lentil bread rollsLentil bread rolls are a great alternative to standard bread rolls. They’re perfectly crusty on the outside, soft (but quite dense) on the inside. and have an incredible toasty, whole-grain taste, just like your favorite artisan rolls. They’re vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, nut-free, and refined sugar-free.

Finding high-quality, minimally processed, ideally grain-free, sprouted bread in a grocery store is challenging. I would go as far as to say that it’s nearly impossible!

Personally, I don’t eat white bread. Despite white bread’s popularity and its benefit as a convenient, portable food, it has very little nutritional value. It contains processed, refined carbohydrates with most nutrients and fiber removed and added sugar. The sugar content in the average slice of processed bread varies but can be as high as 3g.

Whole wheat bread often isn’t much better. Most whole-wheat bread varieties contain enriched, refined flour as the first ingredient, meaning the bread contains more refined flour than whole wheat. In addition, the team behind Modernist Bread: The Art and Sciencelooked at 50 years of health and nutrition studies and concluded that human digestion doesn’t break down the whole wheat the way chemical analysis in a lab does, and that means our bodies don’t actually absorb many of the vitamins and minerals from whole wheat.

Of course, there’s also an array of gluten-free breads containing no wheat whatsoever. However, these are typically full of empty calories – starches and gums – and hidden sugars.

So, I make my own bread. Always. I honestly don’t remember the last time I bought bread. I have several bread recipes on the blog I love, and these lentil bread rolls are just another recipe in the rotation. Whether you are looking for a gluten-free option or want to switch up your bread game, lentil bread rolls are definitely worth a try.

red lentil bread rolls

Tips for Making Lentil Bread Rolls

Ingredients

You only need a few ingredients to make these grain-free bread rolls:

  • Red lentils: lentils are the star ingredient of this recipe. You can use any variety you like – I prefer red lentils because they take the shortest time to soak and give the bread rolls a beautiful light brown color. The combination of red lentils and psyllium makes the bread rolls look like whole wheat bread rolls. Regardless of the variety, use dry lentils, not cooked!
  • Psyllium husk: psyllium acts as a binder in this recipe. It adds gluten-like structure, tenderness, and elasticity by producing a colloidal system. In other words, it binds water and, even at very low concentrations, can cause a significant increase in the viscosity of a liquid, forming a springy, somewhat extensible dough.
  • Olive oil: I have made these rolls with and without oil and prefer adding oil. The olive oil improves the crumb structure, making softer and more moist bread rolls. This is because the oil in the dough prevents water from evaporating during baking. As the water is retained, it keeps the baked bread moist and tenderized.
  • Baking soda: since these red lentil bread rolls contain no yeast, baking soda acts as a leavening agent. You could use baking powder as a substitute, but I don’t recommend it. First, baking soda is about four times as strong as baking powder, so you would need to use around four times as much powder as soda to create the same rising ability, potentially causing the bread rolls to have a chemical or bitter taste. Second, baking soda helps baked goods brown better. So, use baking soda if possible.
  • Lemon juice: baking soda needs an acidic ingredient to produce carbon dioxide. The small bubbles of carbon dioxide gas become trapped in the dough, causing it to rise. Lemon juice is a common acid, but vinegar can be used in this recipe.
  • Salt: as with almost all foods, salt imparts flavor to bread. If you’ve ever tried bread without salt, you’ll know it tastes bland and flavorless, so add a generous pinch of salt.

ingredients for red lentil bread rolls

How to Make Red Lentil Bread Rolls

Once the lentils are soaked, the actual process of making lentil bread rolls is quick and easy. Here’s how to make lentil bread rolls at home:

  1. Soak the lentils. Add the dry red lentils to a bowl, cover them with water, and let them soak for at least 2 hours, ideally 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. After 8-12 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. Blend. Add the sprouted (or just soaked) lentils to a food processor together with the water, psyllium, olive oil, baking soda, and salt, and process until a dough forms. Finally, add the lemon juice and process until just combined. 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. Shape the bread rolls. Shape the dough into a log and divide it into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a neat ball and transfer it to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. I typically use a cast iron griddle and bake the rolls without parchment paper.
  5. Bake. Slide the baking tray into the oven and bake the bread rolls at 356ºF/180ºC until crispy and golden brown, for about 25 minutes.
  6. Cool. Transfer the bread rolls onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

how to make lentil bread rolls

How to Serve Red Lentil Bread Rolls

These bread rolls are very filling. Just one lentil bread roll will keep you full for hours!

I typically serve these bread rolls with purred soups or stews for a complete meal. They’re also great with hummus or an avocado spread (½ avocado – mashed with ½ tsp. lemon juice, salt, and black pepper).

How to Store Lentil Bread Rolls

  • Storing at room temperature: these rolls are best on the day they’re made. To keep the rolls fresh and soft, let them cool thoroughly, then store them at room temperature in an airtight container for 1 day.
  • Freezing: transfer the red lentil bread rolls to an airtight container and freeze them for up to 1 month.

red lentil buns

More Grain-Free Bread Recipes

  • Low-carb bread rolls: similar to the lentil bread rolls, these low-carb bread rolls also rely on psyllium husk. However, the main ingredients are almond flour and coconut flour instead of lentils. They have a light crust and a soft, chewy crumb.
  • Nut and seed bread: this bread is quite unique in that it is not leavened. It’s made entirely from nuts and seeds, and it’s dense, chewy, and filling.
  • Buckwheat quinoa bread: making sourdough bread with a starter requires planning and practice. This buckwheat quinoa bread is a type of sourdough bread that doesn’t rely on any starter! It has a slightly tangy flavor and a hearty texture with a firm crust and a moist, soft interior.

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

lentil bread rolls
5 from 24 votes

Red Lentil Bread Rolls

Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Yield: 4 bread rolls
Lentil bread rolls are a great alternative to standard bread rolls. They're perfectly crusty on the outside, soft (but quite dense) on the inside. and have an incredible toasty, whole-grain taste, just like your favorite artisan rolls.

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup (200 g) red lentils
  • 1/4 cup (20 g) whole psyllium husk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 2/3 tsp. (4 g) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.9 g) salt

Instructions
 

  • Soak the lentils. Add the dry red lentils to a bowl, cover them with water, and let them soak for at least 2 hours, ideally 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. After 8-12 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.
  • Preheat the oven. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 356ºF/180ºC.
  • Process. Add the sprouted (or just soaked) lentils to a food processor together with the water, psyllium, olive oil, baking soda, and salt, and process until a dough forms. Finally, add the lemon juice and process until just combined. 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. 
  • Shape the bread rolls. Shape the dough into a log and divide it into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a neat ball and transfer it to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake. Slide the baking tray into the oven and bake the bread rolls until crispy and golden brown, for about 25 minutes.
  • Cool. Transfer the bread rolls onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely. 
  • Store. Leftover bread rolls are best on the day they’re made. To keep the rolls fresh and soft, store them at room temperature in an airtight container for 1-2 days. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month. 

Notes

*Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 4, Calories: 235kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 4g, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 0.4g
Cuisine: American
Keywords: lentil bread rolls, red lentil bread rolls