I’ve been gluten free and dairy free for a few years now. I love to cook, and to – essentially, play with food and nutrition. Having gone through cancer and chemo, I’m bent on packing as much nutrition into my food as possible – but I don’t want to feel like I’m a health nut. I want to enjoy my food. I want to eat fun food. So that’s my objective.

Most recently, I’ve been experimenting with foods in a big way, really stretching my knowledge base and experience. The point is to place myself well outside my comfort zone and really delve into the completely Unknown New.

Red Lentils???

I had never eaten red lentils before. Not ever. But then I stumbled on a recipe for red lentil pancakes. After clicking around, I found several different recipes for that. So I tried them all (in one go) and compared results.

All the variations worked out quite well, and now I’m off to tinker with that and come up with my own, optimized recipe. But it occurred to me that if a pancake-ish, crepe-ish thing could be had from these lentils, then a bread might also be possible.

YUP. Absolutely.

I found that in Turkey, red lentils are used in some breads. Absolutely no flour of any kind is needed. Baking powder makes it rise. Just do a basic bread recipe, but with red lentils.

The Trick

  • Rinse the lentils first, combing your fingers through that bath to shake things up a bit.
  • Once rinsed, soak the lentils in hot water for three hours. You’ll be able to watch them absorb the water. I use structured water (from Analeema) for this.
  • You don’t need to drain the water at all. Just use it in your blender and mulch the lentils down just as you would do with garbanzo beans to make hummus.

It’ll feel familiar and it’ll look right to you. Then just do your bread-making stuff to it. Whatever you like to do with bread making in general – just do that. It’ll work. Just be sure to use some baking powder. I did NOT give this time to rise. I was hungry. Still, it lifted in the oven just fine.

It’s got fresh broccoli in there!

Red lentil bread with broccoli

I was so pleased with this result. Quite yummy. I threw in some broccoli and aminos for good measure, and that worked too! I do think though that my next batch will be with dehydrated broccoli instead of fresh. (I have a dehydrator machine. I highly recommend having one if you want to optimize your nutrition but don’t want to eat buckets of cabbage every day.)

Though the fresh broccoli was tasty and gave this added heartiness, I suspect that for an actual sandwich, dehydrated broccoli might work better. That said, this bread was wonderfully stable – a real bread, not a crumble party.

As it was, this was sort of a vegetarian’s answer to a meatloaf-hearty loaf-style meal – really terrific. I blended some black garlic vegan butter to smear and fresh avocado. Super yummy and quite satisfying – and with the first shot. Now I’m going to work on optimizing it, stretching it into different directions and uses, etc.

Do you bake red lentil bread? I’d love to hear from you. We can swap tips and stuff.