Urad Dal Lentils made into a batter and baked to make a soft flavorful nutritious Lentil bread. This Lentil Sandwich Bread is Free of dairy, egg, soy, gluten, nut. Can be made corn-free. Can be made grain-free by omitting the rice flour. Paleo Vegan Glutenfree Recipe.
The amazing thing about Urad dal (split and dehusked black gram) batter is that it aerates by itself really well. Hence, the dal is the mandatory ingredient in the southern Indian crepes(Dosa) and steamed cakes(idli). Urad dal is also used to make Vadas(fried dumplings) which have just one main ingredient- urad dal.
Another feature of urad dal is that it keeps the final product moist and soft. All of these properties make it a great candidate to make today’s bread.
There really isn’t a substitute for Urad Dal. No other lentil works as the batter will not ferment. You can buy the urad dal lentils online on amazon Urad Dal Matpe Beans, Split or from an Indian store (much cheaper). This bread also obviously has the strong taste of the dal. If you have tried South Indian food, then you might know and its taste.
This bread might seem like it has a hard crust right after baking but it gets softer as it sits because the dal leaks moisture. The photos do not do justice to how soft and delicious this bread is. There is no gluten or gum or nuts or added yeast in this bread.
Welcome to my world of experimentation 🙂
The lentil batter can also be left at room temperature to ferment for a few hours for a more leavened bread. The dal attracts wild yeast and ferments. I am not sure if that would be technically called yeast-free after fermentation.
Things to know before jumping into this recipe, this bread is going to taste like urad dal lentils. This bread is denser than a usual sandwich bread. /the bread is also very moist. So if you slice it before it has cooled, it will feel like it has not cooked through, but it has. If the bread doesn’t turn out right, just add the chopped bread into any of the indian sauces or sambhar(split pea stew) to soften and serve.
Or make a mini loaf with 1/2 cup lentils in a mini loaf pan to try first. You can also make fat pancakes with the batter and use them as burger buns.
This bread is full of protein, so make some grilled sandwiches with this one for a hearty snack!
Urad Dal pictured below.
More gluten-free breads on the blog
Soak the urad dal overnight. Drain and add to a food processor. Process the dal until it is just slightly gritty. Process for 30 to 45 seconds then move the dal with a spatula. It will take 3 to 4 minutes to break the lentils down into a batter type consistency. Add just a little water (3 to 6 Tablespoons) to help with the processing. Add the rest of the ingredients and process for a minute to combine. Check the batter for aeration. (drop a half tsp of batter in a cup of water. The batter should float on the top). If not aerated well , transfer the thick batter to a bowl and whip with a large spoon a few times, then check again. the batter should be thick and pasty but also slightly bubbly.
Drop batter into parchment lined bread pan. Spray oil on top and even it out using a light hand so the air in the batter is not pressed out.
Preheat the oven to 395 degrees F. Bake for 45 minutes. Cover the bread with another parchment after first 15 to 20 minutes by placing the parchment on the loaf pan. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees F after 45 minutes, remove parchment and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped.
Cool completely before slicing. (about an hour). The bread slices more easily the next day. Refrigerate the bread for upto 5 days in an airtight container. The bread crust is crusty the first day and gets softer as it sits because of moisture. Moisture in the storage container after a day is normal. I like to use to bread with chutney toppings or simple sandwiches.
Note: For a fermented batter, Make the batter without baking powder and let it sit covered in a warm place to ferment for about 6 hours. You can mix in the baking powder if you like or omit it, and bake.
Nutritional values based on one loaf