) to regularly check the accuracy of your oven’s temperature.
  • The bread was not baked long enough. The bread may look done before 50 minutes have passed. That does not mean that it is cooked on the inside. Bake for the entire time.
  • The bread was not cooled before slicing.
  • Inaccurate measurement of ingredients. With minimal breads such as this one, accuracy of measurements is critical. I strongly suggest using a kitchen scale for measuring the chia seeds and whole psyllium husk.

Can I Use Different Flours in Place of the Ground Chia Seeds (Chia Flour)?

No. This recipe will not work, as written, with other flours, such as buckwheat flour, almond flour, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, bread flour, white whole wheat flour, or chickpea flour.

Can I Replace the Ground Chia Seeds with Flaxseed Meal?

Possibly. Use an equal weight of flaxseed meal (finely ground into a very fine flour, or an equal weight of whole flax seeds that have been ground into a fine flour). Keep the other ingredients and bake time the same. I have not tested the recipe with flaxseed meal, but it should work!

Can I Make the Bread in a Bread Maker (Bread Machine)?

I have not tried it so I cannot make recommendations one way or any-other.

Can I Bake this Homemade Sandwich Bread in a Loaf Pan?

Yes! Shape the loaf as directed and place into a parchment paper-lined (or greased) 8-inch loaf pan (8×4 inches/ 20×10 cm). The bread may need a few minutes less baking time, compared to baking on a baking sheet.

Can I Sprinkle Seeds on Top of the Bread Before Baking?

Yes! Sprinkle with sesame seeds, green pumpkin seeds (pepitas), poppy seeds, shelled sunflower seeds, or hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds).

Can I Use Psyllium Powder in Place of the Whole Psyllium Husks?

Possibly. I have not tested the bread with psyllium powder, but theoretically it should work. Be sure to use an equal weight of psyllium powder to replace the whole psyllium husks (not volume).

What are Some Healthy Topping Ideas for This Homemade Bread?

  • Peanut butter (or other nuut butters or seed butters)
  • Sliced or mashed avocado
  • Sliced or mashed bananas
  • Vegan cream cheese (try my easy DIY recipe)
  • Dairy-free Greek Yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup

Happy baking!

Related Recipes

sliced chia sandwich bread

100% Chia Firm Sandwich Bread (vegan, gluten-free, oil-free)

Yield: 1 loaf (12 slices)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

My 100% Chia Firm Sandwich Bread (vegan, gluten-free, oil-free) is a firm, full-bodied loaf for all of your favorite toppings and fillings (it makes stellar toast, too). Made with three ingredients (plus water and optional salt), it is an easy, hearty anytime bread that is vegan, keto, paleo, oil-free, grain-free, nut-free and sugar free (zero grams).​

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (227 grams) chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) whole psyllium husks
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (375 mL) water

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 375 F (190C) degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Using a blender or a clean coffee mill, grind the chia seeds into a fine flour.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the finely ground chia seeds (chia flour), whole psyllium husks, baking powder, and the (optional) salt. 
    4. Add the warm water to the bowl. Stir with a silicone or rubber spatula, scraping the sides of the bowl, until the ingredients are combined into a rough dough (it will be very thick and sticky).
    5. Use some water to wet your hands (I place of small bowl of water in my work area for this purpose).
    6. Use damp hands to gather and squeeze the dough into a cohesive ball.
    7. Transfer the ball to the lined baking sheet and shape (again, with moistened hands) into an 8x4-inch (20x10 cm) loaf. 
    8. Re-wet your hands. Smooth the top and round off the ends of the dough into an even loaf, about 8-inches (20 cm) long.
    9. Bake the loaf in the preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes until risen and the surface of the loaf appears dry. The loaf will be dark golden brown in color, and crust of the bread should be firm.
    10. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.

Notes

Storage: Store the cooled bread in an airtight container at (cool) room temperature for 1 day, the refrigerator for 2 weeks, or the freezer for up to 6 months.

Flaxseed Meal Option: I have not tested it, but you can likely subsitute an equal weight of finely ground (into a flour) flax seeds for the chia seeds.
Loaf Pan Option: Shape the loaf as directed and place into a parchment paper-lined (or greased) 8-inch loaf pan (8x4 inches/ 20x10 cm). The bread will need less time to bake on a baking sheet.
Psyllium Powder in Place of Whole Psyllum Husks: I have not tested the bread with psyllium powder, but theoretically it should work. Be sure to use an equal weight (40 grams) of psyllium powder to replace the whole psyllium husks (not volume).

Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 99Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 0mgSodium 84mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 8gSugar 0gProtein 4g

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?

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Andrea

Tuesday 2nd of January 2024

My loaf didn't rise. It actually fell a bit after cooling. Any idea what might have happened?

Camilla

Monday 5th of February 2024

Hi Andrea,

I am sorry that the bread recipe did not work. When you say that it did not rise, do you mean that it did not rise at all? I'm confused since you also mentioned that it fell after cooling. Several things could have happened: (1) your baking powder is no longer active/very active (if it is old); (2) the unbaked loaf could have waited too long before going into the oven (the gas bubbles escaped); (3) the oven temperature was off (not hot enough). This isn't a high-rising loaf, it is dense, but it does expand and rise. Also, is your oven convection or radiant heat?

Joanna

Thursday 30th of November 2023

Can you please add the weight for amount of chia?

Camilla

Thursday 30th of November 2023

Hi Joanna! The weight for the chia seeds, in both ounces and grams, is in the recipe card (8 ounces, 227 grams) :)

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