protein breadProtein bread is an excellent option for those looking for a healthy and filling alternative to traditional bread. It looks and tastes like whole wheat bread but is much higher in protein and fiber. The recipe is vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, nut-free, and refined sugar-free.

High-protein bread is not very common. I would even say that it’s pretty uncommon. 

Luckily, binders such as flax seeds and psyllium husk make it easy to make bread using almost any ingredient, including legumes.

This lentil-chickpea-hemp bread is essentially protein bread.

If you’ve never heard of protein bread, it’s an innovative way to incorporate more protein into one’s diet. Some of the most popular versions of protein bread are made with eggs and cheese, but I prefer plant-based protein bread. This lentil bread is high in protein and fiber – especially compared to standard bread recipes – and is packed with wholesome ingredients, making it highly nutritious. As more and more people become aware of the benefits of bread made with high-protein ingredients, it will likely continue to gain popularity in the health and wellness community. 

Of course, not all protein bread is created equal. So, if you buy protein bread in the store, always read the label and choose a high-quality product that fits your dietary goals.

high-protein bread

Tips for Making Protein Bread

Ingredients

This protein bread is packed with high-protein and high-fiber ingredients, including:

  • Lentils: sprouted lentils substitute for some of the flour in this recipe. You can use any variety of lentils you like – brown, green, red, yellow, etc. I prefer a combination of green and yellow lentils – green lentils are the closest in color to wholewheat bread, while yellow lentils have the most neutral flavor. The important thing is that the lentils are dry, then soaked, and ideally also sprouted. The bread recipe will work with just soaked lentils, but sprouting improves the nutritional value of lentils. For instance, the protein content in lentils increases between 20-23% after sprouting! (1)
  • Chickpea flour: chickpea flour helps create a soft, bread-like texture. It’s also incredibly absorbent, making it a great binding agent in this recipe. 
  • Psyllium husk: the main binder in this lentil bread is psyllium husk, which is a type of soluble fiber. Because psyllium is hydrocolloid – it binds water and causes a significant increase in the viscosity of a liquid – it is used as a thickening agent. As it forms a fairly elastic gel, it transforms a loose batter-like consistency into a springy, extensible, and flexible dough.
  • Hemp hearts: I used hemp hearts for their high (complete) protein, but you can use any non-binding seeds you like – sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, etc.
  • Baking soda: this simple protein bread recipe is a type of soda bread – baking soda is the agent that provides lift rather than yeast.
  • Lemon juice: acid is essential to cause the baking soda to create carbon dioxide gas and cause the bread to rise. You could also use apple cider vinegar or lime juice.
  • Salt: one of the important functions of salt is to evoke and enhance the flavor of the bread. In addition to salt, herbs and spices are another great way to add a depth of flavor. 

protein bread ingredients

How to Make Protein Bread

Soaking and sprouting the lentils takes the longest time. Once the lentils are ready, the actual process of making the bread is quick. Here are the steps to making lentil bread at home:

  1. Soak the lentils. Add the dry green lentils to a bowl, cover them with water, and let them soak for about 8 hours. Once soaked, drain the soaking water and rinse the lentils. 
  2. Sprout the lentils (optional). Transfer the soaked lentils into a strainer and set the strainer over a large bowl so any excess water can drain. If you’re using a sprouting jar, invert it into a large bowl or another object that allows it to sit at an angle. This lets water drain constantly. The lentils must stay moist but shouldn’t sit in water. Rinse the lentils every 12 hours. After 24-36 hours, sprouts should start to emerge. If there are no sprouts, drain, rinse, and leave again for a few more hours. While sprouting is not necessary, it does boost fermentation activity.
  3. Process. Add the sprouted (or just soaked) lentils to a food processor together with the chickpea flour, psyllium husk, hemp hearts, baking soda, lemon juice, salt, and water, and process until a dough forms. The reaction baking soda creates upon contact with acid is immediate, so don’t let the dough rest and work as quickly as possible before all the bubbles dissipate. 
  4. Bake. Transfer the dough into a parchment paper-lined 8 x 4 inch/20 x 10 cm loaf pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake the bread at 380°F/193°C until crispy and golden brown, for about 50 minutes. 
  5. Cool. Transfer the bread onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely before slicing.

sprouted green lentils

how to make protein bread

How to Serve High-Protein Bread

This high-protein and high-fiber bread is similar to whole-wheat bread – nutty and earthy with a soft yet dense texture.

Since the bread is more savory than classic, whole-wheat bread, it pairs well with savory spreads, such as hummus or guacamole. It toasts well, so I often use it to make avocado toast or bruschetta toast. It’s also great with pureed soups, whether it’s for dipping or in the form of croutons. 

How to Store Lentil Bread

  • Storing at room temperature: wrap the bread in a large tea towel (so it can breathe) and store it in a cool place for up to 3 days. Room temperature is ideal for maintaining proper crumb and crust texture. 
  • Freezing: slice the bread first. Transfer individual slices into an airtight bag, one on top of the other, in an alternating 90-degree pattern, and press out as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months.

protein lentil bread

More Gluten-Free Bread Recipes

  • Nut and seed bread: this bread is unique because it’s not light, fluffy, and airy like the typical flour-based bread. Quite the opposite – it’s nutty, chewy, hearty, and filling.
  • Buckwheat quinoa bread: making traditional sourdough bread isn’t hard, but the process requires some planning and practice. This buckwheat quinoa bread is essentially a sourdough bread without a sourdough starter. It has a slightly tangy flavor and a hearty texture with a firm crust and a moist, soft interior. 
  • Flaxseed bread: if you’re looking for low-carb keto bread, this recipe is it! This flaxseed bread is mildly nutty, crusty on the outside, and soft and moist on the inside.

If you try any of these recipes, please leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.

protein bread
5 from 1 vote

Protein Lentil Bread

Prep Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 9 hours
Yield: 16 slices

Ingredients
 

  • 1 1/2 cups (282 g) green lentils
  • 1 cup (92 g) chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup (40 g) whole psyllium husk
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) hemp hearts
  • 1 tsp. (6 g) baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. (5.7 g) salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water

Instructions
 

  • Soak the lentils. Add the dry green lentils to a bowl, cover them with water, and let them soak for about 8 hours. Once soaked, drain the soaking water and rinse the lentils. 
  • Sprout the lentils (optional). Transfer the soaked lentils into a strainer and set the strainer over a large bowl so any excess water can drain. If you’re using a sprouting jar, invert it into a large bowl or another object that allows it to sit at an angle. This lets water drain constantly. The lentils must stay moist but shouldn’t sit in water. Rinse the lentils every 12 hours. After 24-36 hours, sprouts should start to emerge. If there are no sprouts, drain, rinse, and leave again for a few more hours. While sprouting is not necessary, it does boost fermentation activity.
  • Process. Add the sprouted (or just soaked) lentils to a food processor together with the chickpea flour, psyllium husk, hemp hearts, baking soda, lemon juice, salt, and water, and process until a dough forms. The reaction baking soda creates upon contact with acid is immediate, so don’t let the dough rest and work as quickly as possible before all the bubbles dissipate. 
  • Bake. Transfer the dough into a parchment paper-lined 8 x 4 inch/20 x 10 cm loaf pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake the bread at 380°F/193°C until crispy and golden brown, for about 50 minutes. 
  • Cool. Transfer the bread onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely before slicing.
  • Store. Wrap the bread in a large tea towel (so it can breathe) and store it in a cool place for up to 3 days. For longer-term storage, slice the bread first and then transfer individual slices into an airtight bag, one on top of the other, in an alternating 90-degree pattern, and press out as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

*Prep time does not include sprouting the lentils.
**Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 16, Calories: 139kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 2g, Fiber: 14g, Sugar: 0.6g
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Keywords: high-protein bread, protein bread